Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Can I stain my Stamped Concrete Patio that has most of the sealer off?

Ask a Pro

Q. -  I have a stamped concrete patio that is 1 & 1/2 years old. the sealer (xylene base) has been 95% taken up. Can I use your artist grade concrete acid stain and then reapply the same xylene sealer over top?
Hello Madeleine,
 A. -  You can certainly use the Artist grade stain and yes, you can apply a Xylene based sealer over it. However, the stain will not be able to penetrate and work where there is still sealer, so you need to strip the rest of the sealer off that is still on there. You can do so by using Xylene, a stiff straw scrub brush on a broom handle, and a powerwasher. It is vital that you use a stiff straw scrub brush, they're hard to find but an absolute. You can order them from Concrete Camouflage when ordering the stain if you like.
   Remember that Xylene is flammable and aromatic. Be sure to read all instructions, warnings, cautions, and labels of all products before storing, opening, and/or using. Work in sections of course and try to not walk where you have worked until it has dried.
  1. Pour the Xylene on and allow it to sit for about 30 seconds or so, which will start to soften the sealer.
  2. Then pour on some more Xylene and scrub it with the straw scrub brush, which will re-liquify the sealer.
  3. Then you can use a painters shield to scrape it into a pile or over the edge. You can also use a square ended shovel to pick it up. If there's not enough sealer left to scrape up or pick up then you can use rags to wipe it up, or if there is not enough sealer left on the concrete for even wiping up, then skip this step and go to the next step.
  4. On this step you may need to walk in it. Pour a little more Xylene on and scrub it all around quickly, then use the powerwasher to wash it off and over the edge. The Xylene re-liquifies the sealer, and if you hit it with the powerwasher before it starts to dry back down, then the powerwasher will take the sealer completely off and should even remove it from the pours.
   As you said that you already have 95% of the sealer removed, you will likely skip step 3. Once you give it the final strip down and powerwash, allow the concrete to dry completely. Then you can proceed with acid staining and re-sealing.
I hope this helps.