Monday, August 22, 2011

Oh No! I got tricked into putting junk stain on my concrete. Help!

Ask a Pro
Q. -  I screwed up and put down R><><leum concrete "stain" which I bought from a big box home improvement store, I bet you know who. I wanted a true acid stain. Thanks R><><leum! Thanks Mr. big box store! Needless to say it doesnt look very good. Actually it looks like crap! Can you offer any products to take it off? Or will your product etch through it? Please Help!!!
Hello Kevin,
A. -  You will have to completely remove all of the "disguised paint" that you were tricked into putting onto your concrete, before applying any true acid stain. Acid stains have to get into the pores of the concrete to work effectively. Also, now that you have etched your concrete in order for the acrylic stain- semi-transparent stain- or whatever they call it- to work, Only the Artist Grade acid stain from will be effective. All other stains are only standard grade and even our Fiesta Stain is standard grade, and will now be completely and totally ineffective. So be sure to use only the artist grade concrete acid stain from Concrete Camouflage, once you've got the mess cleaned up and off your concrete.
   Anyway, if your concrete is outside or in an acceptable area for it, the easiest way is to rent a small sandblaster and sandblast it off.
   If you can't use a sandblaster, or if indoors, you can remove it using citrus strippers, heavy duty paint strippers, heavy duty glue removers, a mastic remover, or Xylene(very flammable and aromatic - requiring adequate ventilation and caution - but very effective.) Be sure to visit and read through our blog for some great tips on stripping off concrete sealer, which will also work well for stripping the acrylic stains and paints. The best tip though, is to order a straw scrub brush from Concrete Camouflage to use, as it will definitely help to take out much of the needed elbow grease. Basically, you'll apply your stripping product, let it sit and soak in for a little while to start softening up the paint - err - stain, then apply some more and start scrubbing it until it all becomes soft and finally reliquifies, adding more stripper as needed. Then scrape it into a pile and shovel it up with a square ended shovel and into a bucket for disposal. Repeat as needed.
   Ok, once you're through scrubbing and scraping and removing as much as you can, you'll will still most likely need to sand the concrete. You can do this somewhat easily with a rented commercial floor sander, like they use on wood floors. Or you can use a rented floor buffing machine with the sanding disks. After you have it stripped and sanded, or sandblasted, you can start over. Again, use only the artist grade stain from Concrete Camouflage, and you should be ok. However, though you might still be ok with a single coat application as the artist grade stain is intended, you may have to do two coats due to the original etching, in order to achieve the richness and/or darkness desired. So do a test spot first before doing the entire project, so you'll know.
   Special Blog Note to anyone about to make the same mistake: Any product that tells you to "acid wash" or "etch" the concrete before applying their product is junk. It is a disguised paint and it is designed for only one purpose - to separate you from your cash. Avoid them at all costs. Only Concrete Acid Stains are true stains for concrete, as wood stains are for wood.
   It is unfortunate that the big box home improvement stores see fit to carry only disguised paints labeled as concrete stains, or if they do happen to have an acid stain by chance, it is a diluted homeowner version. When they could consider carrying quality products such as those manufactured by Concrete Camouflage. But that would of course cut into their massive and gluttonous profit margins, wouldn't it.
I hope this helps.