Even when you do everything right, sometimes the color of a concrete floor doesn’t turn out how you expected. Acid stains can be temperamental and cause color variations that weren’t predicted. The best way to avoid this is to color a test section of the floor so you can see how the stains react and get an accurate idea of the color.

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However, if color issues do develop you can use one of the following three strategies:

Hide blotches with a tinted sealer

To touch up small blemishes on stained floor surfaces, brush on a mixture of acrylic tint and sealer, advises ConcreteNetwork.com troubleshooting expert Chris Sullivan of ChemSystems Inc. Tinted sealers are available with water and solvent bases, as well as multiple levels of gloss and opacity. You can buy a premixed colored sealer, or add tint concentrates to clear sealers on site. See Quick Fix for Blemished Acid-Stained Floors.

Make the color darker with a water-based stain or dye

If the floor color turns out to be too light, topical acrylic stains or water-based penetrating stains can be used to shift the floor to a darker color. Because these types of stains typically are very translucent, this method is limited to floors where you want to vary the color over a broad area, not where the color is blotchy or has streaks. Concrete dyes can also be used to change the floor color, as was the case on this project when the floor owners changed their minds about the color after the floor was acid stained.

Change the color with a microtopping

If the floor color is completely unacceptable or the floor has been repaired or patched, consider applying a concrete overlay or microtopping over the entire slab to achieve a new, uniform surface. Ultra-thin cement-based microtoppings and skim coats for concrete floors are available in virtually any color or can be stained after application. Most require minimal surface preparation when applied over clean, sound concrete. Another plus: Because these materials are so thin, they dry quickly. See how a microtopping and layers of acid stain added warmth and richness to this residential floor.

How to Blend Concrete Patches with Stain

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