Can Concrete Stain be applied to old or damaged Concrete?

Can Concrete Stain be applied to old or damaged Concrete?

Concrete stain is a versatile and cost-effective way to transform dull or drab concrete surfaces into stunning focal points. It’s a popular choice for both interior and exterior projects, offering a wide range of colours and finishes. But what if you have old or damaged concrete that’s seen better days? Can concrete stains breathe new life into these surfaces? In this article, we’ll explore the possibilities and considerations of applying concrete stain to old or damaged concrete.

Assessing the Condition of the Concrete

Before delving into the application of concrete stain, it’s crucial to assess the condition of your existing concrete. While concrete stain can be a successful solution, it might not be the right solution for severely damaged or structurally compromised surfaces. Here are some key factors to consider:

  1. Cracks: Minor surface cracks are generally suitable for staining, as they can add character to the finished look. However, deep, or extensive cracks may require repairs before staining to ensure a smooth and even finish.
  2. Flaking: If your concrete has areas of flaking, these areas may need to be addressed before staining. The stain won’t adhere well to loose or deteriorating concrete.
  3. Oil Stains and Contaminants: Concrete stain has the ability to camouflage oil stains and other blemishes to a certain extent. However, thorough cleaning and surface preparation are essential for the best results.
  4. Previous Coatings: If your old concrete has been previously coated with paint or other sealants, it may need to be removed before applying concrete stain. The stain won’t bond well to sealed surfaces.

Surface Preparation

Proper surface preparation is critical to the success of your concrete staining project, especially when dealing with older or damaged concrete:

  1. Cleaning: Start by thoroughly cleaning the concrete surface. Remove any dirt, debris, oil stains, or contaminants. Pressure washing or scrubbing with a concrete cleaner may be necessary.
  2. Repairs: Address any significant flaking or damage before staining. Fill cracks with a suitable concrete repair product and ensure that the surface is smooth and even.
  3. Stripping Previous Coatings: If there are old coatings on the concrete, they may need to be stripped using appropriate methods such as chemical paint strippers or mechanical grinding.

Choosing the Right Stain

Once your concrete is clean and in good repair, you can choose the concrete stain that suits your aesthetic preferences. Concrete stain comes in two primary types:

  1. Acid-Based Stain: Acid stains react with the minerals in the concrete, creating unique and variegated colours. They tend to work well on older concrete surfaces and can help hide imperfections.
  2. Water-Based Stain: Water-based stains offer a wide range of colour options and are less likely to react unpredictably with the concrete.

Application and Sealing

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for applying the chosen stain. Typically, the stain is sprayed, brushed, or rolled onto the concrete surface. Multiple coats may be needed to achieve the desired colour and depth.

After the staining process has been completed, it’s crucial to seal the concrete to protect the finish and enhance it’s longevity. Sealing also provides a glossy or matte finish, depending on your preference.


In conclusion, the concrete stain can be a transformative solution for old or damaged concrete surfaces, breathing new life into them and giving them a refreshed appearance.

If you have any further questions regarding concrete colour stain, please give us a call on 01772 701474 or e-mail

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