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Color over concrete sealer

I recently applied concrete sealer (from Home Depot) to my concrete patio.  It accomplished makingthe concrete water resistant but the appearance of the surface is exactly like it was before sealing.  The surface is still not smooth nor uniform color.  The pores are filled.

I now want to add color, preferably semi-transparent stain, for the natural stone look, but will settle for solid color stain or paint if necessary.

I do NOT want to strip the sealer.  It performs a function.

How to I prepare the surface for a colored sealer, or stain, or paint (yes, I'd even settle for a concrete paint).

If I must sand it, please be a little specific ... rotary power sander, hand sanding, reciprocating sander, what?  What grit?

Is there a primer that would work?




Houston, Texas

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Posted 2012-05-09T04:07:52+0000  by cooperslay cooperslay

Welcome to our community Cooperslay,


My name is Christine and I work in the paint department at The Home Depot in Atlanta.


Here’s the deal with stain. Stain needs to be able to penetrate the surface. That’s the point of stain. So, if there is a something on the surface that will not allow the stain to soak in, it will come right off. A sealer, as the name suggests, seals the pores of the surface. The point is to protect the surface from anything that tries to hurt the surface beneath it. With that being said, in order for you to stain your concrete, you will have to strip off the sealer. Behr suggests using Behr Premium Concrete and Masonry Stripper number 992 to strip off the sealer before staining. You would have to do this no matter if you use semi-transparent or solid concrete stain.


Now let’s discuss what preparation needs to go into painting your floors. Which sealer did you use? If you used a sealer that left a glossy finish, such as the Behr Wet Look sealer, you will have to sand it lightly before you do anything else. Using a 100 or 120 grit will get it just rough enough. I would use a hand sander that attaches to an extension pole and lightly go over the floor. After sanding, make sure to sweep thoroughly so there isn't any dust that can get trapped.     


Before you can paint, you will have to use a primer. Using Behr Concrete and Masonry Bonding Primer Number 880 would be the best primer to use.


After the primer dries, use paint specifically for floors. Behr and Glidden both have a line of paints that will work perfectly.


I hope that this helps you out. If you have any more questions, don’t hesitate to ask!


Christine :smileyhappy:

Posted 2012-05-09T14:20:43+0000  by Christine_HD_ATL



You don't state exactly what product you used to seal your concrete. Many sealers contain silicones which penetrate into the surface. If this is the case, you may just have to wait until the product wears off. As long as water continues to bead on the surface, any paint or stain product will not bond to that surface and failure can be expected.


Scrubbing with a strong TSP solution followed by a vigorous powerwashing might hasten the breakdown of the silicone. TSP is a caustic cleaner. On the other end of the scale is a  cleaner such as Behr's All In One Deck Cleaner. This is basically oxalic acid in solution. I use this product once a year to clean my exposed aggregate patio and driveway. I apply it by dipping a fluffy paint roller on a stick into the bucket and then "mopping" the patio. You must keep the surface wet with this product for about 20/30 minutes, followed by a vigourous rinse.


Quite frankly, I am not sure which product will be most effective. However, if you decide to try both, be sure to rinse thoroughly between them. One is basic, the other acidic. They will neutralize one another if used together.

Posted 2012-05-09T16:32:09+0000  by ordjen

Thank you.  Your answer is certainly logical and I agree with it.  I will go now to Home Depot to look at concrete paint as pride keeps me from stripping the sealer that I worked so hard to apply.  I am going to investigate trying to use paint and still, somehow, simulate the natural stone look versus the "garage floor" look.  Perhaps mixing pigmeented and clear paints.   Thank you, again.

Cooper Slay  Houston

Posted 2012-05-10T18:06:06+0000  by cooperslay

Very good advice.   I do not want to use sealant stripper, so maybe using the etching processes you suggest would do what I want.  Thank you.

Posted 2012-05-10T18:07:41+0000  by cooperslay
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