Maybe you have moved some wooden furniture and then spotted that it has left a stain on your concrete. Perhaps, as a DIY project, you were staining a piece of wood in the driveway and spilled some of the stain.
Now you have an unwanted mark on your drive. Don’t fret.
Wood stains on concrete can look bad, but it’s not impossible to remove them. Read on to find out how those stains form and what you can do to get rid of them.
There may be affiliate links in this article. You can read more about this in my disclosure.
Concrete sucks in the stain
Think of concrete as a grey, hard sponge.
This porous nature of the concrete absorbs anything wet that spills on it. So, your wood stain will be sucked into the concrete’s surface.
With that in mind, you need to extract as much of the stain out of the concrete as possible. Of course, there will be a residual stain that you need to tackle.
The trick is to get on to the situation as fast as possible. It’s time to give you the ways to free your concrete for those splotches.
5 ways to remove wood stains from concrete
There are several ways to remove the wood stain from your concrete. Which method you choose depends on if the stain is fresh or not.
1. Removing a fresh wood stain from your concrete
Sudden spills of wood stain should be treated immediately. The longer you leave it the more it will be absorbed into the concrete.
- Place a pile of absorbent substance on top of the stain. You could use kitty litter, flour, salt, or wood shavings.
- Leave everything to sit for 24 hours. If you can’t wait that long, 12 hours is fine.
- Sweep up the material.
- Take soap and hot water and scrub over the stain until it’s gone.
2. Using hydrochloric acid to clean up the stain
You’ll have to be careful with this approach as you are wielding acid to lift the wood stain from your concrete. Put on personal protective gear: gloves, goggles, and clothes that you won’t mind getting dirty (and maybe damaged from the acid).
Once you have suited up, it’s time to take care of the stain.
- Mix hydrochloric acid and water in a bucket. Use an acid-to-water ratio of 1:20.
- Start with a weaker solution and add more acid as you clean. If in doubt about how much acid to use, read the manufacturer’s directions that came with it.
- Take a hard bristle brush or broom and dip it into your acid/water solution. Scrub vigorously at the stain until it’s gone.
- Thoroughly wash the area to remove all traces of the acid. Be careful about the water runoff as it still contains acid and will affect plants or grass.
- Seal the concrete with epoxy to future-proof it against any other potential stains.
3. Use a paint stripper to remove the stain
Paint stripper is designed to lift stains off surfaces, so why not use it to remove the wood stain from your concrete?
Make sure that the area in which you are going to apply the stripper is well-ventilated. The fumes can be overpowering.
Want to try out this method? Follow these steps:
- Pour a generous amount of stripper over the stain. You want to create an averagely thick layer.
- Leave the stripper for the time suggested by the manufacturer.
- Take a paint scraper or something similar and peel the stripper away from the concrete.
- Repeat this process in necessary.
4. Bleach the stain
For this method, keep yourself safe with some personal protective gear. Use gloves, goggles, and a breathing mask (if you are cleaning up a stain in a non-ventilated area).
- Mix bleach with water following the manufacturer’s instructions on how to do this.
- Using a scrubbing brush, apply the bleach to the stained concrete. Then wait for 15 minutes.
- Wash away the bleach with water. There is no need to worry about the runoff affecting your garden or lawn as oxalic acid is safe.
5. Sandblast the wood stain away
If you have a sandblaster, you can use it to free your concrete from its wood stain.
Using a sandblaster has an inherent risk to your safety. Use eye protection and gloves so that you don’t get injured while blasting away the stain.
For sandblasting you will want to use the finest grain of material possible.
Also, make sure that the grains are circular. Both these aspects of the grain will ensure you get an even cut into the concrete.
Once you are ready to sandblast, follow these steps:
- Begin with the lowest pressure.
- Have the nozzle of the sandblaster 8 to 16 inches away from the surface of the concrete.
- Whatever distance you have chosen, stick with it through the entire process. This ensures you have a consistent finish on the concrete.
- Slowly increase the pressure of the blaster. Make smooth movements over the stain.
- Once the stain has gone, wash down the area to remove any debris.
How do you prevent wood stains on concrete?
When you have cleaned up the wood stain, you don’t want another incident of stain soiling your beautiful concrete.
There are a couple of options you can choose to protect your concrete from wood stains.
1. A sealant
You can buy a commercial sealer to spray over your concrete. This creates an impenetrable barrier on the concrete.
When sealing the concrete, it’s good practice to cover it with several layers of sealant. By doing so you are getting a finish on the concrete that looks gorgeous and provides protection against spills and stains.
2. Place down some tarpaulin
Perhaps you decided that you want to freshen up an old piece of wooden furniture you have. It’s just a one-off type of job so doesn’t justify the expense of buying sealant for the concrete.
In this case, place down an appropriate-sized piece of tarpaulin over your concrete work area. That way, any splashes and spills of wood stain will land on the tarpaulin rather than your concrete.
Wood stains on your concrete can be a visual nightmare but you don’t have to live with them.
There is a range of techniques available to remove the ugly blotch from your concrete. If you are working with acid or bleach, put on personal protective gear to keep yourself safe while tackling the stain.
Once the stain is gone prevent them from returning. Coating your concrete with a finish or sealant forms a protective barrier on it.
Now you can stain wood to your heart’s content without fear of spoiling the concrete.
As a busy mom, Raz knows firsthand the challenges of balancing parenting and household management. Raz is constantly searching for ways to simplify her life and loves sharing her experiences and tips with others. Whether it's finding creative meal solutions for picky eaters or discovering the latest time-saving home organization hack, she is always on the lookout for ways to make life easier for her family and herself.
Last update on 2023-03-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API