This project is a stamped concrete patio (photo above left) in Rochester, Michigan that was originally installed in 2010. The contractor did a great job. Unfortunately, when the patio was resealed in 2016, it was done by an unlicensed contractor, and he ruined the patio (above right). He used bright blue and gold tone interior concrete floor dyes instead of antiquing agent.
The next two photos above show the original patio and resealing work from another perspective. The original patio (above left) has relatively consistent, dark brown antiquing, with an imitation blue stone border, while the reseal job has uneven, blotchy patches of brown and gold dyes intermingled throughout, with an unnatural looking and much brighter blue border.
We were hired to strip the sealer and color, and restore the stamped concrete patio to its initial state. The concrete itself had a consistent, high quality texture imprinted by the original contractor. It was only the coloring that needed to be fixed. Above left is the patio as left by the unlicensed contractor in 2016. Above right is the same area of concrete after we were done stripping.
The next stage of the process was to start recoloring the patio the correct way. Above left is the stripped concrete from another perspective. Above right, we began the multi-stage recoloring process by hand staining the recessed grout pattern between the stone tiles a dark gray to ensure that it would be sufficiently pronounced after all the other subsequent coloring was done.
Once the grout pattern was established, we began accenting individual stone tiles. We used acid stain (above left), instead of water-based stain (used in 2010), and acetone dyes (used in 2016), because it is more durable, permanent and natural looking. After the staining, we applied dark gray antiquing agent (above right) to highlight the low areas of the stone texture.
The last step was to apply clear sealer to enhance or "deepen" the coloring, provide a lustrous "wet look" to the stones, and protect the surface. The patio will need to be resealed in 2-3 years because the sun's UV rays gradually break down and degrade the resin in the clear sealer.
The final photos also show the recoloring work we did on the blue border. We used a penetrating epoxy stain to recolor it a lighter shade of blue, and then we highlighted the low areas of the stone texture with light gray antiquing agent. The result was the very natural look of blue stone slate, similar to the original installation.
Overall, the entire patio ended up looking very much like the original patio installation of 2010. The main difference was that instead of using dark brown coloring to accent many of the individual stones, we used a reddish brown alternative chosen by the homeowner, who told us she didn't want the patio to be quite so dark this time around.