How to Remove Wood Stain From Concrete? (5 Methods)

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Reviewed by
Eral Kadrija

Tony Adams

While staining wood, you can accidentally spill wood stain on concrete. So, how to remove it?

To remove fresh wood stain from concrete, wash it off with dish soap. If the wood stain has dried, dissolve it with mineral spirits and wipe it off. You may need to sand lightly.

However, if the wood stain has cured on a concrete surface, removing it is hard because it has penetrated the porous concrete surface. You must use muriatic acid or sandblasting to remove it.

Things To Know

Wood stain doesn’t ruin a concrete surface because it doesn’t have any corrosive ingredients. Since concrete is porous, wood stain can penetrate and beautify its surface without damaging it.

Wood stain contains a small amount of binder additives, water, and dye or paint pigments (color). None of these compounds can harm or damage a concrete surface.

However, if you accidentally apply it over concrete, then removing it is hard. That’s because it penetrates the concrete surface deep, and you must use a strong solvent to dissolve and wipe it off.

Also, it’s almost impossible to remove wood stain from concrete without taking off some of the concrete with it. That’s because wood stains absorb (penetrates) the surface fast and deep. So while removing it, you must remove some parts of the concrete too. However, the damage to the concrete will be unnoticeable if you remove it correctly.

Whether you choose to sand, strip, scrape or use solvents to remove it, the concrete will also be affected in some way. However, if the wood stain is still fresh or wet, you can easily wipe it off or wash it without damaging the surface.

Find The Type of Wood Stain

How To Know If The Wood Stain On Concrete is Oil-Based or Water-Based?

To know the type of wood stain you have on your concrete, damp a rag with methylated spirits and wipe the stained spot. If the stain comes off, it’s water-based. If it doesn’t come off, it’s oil-based or sealed. That’s because methylated spirits is strong enough to remove water-based finishes only.

You can also try the light test – shine a flashlight on the stain, and if it looks glossy, it’s oil-based. That’s because oil-based stains often have a lustrous appearance. On the other hand, if the surface has a dull and texture finish, it’s water-based.

Removing Wood Stain From Concrete

How To Remove Wood Stain From Concrete Naturally?

You don’t need to use solvent-based chemicals to remove fresh and not cured wood stains. Instead, you can wash the surface, sand it, or sandblast it.

1. Wash It Off

If the stain is still wet, wash it off using a soap mixture and floor brush.

For this method you need:

  • Detergent
  • A bucket of water
  • Floor brush
  • A paint scraper

Here is a guide for this method:

  1. Use a dampened rag to wipe off the surface and remove as much stain as possible.
  2. Mix soap with water.
  3. Sprinkle the soap mixture over the stained wood and wait a few minutes.
  4. Scrub the affected surface with a floor brush.
  5. Rinse the concrete and let it dry.

2. Sanding

Medium or coarse-grit sandpaper will remove wood stains. However, sanding will also remove small parts of the concrete.

For this method, you’ll need these:

  • Sandpaper of different grits
  • A pair of gloves
  • Rags
  • A bucket of water (optional)

Here is a guide for this method:

  1. Wipe the concrete with a rag.
  2. Use medium or coarse-grit sandpaper to sand it.
  3. Keep sanding until the wood stain is off.
  4. Remove the dust and clean the surface.

3. Sandblasting

Sandblasting is a method that involves releasing small sand to remove paint, dirt, and other things from a surface. However, you shouldn’t use sandblasting indoors as you can damage nearby furniture.

For this method, you’ll need these:

  • A sandblaster
  • Sandpaper
  • Blasting medium or abrasive (sand, aluminum rust, or steel grit)
  • Safety gear (a pair of gloves, breathing mask, and goggles)
  • A vacuum

Here is a guide for this method:

  • Pick the right abrasive.
  • Turn on the sandblaster and switch it to low pressure.
  • Make sure the nozzle is at least 8 inches from the surface.
  • Blast the abrasive on the stained concrete.
  • Smoothen the surface with fine sandpaper.
  • Vacuum the dust and clean the surface.

If the wood stain has cured into concrete, you must use stronger solvents to remove it. Solvent-based products will penetrate its coating and dissolve particles. This will liquefy the stain coating and you can wipe it off.

4. Baking Soda

Baking soda is a naturally alkaline chemical that will remove different types of finishes, including wood stains.

For this method, you’ll need these:

  • Baking soda
  • Rags
  • A paint scraper
  • A broom
  • Mineral spirits

Here is a guide for this method:

  1. Scrape the stained wood using a paint scraper.
  2. Sprinkle baking soda and wait for a few minutes.
  3. After a few minutes, sweep the baking soda — the wood stain will come off too.
  4. Wipe the concrete with mineral spirits and a rag.
  5. Allow it to dry.

5.  Paint Thinner

Paint thinners are solvents, such as acetone, that penetrate and dissolve the wood stain even if it has dried.

For this method, you’ll need these:

  • A paint thinner – Acetone works
  • Rags
  • A brush

Here is a guide for this method:

  1. Damp a rag with paint thinner.
  2. Use the dampened rag to wipe the stained surface.
  3. Wait a few minutes.
  4. Scrub the surface with a scrub.
  5. Rinse the concrete with a clean rag.
  6. Allow it to dry.

Other Products You Can Use:


WD-40 is a cleaning solvent that will remove small spots of wood stain but can’t remove multiple layers. That’s because WD-40 is designed to be paint-friendly and is used to clean finishes.

Mineral Spirits

Mineral spirits is petroleum-based and not alcohol-based, so it can’t remove dried wood stains, only fresh or wet stains.

Pressure Washer

A pressure washer can remove water-based wood stains since this type is dissolved in water. However, it can’t remove oil-based or sealed wood stains. To use a pressure washer, you must have the right settings and a pressure of 1500 PSI.


Since acetone is alcohol-based, it can remove wood stains from different surfaces. Acetone will liquefy the coating, allowing you to scrape it off.

Muriatic Acid

Muriatic acid will remove wood stains, but you must dilute it with 50% water because it can bleach the concrete.


You can use vinegar to remove fresh and dried wood stains. To do this, mix vinegar with warm water and apply it over the stained wood. After a few minutes, wash the concrete.

Final Words

In summary, you can remove wood stains from concrete using different methods and products. The method you use depends on whether the wood stain is wet, dry, or cured.

Tony Adams

Tony Adams

Woodworker, Interior and Exterior Painter, Flooring Specialist

Tony is a professional painter and an author of DIY Geeks. Tony has completed over 1,000 painting projects for his clients. It's safe to say he knows what he Is talking about.

Eral Kadrija

Eral Kadrija

Lead Editor, Home Renovator

Eral has a passion for home renovation and repair. Over the years, he has bought, renovated, and sold 7 old homes. Using his experience from different DIY projects he created DIY Geeks.

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