A cover-up will will do when all else fails
After stripping off many layers of epoxy paint from the concrete porch of our 1914 Craftsman home, I can see why it was painted in the first place. Water damage from potted plants has marred the lovely patina of the old concrete. Is there any way to erase the stain and even out the color?
— Joan, Pasadena, CA
Tom Silva replies: I don't think you'll have much luck getting the stained areas to match the patina of the surrounding concrete. After all, patina is the result of decades of exposure to the weather. The other thing that makes me think you should leave well enough alone is the fact that the stained area is in a prominent location, and there's a risk of making the situation worse. So if simple scrubbing with a bristle brush and some soapy water doesn't do the trick, you could paint or stain the concrete,
or simply put another potted plant over the damaged area. This time, though, place a water-impervious saucer under the pot.
By the way, anyone who can do such a good job of removing epoxy paint definitely deserves a pat on the back.