Can I stain my natural stone so it has a consistent darker color?


I have a driveway with grey Indian sandstone, which has lost it’s colour due to sun bleaching I’m guessing. We’ve sealed it a couple of times over the years, using a wet look style product as this seems to bring out the darker colour better, but I really would like to stain it to a no consistent darker colour and then seal it, in an attempt to achieve a uniform shade, rather than the patchy look where it has for example remained darker where cars have been parked.

I may need to give it some sort of chemical treatment to remove any residual sealant so that the colour treatment soaks in to all areas.

I would really appreciate your advice. I found you on a google search. I attach a photograph of my driveway for your information.


ANSWER - Staining natural stone isn’t something that is recommended by the natural stone industry.  Using enhancer sealers is what is typically done, but they only last so long.  So if you want to maintain a consistent wet/darker look that enhances the colors of the stone, then you have to reapply it probably every 6 months or so depending on your preferences and the climatic conditions of the area.

Porous stones will take a stain and you can seal over it, but you will probably still have the same issues of fading and having to re-treat it regularly.

10 thoughts on “Can I stain my natural stone so it has a consistent darker color?

    • Donato Pompo says:

      If you are referring to a sealer that enhances the color of a natural stone you might be able to remove or diminish it by using a solvent to strip it away, but it depends on what type of enhance you used.

      It is best to go to the manufacturer of the enhancer and ask them how best to remove.

      Most penetrating sealer enhancers used on an exterior installed stone doesn’t last much more than 6 months to a year so it normally fades away.

  1. Jeannie ahmadi says:

    I have a light colored travertine that has cracked with the movement of our home.
    We have repaired the cracks but it shows and looks unattractive. Is it possible to color or stain our floors to look more distressed and interesting?

    • Donato Pompo says:

      Patching a crack is only treating the symptom of the problem and not the problem. So it is likely to reoccur. Often contractors blame their poor workmanship on the house is settling and rarely is that the problem….

      Assuming the crack is structurally sound and not going to continue moving or other cracks don’t occur, you can patch crack stones so it isn’t noticeable. You need to hire a professional stone restoration company who has a lot of experience and a good reputation to refinish your floor.

  2. Gordon Shearer says:

    I had a patio garden wall made 2/3 yrs ago. It was breeze block construction with stone veneers stuck on with a glue. The contractor did not use a pva to the back of the veneer. This has meant the dark circular patches have eventually soaked through after about 12/18 months. The stone is light grey and there are lots of unsightly dark patches. I’ve tried to use different solvents to lighten the patches and tried to darken the stone also to blend it on. In an ideal world I like to have the stone darker. I would be grateful to you for any assistance you may be able to offer to remedy this problem. I could send a photo if that would help.

  3. Donato Pompo says:

    There are so many variables to what you describe. Not all stone is the same. Different geological stones have different physical properties that react to various things differently.

    The word glue means adhesive, but there are many different types of adhesive. A pva adhesive is normally considered a polyvinyl acetate polymer modified cementitious adhesive or a admix for a cementitious adhesive.

    I assume you are saying that the adhesive used to adhere the veneer on the wall has bleed through leaving a stain. Because of the many variables there is not simple solution. You have to use trial and error to experiment until you find a solution.

  4. Angela Hyde says:

    I have just had Indian Sand Stone put in my hallway and kitchen.
    Some of the grout is still on the tiles and its looking dull and messy.
    We have put an exspensive sealant on it several times.
    I do not want the wet look but i would like to bring the colours out more.
    Thanking you in advance.

    • Donato Pompo says:

      You should not have sealed the sandstone tiles until the the tiles were clean. When you seal over the dirty condition that it makes it more difficult to clean.

      So now you have to use a solvent that will remove the sealer so you can clean the grout residue off of the tile. If it is a cementitious grout then a diluted commercial acidic cleaner should clean it. Make sure the cleaner is not too corrosive. There are sealers that are enhancers that penetrate into the tile and highlight the colors without giving a shiny appearance. Such as Miracle Sealants 511 Seal and Enhancer sealer. Be sure to test the cleaner and the sealer on your tile before applying it to the entire floor.

  5. Helena says:

    My husband and I redid our backsplash, ourselves, with a beautiful dark grey, almost black, natural stone tile. We did not realize that we needed to seal the stone tile prior to grouting and now – well let’s just say I want to cry. Is there anyway to stain the stone tile?

    • Donato Pompo says:

      If you do have a natural stone tile, then there is a good chance that it can be restored. Most natural stones can be refinished by doing a light grind and then polish the surface. In theory it can be brought to look like new. To do this you need to hire an experienced stone restoration company to do the work. They might be able to refinish the surface of the stone to remove the stain and then repolish it to hone or high polish surface and then they can seal it for you.

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