Q.: We have footprints on a floor that has a hard-troweled finish with a black day shake hardener. The floor was sealed with a high solids acrylic cure and seal product. We've used a steel wool buffer to try to remove the footprints which are in an approximately 1,200-square-foot area. Are there any other methods we could try?
A.: First determine whether the footprints are in the sealer or in the floor surface. In a small area with one of the footprints, remove the sealer with a strong solvent such as a paint stripper, xylene, or toluene. Ask the sealer manufacturer for a recommended solvent and be sure to take all needed safety precautions when using the solvent. If the footprints come off with the sealer, use the solvent on all affected areas.
If the footprints are still visible after the sealer has been removed, light grinding will remove them. However, grinding will expose fine aggregate in the dry shake and will probably change the floor color. You might make the situation worse instead of better.