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How to Color an Existing Concrete Slab

By Emily Patterson
Concrete dye can be applied with a brush and roller or a pressure sprayer.

Colored concrete adds new value to a living space. Many of the new ways to color concrete are more decorative than paint and last the life of the concrete. Concrete stains offer limited color choices, are often unpredictable and are difficult to work with. Concrete dyes offer the ease of application of concrete paint with the durability of concrete stain in a wide variety of colors. Concrete dyes are perfect for coloring an existing concrete slab.

Mix dishwasher detergent in hot water. Clean the entire surface of the concrete with a stiff broom or long-handled scrub brush. Rinse well with a wet mop and remove as much of the water as possible with a wet/dry vacuum. If there are any areas where the water beads, re-wash with hot soapy water and a scrub brush until the water no longer beads. The concrete slab must dry completely before you apply dye.

Apply painter’s tape to baseboards, pipes or other permanent fixtures that are adjacent to the floor.

Mix the concrete dye with a paint stir until the dye is uniform in color and texture.

Spray or paint the dye on the concrete slab

If spraying, fill a pressure sprayer and apply two light coats of dye. Start from one side of the room and work in 6-foot-square sections. Do not apply so heavily that the dye creates puddles. Allow the dye to dry between coats.

If applying with a brush and roller, dip a paintbrush in the dye and apply a coat of dye around the perimeter of the floor and around any protruding permanent fixtures. Pour some of the dye into a paint tray. Roll the roller into the tray and work in sections to roll the dye onto the concrete slab.


Things You Will Need

  • Stiff broom or long-handled scrub brush
  • Bucket
  • Hot water
  • Dishwasher detergent
  • Wet mop with wringer
  • Wet/dry vacuum
  • Painter's tape
  • Paint stir
  • Concrete dye
  • Paintbrush (if painting)
  • Paint tray (if painting)
  • Paint roller and roller cover (if painting)
  • Pressure sprayer (if spraying)


  • Create a mottled look with a sprayer by painting one coat each of two slightly different tones of dye onto the concrete slab.


  • Work in a well-ventilated area. Follow all precautions stated on the dye container.

About the Author


Emily Patterson has been creating content for websites since 1996. She specializes in home improvement, natural body care and natural cleaning articles. Patterson holds a computing certificate from Penn State University.