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How to Change the Color of Stamped Concrete

By Katie Yancey ; Updated September 21, 2017
Add new life to stamped concrete with a solvent-based sealer.

Applying different types of stains, tints or dyes can change the color of stamped concrete. For minor color adjustment, use an impregnating stain or diluted acid stain. Use a full-strength acid stain, dye or tinted sealer for medium color modification. To completely change the color, use an acrylic or solid-color stain. Using a solvent-based sealer is a simple and practical method for darkening the color of the stamped concrete by several shades.


Deep clean the concrete surface with a degreaser, and allow it to dry for approximately 24 hours. Touch the stamped concrete surface to ensure that it's completely dry, and begin working when the temperature is between 50 F and 90 F.

Tape off any areas that you do not want to color, such as the perimeter of the house.

Sweep the concrete surface with a broom immediately before applying the sealant to ensure that no particles have fallen on it.

Mix the sealer completely. Paint an inconspicuous sample area of the concrete first to ensure that you like the new color. Allow the color to dry.

Use a paintbrush to work the sealer into corners and edges. Spray the sealer in an even coat onto the concrete using the garden sprayer. If the sealer color bleeds, use xylene or paint thinner to correct the problem.

Allow the sealer to dry for 12 hours. In driveways or heavy traffic areas, allow the sealer to dry for 72 to 96 hours.


Things You Will Need

  • Degreaser
  • Broom
  • Solvent-based sealer
  • Painter's tape
  • Paint brush
  • Garden sprayer
  • Xylene solvent


  • Water-based sealers do not change the color of stamped concrete, but solvent-based sealers darken the color.
  • Compared with sealers, stains and dyes are more difficult to control, making color mistakes more difficult to correct.


  • Solvent-based sealers emit harmful fumes. "Green" sealers are available as an alternative option.
  • Xylene is flammable and toxic, so it should only be used with good ventilation. Avoid ignition sources, such as static discharge, sparks, open flames and hot surfaces.

About the Author


Katie Yancey is a blog writer in Fredericksburg, VA, and has been writing since 2006. Her news bites and commentary regularly appeared in Food & Water Watch's Smorgasboard. Yancey received her Master of Fine Arts degree in illustration from Savannah College of Art & Design, and shares her love of art and food in her writings.