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How to Naturally Color Concrete

By John Walker
Natural concrete starts dark grey and fades to whiter colors as it ages.

Concrete is naturally a greyish color when it fully sets. The dullness of the color inspired engineers to design methods of creating a more interesting look to concrete. Stamps and dies create an alternate appearance to the concrete, such as a faux-brick finish or a special design etched into the concrete. Creating natural color on pre-existing concrete involves one of two options: painting or staining. Staining concrete produces natural color options that never fade while protecting the concrete. Applying concrete stain to naturally color the material can be done in the space of an afternoon.

Clean the surface thoroughly using a broom and hose. Spray the surface while brushing any dirt and debris from the surface of the concrete. Allow the surface to dry before staining.

Mix the chemical stain into the pump sprayer. Some stains require diluting. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for proper proportions of water to stain.

Hold the pump sprayer handle in front of you at an angle pointing toward the ground. The nozzle should be approximately one foot from the surface of the concrete and set to a broad spray pattern, as opposed to a stream. Move the nozzle back and forth slowly to get an even coat. Work in small sections to avoid tracking dirt into the stain by walking on it.

Brush the chemical into the concrete using a broom. Allow the surface to dry in accordance with the manufacturer's directions. Reapply as necessary to obtain the color desired. The color will darken as you apply more stain.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Pump sprayer
  • Concrete stain
  • Broom
  • Hose

Tip

  • Stains are available in bright colors and natural colors. Choose a color that is lighter than the color you want so that you can apply multiple coats to get the stain to the level of intensity desired. Multiple coats will seal the concrete better while increasing the longevity of the coloring.