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How to colour cement and concrete

When it comes to concrete, colour is the new grey.

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Are you ready to take your skills and concrete projects to the next level? Up your game and learn how to colour cement and concrete. Here are all the tips you need to help you get started, plus we take you through the process of colouring cement and concrete with a step-by-step guide for each medium.

What to do before you start:

1. Prep your work area

Cover surrounding areas to avoid unintentionally staining other areas. Remove any unwanted dirt, oil, mould or grease.

2. Do a test

Stain a sample piece of concrete or small batch of cement to ensure that you’re happy with the final finish. It’s important to note that the colour of your concrete will be lighter once it dries. 

3. Wait it out

If you have just placed your concrete, you will have to wait 14 days to allow it to cure before colouring.

4. Safety first

Whether your project involves using dangerous tools or not, it’s important to clear your work area from objects that may place your safety at risk while you work. Protect your skin from the colouring agent as it may stain.

Step-by-step instructions for staining cement:

1. Mix the colouring agent with water

Add some water to a measuring cup. Use your trowel to scoop out some colouring agent and stir it into the water. Your colouring agent should be about 8% of the water volume, but you can add more or less, depending on the intensity of the colour you want.

2. Pour the concrete mix onto your working surface

Take the dry cement and pour the amount you want into a mound on your work surface. Then use the trowel to make a ‘well’ in the concrete mound. This will stop the colour solution from spilling everywhere when you mix it with the cement.

3. Mix the colour solution into your concrete

Now pour your colour solution into the well, just enough to fill it. Then take your trowel and start mixing the solution through the concrete. Keep turning and churning the concrete with the trowel, while adding more colour solution, until you get the colour you want and the right consistency. Your concrete should be thick and smooth, not watery.

How to stain concrete surfaces:

STEP 1
Make sure the area is clean and dry, then wet the cement with a damp cloth or mop.

STEP 2
Dilute the colour agent of your choice with water and stir the mixture until well blended.

STEP 3
Apply the first coat and leave to dry for at least an hour. Thereafter, apply a second coat.

STEP 4
Additional coats can be added once the surface is dry to the touch. Once the desired effect has been achieved leave to dry for at least 24 hours before sealing.

STEP 5
Apply a sealer to the coloured area and leave the first coat of sealer to dry for at least 24 hours. 

Source: Bunnings Warehouse

Image source: Architonic

 

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