Coloring [or staining] concrete.....what works best?


Mmathis

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Have any of you used commercial brands of coloring, or pigment, to permanently alter the color of concrete -- as in making faux rocks?

Am interested mainly [I think] in something to apply to the surface for a realistic look, as opposed to something you mix in with the concrete mix. But these concrete "rocks" will see some foot traffic, if that makes a difference.....?

Almost any DIY site I've looked at references using pigment powders to apply to the surface, but all I can find at my local stores [HOME DEPOT & LOWES] is a liquid. I've used that in the past, but it works better for mixing in rather than for surface effects.

  1. What brands have you used and where did you purchase them?
  2. Do you have any tips or techniques for getting a realistic "rock" look? [It doesn't have to be perfect -- I just don't want it to look like concrete...]
  3. Do you need to seal the surface of the concrete? And what would you recommend for that?
 
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sissy

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I used the stuff they sell in lowes and it works good and they also sell sealer too .
 

sissy

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I mix some of the black and brown in but after I make the rock I did touch up painting with it .Use it sparingly because it does dry darker .First i rock I made came out black ,my sister loved it and she has it in her garden .It also works good in making hypertufa stuff .But hypertufa does break down over time but is lighter .I used chicken wire for my forms to make hollow rocks .Been meaning to do more but no time .I also used mortar mix and not cement .The stones in the cement were no good for rocks .You can buy an additive at lowes also that makes the mortar stronger and will not let it crack .Fiberglass can do this also .But I found the liquid was easier
 
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It will be hard to find the powders as lowes, home depot etc. Check to see if anyone does stamped concrete work in your area. They may sell you some. You need very little to make your own rocks.
 

Mmathis

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It will be hard to find the powders as lowes, home depot etc. Check to see if anyone does stamped concrete work in your area. They may sell you some. You need very little to make your own rocks.
Thanks! What about any online sales places.....what would I need to look for?
 
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Mmathis

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Oh my friend dealing with coloring concrete is full of pit falls. The biggest risk is once the color is done it's done. Good or bad. I strongly suggest you talk to a professional company specializing in special concrete finishes. A very risky DIY.

Good advice, Lou, but this isn't a monumental undertaking -- so anything I end up with other than "concrete" color will be OK for my purposes.
 

sissy

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I have one fake rock that I have restained several times because I liked the color at first but after it dried it either lightened more than i want or was darker than I wanted
 
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Thanks! What about any online sales places.....what would I need to look for?
It is called Powder Release Agents, this acts as a break between the concrete stamp and the concrete. You will not be using a stamp but the same effect will apply. I am not sure where to buy online but it is usually large amounts over $100.00 you will not need this much at all. Your best bet to see if there is any masonry supply yards near you.
 
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