Although a pearly gray polished concrete floor can be beautiful, the wide variety of colour options for concrete we have today is difficult to say no to. Cement colouring can even have translucent, gem-like effects especially when used with concrete polishing.
Basically, there are two main ways to colour cement. One way is to sweep a dry pigment across the surface of freshly finished concrete.The other way is to mix wet concrete with powder or liquid pigments before it is poured. Although the first technique is quite easy to carry out, it has the disadvantage of being easily damaged. However, it's probably the best method for covering large areas of concrete. On the other hand, if you have a small project, the mixed method or the second technique is probably the best solution.
Keep in mind that understanding how to avoid and fix problems starts with understanding how the product works, as well as major factors that affect the final outcome. Most importantly you should know that colour for concrete is not a dye, stain or paint, instead they are pigments, either mined from the ground, or most often manufactured in huge chemical plants around the world. So how does concrete get coloured? Well, basically iron oxide pigment particles are ten times smaller in size then a particle of cement so when color is added to any cement based mix, the smaller pigment particles cover the larger cement particle. This is why the amount of color you need is based on the amount of cement you have.
For simple instructions on how to have a nice floor that stands out, please continue reading…
Cover the floor area you want to colour with an even coat of coloured powder as your concrete is curing. The powder can be difficult to clean so avoid clumping the powder. You can apply the powder by hand if the area is small enough, but make sure you wear gloves. If it's a larger area, you can try a style bar spreader.
For more of an artistic challenge, try blending colours to create a unique melting effect like the one pictured here
Broom finish the concrete by sweeping the surface evenly, so that the powder covers the surface uniformly. Thinly covered areas should get a second coating of powder.
The concrete surface pictured here has been coloured with a metallic sort of colour that gives it a shine which is quite rare for concrete.
The next step requires some patience. You just have to let the powder set.The first application of powder should dwell on the the concrete's surface until internal water absorbs the pigment. The whole process should take about a whole day.
Browse through flooring designs here on homify for new ideas and refreshing inspiration.
Next, you need to remove the excess powder. To do this, simply rinse the concrete with plain water.
The cement walls and flooring pictured here are designed by cement experts, Dofine wall and floor creations based in Winschoten, Netherlands.
The next step is to seal or apply finish to the first application of the pigmented powder. Be very careful when you apply the finish, and make sure you apply it gently so as not to break through to the gray-colored concrete. Follow the instructions written on the package of your sealant to find out how long you should leave it to dry.
If the colour is not vibrant enough, apply the remaining 2/3 pound of pigment to the concrete and repeat all the steps mentioned above.
We hope you've enjoyed this idea guide as much as we have. For more home tips, inspiration, and ideas, have a look at heart stopping healthy houseplant hacks for your home.