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How to colour or tint cement and concrete

Concrete doesn't have to be grey. Cement colour products dye the concrete while you're mixing or finishing it, offering shades of red, brown, buff, charcoal, and terra-cotta. Powdered tints are applied to the surface after the concrete has been poured, screeded, and floated. Sprinkle on about two-thirds of what's required, work it into the concrete by floating, then sprinkle on the rest of the colour and refloat.

 Here's how:

The night before you pour the concrete, thoroughly soak the area. Dry ground will pull water out of the concrete at uneven rates and cause streaking in the pigmented finish you are applying.

Step 1

Pour the concrete into its forms, screed it flat, and float it until moisture forms on the surface. Shake on about two-thirds of the pigment required for the area you’ll be coloring. Cover the surface evenly so the color will be uniform.

Step 2

Let the powder absorb the water on the surface of the concrete. When it has, float the surface thoroughly.

Step 3

As soon as you are done floating, shake the rest of the pigment evenly over the surface. Float the surface again, mixing in the rest of the pigment. The resulting surface can be the final one, or you can broom the finish for more of a nonskid surface.