How to dye concrete

Updated November 21, 2016

Concrete dye is quickly becoming a leader in concrete products. Concrete dyes can be used to simply change the colour of concrete from grey to a designer shade, or it can be used to create a work of art. Dying concrete is a good do-it-yourself project. Because most concrete dyes are water soluble, they are safe to use, easy to clean up and quick to dry. For most home projects, you can expect to complete the dye job in a weekend.

Plan your project. Look at the concrete you want to dye and determine if you just want to dye the concrete pad a single colour or if you want to create a pattern. Select the colour of concrete dye, or the colours of concrete dyes, that you want to use. Find colour swatches for concrete dyes at concrete showrooms, online and at home improvement stores.

Buy your concrete dye, application supplies, safety supplies and concrete cleaner. Find all of these supplies at your local home improvement store, or at your concrete dye supply store.

Test a small section of your concrete to make sure it will accept the dye. Tape off a small corner of your concrete and apply a little dye. Let it stand over night and see what it looks like the next day. If the colour saturation is still good, your concrete will accept the dye and you can continue with your project. If the colour saturation has faded significantly then you need to strip the sealer from the cement and sand it down so that the dye will be able to penetrate the cement. Conduct another dye test and proceed with your dye job.

Prep your concrete for dye application. Sweep away debris, hose down the concrete pad, apply a concrete cleaner and then use a buffer to clean and smooth out the surface of the concrete.

Mix your concrete dye in a 5 gallon bucket. Pour your dye concentrate into the bucket and add water, alcohol or acetone to the bucket to dilute the dye and create the shade you want.

Apply the dye to your concrete pad. Apply the dye using an airbrush, a paintbrush, a pump sprayer or a sponge. If you want a smooth single colour application the sprayers work the best; however, if you will be mixing colours or working on an artistic design, then sponges, airbrushes and paintbrushes work better.

Allow the concrete to dry for at least 24 hours. Apply a sealant to protect your work.


Wear latex gloves and safety goggles when doing this project.

Things You'll Need

  • Concrete cleaner
  • Concrete dye
  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Water, alcohol or acetone
  • Pump sprayer, airbrush, paintbrush or sponge
  • Latex gloves
  • Safety goggles
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