Concrete dyes penetrate the porous surface of the concrete faster than concrete stains. Before dying your concrete patio, keep in mind there is a vast array of choices concerning colour and tone with concrete dyes. In order to achieve successful concrete patio results with the dye, you must prepare the surface of the concrete before you begin. Any sealers applied to the concrete will have to be sanded away before you apply concrete dye to the patio.
Remove all furniture and other patio items you wish to protect from the concrete dye. Cover any surrounding grass with plastic dust sheets. Sweep the concrete patio with a push broom to remove surface dust and loose debris.
Scrub the surface of the patio with a stiff scrub brush and a mild detergent and water solution. Remove any wax, oil or grease residue from the surface of the concrete patio with the scrub brush. Rinse the patio free from soap residue with a garden hose.
Wear gloves, a filter face mask and eye protection before you begin to buff the sealer off the patio.
Buff the surface of the patio with a buffing machine equipped with a black pad to sand away the surface seal of the concrete. Spread concrete cleaner over the patio. Move the buffer over the entire patio at a slow, even pace.
Remove all the buffing residue and sanding dust with the shop vacuum. Scrub the concrete patio again with a scrub brush and the soap solution, rinsing with the garden hose when finished. Allow the concrete to dry overnight.
Examine samples of varying colours of concrete dyes to determine the best choice for the patio. Select a dye colour and tone that will compliment the exterior of the home, rather than clash with it and appear mismatched.
Pour the concrete dye concentrate into a 5-gallon bucket. According to the specifications of the concrete dye manufacturer, add the water and alcohol to the concrete dye concentrate.
Place the mixed concrete dye into a plastic pump sprayer, and apply an even coat of dye onto the patio. Use even, side-to-side strokes to achieve a uniform coat. Allow the dye to dry for 24 hours.
Spread an even layer of concrete sealer onto the concrete patio with a long-handled paint roller. Allow the sealer to dry for at least 24 hours before walking or moving furniture and lawn equipment back onto the patio.
Mix concrete dye colours for a custom coloured patio. If a darker coloured patio is desired, apply more than one coat of concrete dye.