Coloring Decorative Concrete
Want to add value to your Concrete Sculptures, Planters, and Fountains then why not color?
There are 3 basic methods for coloring your concrete:
Pigments are added to your wet concrete mix. They tend to be in powder for, but can be in a paste from. Typical colors range in the natural earth colors such as rust, brown, and charcoal. You can find in blues and greens but they can be rather expensive. The oxide will stain the entire concrete statue all the way through so fading and cracking will not effect the color. The color may not be as rich as you, might like as well.
Stains can be found in acid or water based liquids. Most stains have been specially designed to work with concrete and will penetrate the concrete without effecting the surface texture. You can add several coats to get your desired shade. It is difficult to stain your items in several colors to add detail.
A good quality exterior paint can be used once your decorative concrete piece has thoroughly dried. Anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks. There are limitless colors to choose from and a fine detail can be achieved for the small pieces. This can be very time consuming but rewarding in sales value. You should use a masonry primer as a first coat. Also leave the base unpainted to allow your piece to continue to breathe and moisture to pass through. A top coat of a light acrylic may be used to seal the item as well to keep the paint bright for many years.
I personally feel all methods have value and can even be used in conjunction with each other, such as a pigment with a paint to highlight or give an aged look. I do recommend to try and limit the number of color choices to 4 or 5 so as to not confuse the buyer.