Using Decorative Cement Mold Hints

Coloring Decorative Concrete

prayer_editedWant to add value to your Concrete Sculptures, Planters, and Fountains then why not color? 

There are 3 basic methods for coloring your concrete:

1. Pigments

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. 

2. Stains

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. 

3. Paints

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.


24 Responses to 'Coloring Decorative Concrete'

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  1. Hi, nice post. I have been wondering about this topic,so thanks for posting. I will certainly be coming back to your site.

  2. Hi, nice post. I have been wondering about this issue,so thanks for blogging. I will probably be coming back to your posts. Keep up the good work

  3. betty said,

    Is there a way to make my statues look really old?

    • HI Betty
      There are a couple of ways:
      1. You can do a wash with a watered down pigment(oxide). You simply make a watery mix pigment and apply to the entire surface of the piece and then wipe it off with a soft rag.
      2. You can dilute a dark acrylic paint and brush all over the piece. Allow to dry for 10 minutes and then wipe off with a damp cloth, leaving the paint to stick in the cracks and crevices.
      3. You can also buy paint to give a rusted iron look or aged copper (patina) look.
      Any of these techniques can give the item depth and an aged look.

  4. Gerry said,

    Hi CementMoldGuy

    I was very interested to read your post about colouring concrete.

    I had some point work done on some sandstone paving after having it cleaned with high pressure water. They were supposed to give a reasonable match to the existing cement grouting, but they didn’t. The cement they used is quite pale, while the existing cement is greyish. Could I put some kind of stain on the new cement to get a better match? If so, what is the stain called, and where could I get it? (I’m in Sydney.) Or might there be some other way to get the effect I want?

    • Hi Gerry
      Try going to someone that does driveway stamping and they would be the best to have some stain and get you to match it since they deal with the colors all the time. Otherewise go to a building supply store that specializes in concrete and they may have some stain for you.
      thank you

  5. Hi Tim
    I recently bought your molds and they have been moving well here is a link to my web site . Please have a look when you get a moment .
    Regards Ron
    Ps Love your molds .

  6. Here is the link to studio180

  7. Great post, really help me a lot. Thanks.

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  12. Von Aranjo said,

    This is the article that I am looking for. The information I get were really helpful for my research. Thanks for posting a blog like this.

  13. […] Coloring Decorative Concrete May 2009 15 comments Leave a Comment LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

  14. Colour is everything if you get the right colour for the item you manufacture you can sell a lot more of that piece . Also dont sell yourself short try something different and you can ask a premium for you product.
    Customer service also is very important word of mouth its gold.
    Talk to other statue manufactures a good relationship with other likeminded people encourages growth , ideas , determenation and comunication skills god knows ive spent a lot of hours with my head and hands in creat and although its great fun the statues you make dont qive very interesting communication . you also get respect from other statue manufactures and and this leads to less people undercutting you.Oh yer also dont make the same items as the next person try and push the envelope and dare to be different . That is where Tim comes into it he is the man when you have a great idea to help you see it through.You cant do everything yourself.
    Hope i can inspire some of you people out there .All the very best for the new year
    Kind regards Ron Studio180 Adelaide SA

  15. Hi, nice post. I have already been wondering about this subject issue,so thanks for blogging. I’m able to oftimes be ever coming back for the posts. Preserve especially if they work

  16. Peter said,

    Hi,great posts..but what i am trying to find out is how do you get the black effect on my castings..?
    many thanks

    • Hi Peter, When you say the black effect do you mean the antique depth? If so You can do two ways:
      1. Dry brush – wipe most of the paint off a brush and then paint lightly to let the brush catch on the high spots.
      2. White Wash – water your paint down and then brush on, wipe off excess with a rag so that the paint stays in the cracks and crevises of the statue giving it depth and aging it as well.

      You can then get some spray shelac to coat the paint so it does not fade.

  17. Studio180 said,

    Hi Tim / Peter if your thinking of a solid black in a Matt finish so it looks like a pure black concrete I use pva glue with black oxide and plenty of water . The more pva you use the shinier the Finnish . Me personally I like it Matt it looks very natural and it lasts years when painting always use water based paint oil based peels wen water bast only fades . You can do this with all the oxides.When your a manufacture you can’t afford to spend lots on paint unless you customers are happy to pay for it . Tim I’m getting itchy do purchase some more molds very soon spring is almost here and it’s time to think about it now any deals going soon ? Our new store has been getting great interest and I’m shure spring summer will be good
    Kind regards Ron

  18. Peter said,

    Great stuff,thanks will try tomorrow..
    many thanks

  19. […] Coloring Decorative 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. […]

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