4 Common Methods of Decorative Concrete Coloring


Decorative concrete is an appealing, versatile, and cost-effective option for flooring, countertops, hardscapes, and more. The possibilities for style and design are infinite, and only limited by the imagination of you and your concrete contractor! There are endless selections of patterns, textures, shapes, coatings, and colors to choose from, so it is simple to customize a look that is perfectly suited to its surroundings. And since concrete is low-maintenance, it doesn’t take much effort to sustains its luster and charm for years to come!

Concrete can be selectively designed and styled, but it doesn’t truly come to life until you have it colored. There are several ways to achieve this, but the four most common decorative concrete coloring methods include integral colors, antiquing, tinted sealers, and color hardeners. Continue reading to learn more about each method, and who to call for trusted decorative concrete work in your town.

Decorative Concrete Color Methods Include:

Integral Colors – Integral colors, also called integrated colors, generally come in either a liquid or powder form. In contrast to other coloring methods, they are combined and mixed into the concrete before it is even poured. This means the color matures within the concrete as the concrete cures. One of the most revered qualities if integrated colors is that the concrete is colored all the way through. So if it is notched or chipped, the color would remain consistent throughout.

Antiquing – Antiquing release colors are another effective method for coloring concrete because they provide more than one function. It is applied to the surface of concrete after it is poured, but before it is stamped or styled. Not only does this deliver beautiful color accents in the grooves and crevices of the concrete, it helps to prevent the stamps from sticking to the concrete. Antiquing release colors usually come in powder form, but can also come in liquid form, and they are commonly coupled with other forms of coloring.

Tinted Sealers – All decorative concrete requires a quality sealcoat for protective purposes. But some come in a tinted version, delivering a wide range of transparent shades, hues, and even mimicked textures. Tinted sealers are frequently combined with other methods of decorative concrete coloring.

Color Hardeners – Color hardeners comes in a wide selection of colors, and come in powder form. They are applied directly to the surface of freshly-poured concrete. But since they have high PSI and cement content, they are not recommended for rapidly-changing climates. Under these conditions, they often take on a popcorn-like effect, which is both unappealing and unlike what it should be.

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