How to Color Concrete

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Before making these Geometric Concrete Holders, I had no idea that you could color concrete! Indeed, you can make it just about any color – from peach to pool blue and from dark grays to terra cotta. You can make the concrete match your color palette, make swirls of color, ombres, and more.

If you are a part of our monthly subscription box Craft in Style – this was the 2nd of 5 tutorials for May 2019. We started by learning how to make Geometric Concrete Holders that are perfect for your night stand here. They are gorgeous. You can buy the whole Concrete Planters Kit here

Now we’ve moving on to how to color concrete. It’s remarkably simple!

supplies you need to color concrete - geometric concrete desk holders

Supplies to Make Color Concrete:

Concrete Planters DIY Kit
Geometric Concrete Holder Templates (get them from this blog)
Rockite Concrete Mix
Concrete Colorant (I used this in the tutorial and additionally included this in the Subscription Box)
Container to Mix In
Popsicle Sticks
Paper Cups or Shot Glasses
Scotch Tape or Painterโ€™s Tape
Oil or Vaseline
Foam Brush

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First follow all the steps to make the Geometric Concrete Vessels here. The basics are to first assemble your templates. Be sure to use a ton of tape! Nothing is worse than concrete spilling! Tape your template well and set your templates in a safe space. We recommend inside of your shipping box. Then coat the inside of the templates with oil.

Next, add your concrete powder to your mixing bowl, grab your popsicle sticks and mix in a small amount of water. You will want your liquid concrete to be the consistency of cake batter. Mix the concrete mix and water before you add the colorant.

Now add a small amount of concrete colorant. We used around 1/2 teaspoon for these vessels. Although you may want more colorant (up to 1 tablespoon or so) starting with 1/2 teaspoon is best.

There are 3 different options of how to create cool patterns. No matter what style you choose, you will always need to work quickly. Concrete sets fast – within 15 minutes. So you only have about 2 minutes to stir in the water and the color and then get the liquid concrete in the templates.

where to fill the concrete template to make concrete desk holders

Create a Marble Swirl of Color

To create a marble effect, barely swirl the color into the concrete. Do not mix the color in completely. Just swirl it throughout and be sure that all the colorant is moist from the concrete mix and water. Pour into the template!

Keep it Simple

To create a simple colored vessel, mix the color in completely. Again, concrete sets quickly so work fast!

finished colored concrete diy pop shop america craft tutorials

Create an Ombre of Color

To create an ombre effect, fill a vessel around 1/2 full of regular uncolored concrete. Quickly mix in color to the concrete mix and top off the template with a small amount of colored concrete. Give the layers a swirl with your popsicle stick to ensure that the colored and uncolored areas mix slightly.

Allow the liquid concrete to set completely and then remove the template.

finished geometric concrete holders for your night stand pop shop america

Viola! Making colored concrete is just as simple as that. You can add more colorant for a richer and more vibrant color. You can add less colorant for a subtle color. Either is perfect! Just remember to start with around 1/2 teaspoon.

And if you have to make these for yourself, don’t miss the Concrete Planters DIY Kit! You can also consider subscribing to the Craft in Style subscription box! It’s full of cool craft supplies to make all kinds of stylish objects.

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2 thoughts on “How to Color Concrete

  1. John says:

    What kind of cement are you using that sets in 15 minutes? I cure portland cement for at least two days before removing forms.

    • Brittany Bly says:

      Hi John,

      I use this type of concrete. It’s BY FAR the best. It’s not just the concrete mix itself but the amount of water that’s added. It also depends on the molds you are using. For example, I regularly make molds out of paper. Thus, I want to get them out as soon as I can because the paper and the slip coating will break down and may affect the finished concrete piece.

      You are likely doing exactly what you should based on your molds! I would not change your techniques based on what I am doing. I could likely find a better way – like thicker paper, better slip coating, etc.

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