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    Cement Pigment reacts with cement-based products to integrally color slabs, but is not pre-measured for specific color outcomes. Instead, raw pigment gives control to those designers and artisans interested in creating endless color possibilities for their project. Want a more predictable color outcome? Direct Colors formulates over 100 Color Varieties of Concrete Pigment designed to easily mix with most white or gray based ready-mix cement.

    Coloring Concrete with Raw Cement Pigment

    Raw Pigments perform best in Portland cement-based products. You will want to keep the pigment ratio below the maximum of 10% pigment to Portland cement (by weight, not volume). Full color saturation generally occurs between 3 to 7%, depending on the pigment. Testing is encouraged with the Concrete Pigment Trial Kit, as raw pigments look very different before being added to Gray or White concrete. Add pigments to any cement-based medium—experimentation is the whole point! You can even break away from our color chart and create custom colors of your own! Sometimes, the most amazing projects come from the artistry and ingenuity of stepping out of the box and trying new things!

    There are 27 base pigment colors and each pigment can create several color options depending on the amount of pigment powder used in the cast. Portland cement is the most common type of cement and a basic ingredient of concrete, mortar, stucco, and grout. Portlant cement base color is gray or white and it is commonly sold in in 94 lbs. bags.  Concrete pigment color charts vary depending on the base color used.  If you mix the pigment powder with gray Portland cement based materials you get one set of colors but of you mix the same pigment powder amount and color with white Portalnd cement based materials you get a different set of colors.  

    For example pigment color 102 can create several color tones depending on the pigment powder to cementious material usage rate. 

    When mixing with White Portland Cement:

    WHT-102-1 Soft Gray color is obtained by mixing 1 lb of pigment powder per 94 lbs sack of white cement
    WHT-102-5 Titanium color is obtained by mixing 5 lbs of pigment powder per 94 lbs sack of white cement
    WHT-102-7 River Rock color is obtained by mixing 7 lbs of pigment powder per 94 lbs sack of white cement

    When mixing with Gray Portland Cement:

    GRY-102-0 Taupe Gray color is obtained by mixing 0.5 lbs of pigment powder per 94 lbs sack of white cement
    GRY-102-5 Smokestack color is obtained by mixing 5 lbs of pigment powder per 94 lbs sack of white cement
    GRY-102-7 Galaxy Black color is obtained by mixing 7 lbs of pigment powder per 94 lbs sack of white cement

    Please note that pigment dosage is calculated by cementious material weight.

     If you are not sure on what the color outcome would be based on the cast to be used, it is recommended to test colors using the Pigment Trial Kit.

    How-To Guide

    Printable Concrete Pigment How-To Guide

    Step 1: Preparation

    • If mixing in a bucket or a mixing drum, thoroughly clean the container to prevent contaminants before mixing your pigment and concrete.
    • Double-check required pigment amounts per batch by using Direct Colors’ Pigment Calculators.

    Caution: May be harmful if swallowed or ingested. Contact with skin can cause mild irritation. Avoid contact with eyes.

    Step 2: Application

    Option 1: Ready-Mix Truck

    • The cement plant should load mixer with half of the total water into the empty drum.
    • Add the pigment to the water and wait for a minimum of five minutes.
      • Waiting helps break down the powder
    • Add aggregate, cement, sand, and remaining water while the truck is spinning.
      • Allow mixing at full speed for a minimum of 10 minutes.
    • If adding pigment to the truck at the job site, allow a minimum of 30 minutes to mix at full speed.

    Option 2: Mixing Drums

    • Add the pigment and your concrete mix to the drum first.
      • Mix for two minutes or until thoroughly mixed.
    • While spinning, slowly add water to the drum.
      • Mix for four minutes or until even color dispersion.
    • If you are making multiple batches, weigh out your water for each batch to keep your colors consistent.

    Option 3: Mixing Buckets

    • Add a quarter of your total water and all the pigment to your bucket.
      • Mix using a drill and birdcage mixer.
    • Slowly add your concrete mix to the water while continuously running the drill.
      • Gradually add more water and concrete mix to maintain workability.
    • Once water is thoroughly blended, continue to mix for 3-5 minutes longer to prevent pigment streaking.

    Pro Tips:

    • Do not exceed 10% pigment to the weight of Portland cement in your mix.
    • One pigment can produce many shades of color depending on the different amounts added to a specific concrete batch. Lower amounts of pigment produce lighter colors, while heavier loads produce deeper, richer color.
    • Use a high-shear mixing tool such as a double box or birdcage mixer for buckets.
    • When mixing in buckets, be sure the mixer can reach the bottom edges, where pigment can settle and lead to streaks in your finish.
    • When mixing multiple batches, maintain a precise mix formula. Changes in the amount of concrete mix, pigment, or water will affect color results.


    • Clean tools and supplies with ProClean Degreaser™ and warm water before concrete has cured.
    • Clean tools and supplies with a concrete dissolver after concrete has cured.

    Tools & Supplies:

    • Drill
    • Cement mixer
    • ProClean Degreaser™

    Disclaimer: Direct Colors does not warranty or guarantee results (outcomes). Concrete variations or improper application may cause unintended results. Test product on an inconspicuous or small area and allow to fully cure to ensure compatibility and desired result.

    Data Sheets

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