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    How much pigment to buy?

    It all depends on what you're adding the pigment to and what the base color is (White or Gray).

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    Product Details

    Concrete pigment is a dry powder that is used to add color to concrete, stucco, mortar, grout, plaster, countertop mix, concrete overlay and other cement based materials.  Pigments are also used in the ceramic industry and by DIYers to create anything from sculptures to planters. 


    How the Pigment Color Charts Work

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

    When mixing with White Portland Cement:

    WHT-202-1 Ciel Blue color is obtained by mixing 1 lbs of pigment powder per 94 lbs sack of white cement
    WHT-202-5 Pantone Blue color is obtained by mixing 5 lbs of pigment powder per 94 lbs sack of white cement
    WHT-202-7 Nikko Blue color is obtained by mixing 7 lbs of pigment powder per 94 lbs sack of white cement




    When mixing with Gray Portland Cement:

    GRY-202-0 Blue Gray color is obtained by mixing 0.5 lbs of pigment powder per 94 lbs sack of white cement
    GRY-202-1 Steel Blue color is obtained by mixing 3 lbs of pigment powder per 94 lbs sack of white cement
    GRY-202-1 Sapphire Blue color is obtained by mixing 7 lbs of pigment powder per 94 lbs sack of white cement



    IMPORTANT: In outdoor use, blue pigment #s 201 and 202 fade very quickly in direct sunlight. For exterior applications, use #203 instead, which appears blue after drying.

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

    FAQ

    Click/Tap each question to hide/show the answers.

    What is the difference between concrete and cement?

    Although the terms cement and concrete often are used interchangeably, they are NOT the same thing. Cement is actually an ingredient of concrete. Concrete is a mixture of cement, sand and aggregates such as gravel or crushed stone.

    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.

    Cleanup:

    • 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.

    How-To Videos

    How to use the calculators on this page

    Data Sheets

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