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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 various cement-based materials, such as concrete, stucco, mortar, grout, plaster, countertop mix, and concrete overlay. It can also be used in the ceramic industry and by DIY enthusiasts to create a wide range of projects, from sculptures to planters. Pigment is an effective way to add color to cement-based materials, as it can provide a range of hues and tones depending on the specific combination of pigment and cement used. 

    How the Pigment Color Charts Work

    Pigment color charts show the various colors that can be achieved by using different amounts of pigment powder in combination with a base material, such as Portland cement. Portland cement is a type of cement that is widely used in construction and is a key ingredient in concrete, mortar, stucco, and grout. Portland cement is usually gray or white and is sold in 94 lb. bags. The colors produced by mixing pigment powder with Portland cement can vary depending on the base color of the cement. For example, using the same amount of pigment powder and color with gray Portland cement will produce a different set of colors than using the same pigment powder and color with white Portland cement.

    For example, pigment color 202 can produce a range of different tones depending on the ratio of pigment powder to cementitious material used. 

    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 Portland cement
    WHT-202-5 Pantone Blue color is obtained by mixing 5 lbs of pigment powder per 94 lbs sack of white Portland cement
    WHT-202-7 Nikko Blue color is obtained by mixing 7 lbs of pigment powder per 94 lbs sack of white Portland 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 gray Portland cement
    GRY-202-1 Steel Blue color is obtained by mixing 3 lbs of pigment powder per 94 lbs sack of gray Portland cement
    GRY-202-1 Sapphire Blue color is obtained by mixing 7 lbs of pigment powder per 94 lbs sack of gray Portland 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.


    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.
    • Note: Blue pigments (201, 202, and 203) use 15-20% less water than all other pigment colors

    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.

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