Many admirers of decorative concrete appreciate the unique combination of chemical stains and concrete dyes.
Concrete dyes provide intense, translucent color effects, similar to stains, to prepared concrete, polished concrete, or concrete overlays without causing a film or coat to wear away.
Dyes such as these are underrated because they produce vivid colors that are otherwise impossible with stains alone.
The colors can also be mixed easily on the jobsite or diluted to achieve a variety of different shades.
Maintenance of Concrete Dyes
The level of maintenance will vary according to a variety of factors, such as traffic volume and intensity, light exposure, geographic location and weather conditions.
Commercial and municipal projects, for example, require more cleaning and maintenance than residential projects.
An experienced commercial floor maintenance contractor is recommended for routine cleaning of large interior commercial spaces.
The best thing about dyes is the fact that one can mix them right at the jobsite in order to achieve the desired color.
In addition to polishing concrete, dyes can also be used as a base color or touch up for concrete with integral colors, dry shake hardeners, acid stains, or even as an overlay.
Nevertheless, you should always test a sample of the dye on the actual floor before beginning your project, in order to determine if the dye will adhere and to determine the color that you want.
Some concrete contractors offer small samples of their products or test kits with samples of every color available in their line to ensure the color and aesthetics are exactly what you’re looking for.
Acid-based stains react chemically with concrete, but these dyes do not. The dyes are much stronger and finer than paints and penetrate deep into the concrete surface.
To dye, you must apply the dye in a circular motion that is consistent and overlapping.
Your wand should be held approximately 12 inches above the surface. To determine whether a color is acceptable, wait less than 5 minutes after the initial dye application and wipe the area with a dry clean cloth.
It is possible to apply a second dye application if necessary to achieve the desired color.
As soon as the first application has dried, multiple light applications are suggested instead of one large application.
The floor will only accept a certain amount of dye per application, and the excess will remain as residue that must be carefully removed.
There is a certain amount of transparency associated with dyes, as with many chemical stains. They won’t completely cover up imperfections in an existing surface or hide stains underlying color.
If you are planning to use a dye for an outdoor project, be sure to check its suitability for it. The amazing transformation of dye will prove to be well worth the investment.
There are also dyes that respond well to polishing, and some of them are specifically formulated to impart vivid, rich colors to polished concrete floors.
Provided you are diligent about ongoing maintenance and do not allow the floor finish to wear down to the sealer, dyed and stained concrete surfaces will last for a very long time.