The Ultimate Guide To Using Natural Pigment In Concrete Overlays

Decorative Stamped Concrete

Concrete overlays can be used for a variety of projects around your home or in commercial spaces. Turning your bland concrete into a stunning visual is done by utilizing the right pigment in concrete overlays. 

Adding pigment makes the concrete more versatile and will bring new life to your home. Choosing the right pigment can be determined by a few factors like aesthetics and budget, but what if you want something visually appealing and more sustainable? Natural pigment in concrete overlays can give you a visually appealing space while limiting toxins and other byproducts in the environment. 

What Is Natural Pigment?

Natural pigments or dyes are typically made from plants, roots, and minerals. To create certain colors, minerals will need to be oxidized, while some roots and plants will just need to be mixed with a type of chalk to make a powdery substance. 

Some other common places where natural pigment is found are stream/river banks, soft stones like sandstone or shale, or areas with charcoal. These rocks and sediments can be ground down into microscopic pieces and combined with a binder to create paint or can be mixed in with concrete to give it a unique color profile.

Using Natural Pigment Over Other Color Options

Pigments are different than dyes. Pigments are particles that will need to bind to the cement particles in order for the color to accurately show through when the concrete is poured. While both natural and synthetic pigments can create a stunning appearance, there are some differences you should consider. 

Natural pigment in concrete overlays is typically cheaper than synthetic. This is a great selling point for homeowners who want to stay on budget but also protect their concrete floors. 

Natural pigments have a more limited color range and tend to produce warmer colors that are found in the natural world. For those who are looking for cooler colors, synthetics can provide those shade ranges much more easily. 

Natural pigments can be used in a variety of concrete overlay projects. Whether you want a stamped effect, concrete countertops, a faux wood pattern, or want to overlay a vertical surface, there are a range of design possibilities. You can also use them for indoor and outdoor settings as they do not release harmful chemicals into the air. 

Deck Waterproofing systems

Another benefit of choosing natural over synthetic is their chemical resistance properties. Natural pigment in concrete overlays gives the surface more durability when it comes to salts, chemicals, or environmental allergens. Concrete is a porous surface, but adding more natural pigment can help limit deterioration in your overlay. 

How To Mix In Your Color

All pigments are used to color the cement, not the sand or aggregate that makes up your concrete. Getting the right ratio of pigment and cement mixture is key to achieving the color profile you desire. If you want the color to stay consistent over multiple bathes, you need to use the same ingredients in the same ratio every time. 

A good rule of thumb is to calculate your proportions by the weight of the dry cement before adding any water or aggregate. It can be best to create small samples and make adjustments to that color before applying the concrete overlay to a larger surface area. 

Durability Of The Pigment In Concrete Overlays

Natural pigments hold up extremely well when they are mixed in concrete correctly. These colors hold up well under intense UV exposure and are less prone to fading. Because the natural pigments deeply penetrate the concrete, this creates a longer-lasting color compared to dyes that may just be placed on the surface. 

The vibrancy and true color of your pigment will stay true throughout the weather and wear that your concrete will experience. Synthetic pigments can start to fade or even change color completely. This makes natural pigments the better investment choice and more friendly for homes with changing climates. Natural pigments will not only keep your color looking impeccable but no small pieces with toxic chemicals will be released into the surrounding environment. 

Integral colors for concrete overlays
Pigment in concrete overlays

Concrete Overlays From Stone Edge Surfaces

Our experts at Stone Edge Surfaces help you achieve the highest quality concrete possible. No matter where you are wanting a concrete overlay, we can make it stand out from the rest of your surfaces. With different colors and patterns to choose from, no dream is too big. Stone Edge Surfaces will ensure that your overlays last as long as possible. Contact us to get started on your project or check out our current products

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