View Full Version : Coloured Concrete

7th December 2005, 01:56 PM
Hi all,

I'm planning on getting a concrete driveway done. I am tossing up between stencilled and coloured concrete. (Can the colour be added at the concrete plant??)

Is there a distinct advantage either way? Is there a dramatic difference in costs? I'd prefer not to have to seal the driveway every year (which I believe I have to do with stencilled).


7th December 2005, 07:46 PM
On the TV the other night, Hot Property, the bloke on there was building a massive garage, and he got his concrete coloured, they reckon it can cost a fair bit more, not sure but I think they said a third more in cost than normal concrete, but looks good.

7th December 2005, 08:34 PM
I have three colours in my driveway! :eek: The outer two colours are "terrazzo" washed, which is a very fine wash, while the light grey one is sponged (and doesn't look as ratty in real life, but looks better sealed!).

Yes it is done in at the batch plant, and yes it is expensive, but it also won't wear out, or fade significantly.

It is smarter to keep it sealed, but not critical.

I doubt that the cost would be more than stencil though.



7th December 2005, 08:48 PM
We used solid colour mixed at the plant, and used triple the recommended quantity in black. That was 23 years ago and within five years it had faded to almost normal concrete:eek: . Without a lacquer applied each year I really don't think all that much holds, and tend to wonder if adding colour to the topping is just as good if not better than mixing it through the batch. About 10 years ago we ripped the lot up and the underneath was as good as new, lovely deep black, the bleaching power of the sun is hard to resist.


7th December 2005, 08:53 PM
The concrete in my garage used to be plain but I've coloured it myself.

It's got a drop or 3 of shellac, some walnut timber stain, quite a bit of blood splatter near the workbench, paint, oil and some petrol. Looks very good and quite unique. :D :D

7th December 2005, 09:51 PM

Once concrete was all one colour, this multi coloured look is all new;) . I think your shed floor is up there with the post modern lets get some interest into the finish style. I sometimes find mine after sweeping up, can't say I have paid to much attention to the finish.


Cliff Rogers
7th December 2005, 10:05 PM
Gumby,... I think your shed floor is up there with the post modern ...John

Or the post mortem. :D

doug the slug
7th December 2005, 10:15 PM
Jeremy i have a concrete edging business and when i started out the only real practical way to colour was by stamping, (stencilling not an option on edging, but its done with the same stuff reallly). at that time it was , and has been for decades, possible to colour concrete by adding oxides at the plant. now there is a pretty good range of pigments available to add at the plant at reasonable cost, from about $60 per cubic metre of concrete for the pigment, tho if you want blue or green as opposed to terracotta or grey it might cost up to $1000 per metre extra. I use the Cathay Pigments range but there are plenty of good suppliers, try your local building suppliers shops. coloured concrete and sealers is a very involved subject and theres a lot that can go wrong. thats why ive opted for the no-sealer products.

Personally i would go exposed aggregate for a driveway if i couldnt settle for plain. far less problemshttp://www.woodworkforums.ubeaut.com.au/images/icons/icon14.gif

12th December 2005, 08:21 PM
A couple of cautions, when color is added at the concrete plant(Which is the norm because of safety regulations it cannot be performed onsite unless special provisions are in place) the concrete is no longer guaranteed, read the fine print, another fact is that color weakens concrete, that is why there is no guarantee.
If the concrete is plain and ordered at an 80 slump and no water is added onsite then the concrete manufacturer has to guarantee that concrete for breaks,cracks, etc, however during my four years at such a plant I have never known anyone to make a succesful claim.
All concrete has cracks!
Stamped concrete is rarely done anymore, probably because its difficult to clean the deep ridges.
Stencilled is very popular, the faux colors are very bright and clear, you can achieve many different effects using faux from a slate look to a rainbow, but because the color is thrown on top it doesn't weaken the concrete, the concreter must know exactly what he is doing in this regard otherwise color bleeding and many other abnormalities can occur and once its cured its too late.:cool:

12th December 2005, 09:20 PM
This thread is interesting. I was thinking of having my walls that are about to be rendered coloured with a pigment (oxide?) but what you guys are telling me is putting me off.

Is this suitable for a wall render or are you only talking about structural applications only here as being unsuitable?

13th December 2005, 09:00 PM
Should be fine for render, unless you got spider man livin there,:p no one is gonna be walkin or driving on your walls.

14th December 2005, 10:02 AM
Coloured concrete is always a challenge.

I have not had concrete coloured at the plant due to cost and reluctance of the plant [country town].

I have coloured the concrete myself by either adding to a mix or simply sprinkling on top as the concrete is setting.

The sun always bleaches the colour, my shed floor is coloured via the sprinkle method, many different colours, not a single crack.

The step outside has faded considerably.

You can use some good sealers that could last some time, like Crommelins.

Oxide mixed with concrete does weaken it, and should not exceed 10% of the cement content [by memory].

Good Luck.