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Question:

I have not had much success tinting overlays on site with tint packs. What is the best way to tint overlays to ensure color consistency?

Answer:

The same basic principles apply when integrally coloring an overlay as when integrally coloring concrete. (See The Concrete Network article Understanding Colored Concrete Common Problems, Why They Occur, and How to Avoid and Fix Them.) The big difference is that the margin of error is much smaller when coloring a few gallons of overlayment vs. coloring a large batch of concrete. The biggest factors to consider are batch size and batch-to-batch consistency. The larger the batch, the lower the chance for color inconsistency.

For the best results, tint or color the liquid component of the overlay mixture (water or polymer) in one large container. If you do not have a large enough container, "box" the liquid by pouring it back and forth between smaller containers until you feel you have mixed it multiple times and have achieved a consistent color. You can then measure out the colored liquid with a graduated measuring container to ensure you get the same amount of colored liquid in each batch. Here's a tip: Cut a small hole in the side of your measuring container at the top of the liquid level to be sure you get the same amount in each batch.

Another important consideration is to use a reputable tint manufacturer that uses a batch number system, with retained material samples kept from each batch, so you can go have the color checked if you have a color issue. Remember to write down those batch numbers just in case!

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Author Chris Sullivan, ConcreteNetwork.com technical expert and vice president of sales and marketing for ChemSystems Inc.

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