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Revving up the Color Palette with Concrete Dyes
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Common Questions about Concrete Floors: Are they cold? Are they loud? Are they expensive?
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Stenciling with Concrete Dyes
Time: 07:29
See concrete stencils being applied to a concrete floor that was colored and sawcut.

Dyes can be applied in a variety of ways, depending on the results you want to achieve and the size of the job. Harris typically uses a high-volume low-pressure (HVLP) sprayer on his projects. Boyer's techniques vary. "Every job is different. I may spray it, roll it, or brush it. There are many different ways to apply dyes," she says.

Regardless of the technique used, it is important to test the concrete surface for acceptance of the dye before application. The degree of penetration and intensity of color will vary depending on the application method used, age of the concrete, porosity of the concrete, cleanliness of the surface, and other general conditions. Some surfaces may not even accept the dye, particularly if they are dense and nonporous.

When applying dyes to an already stained surface, Harris recommends waiting until the stain achieves the desired look and intensity. The surface also should be clean and dry before dye application.

Surface Protection and MaintenanceAlthough dyes are formulated to penetrate into the concrete, it is still necessary to protect dyed and stained surfaces from wear and contaminants by applying a sealer.

Harris also recommends applying several coats of floor finish, or wax, to protect the sealer from wear. The sacrificial wax coating acts as a shock absorber to scuffs, scratches, and grime. Plus, it is easy to buff out a coat of floor finish and then reapply more if necessary. As long as the owner is diligent about ongoing maintenance and doesn't allow the floor finish to wear down to the sealer, dyed and stained concrete surfaces should last indefinitely.

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