AEC Online
Printable version Bookmark this page Notify a colleague or friend about this page Bookmark and Share

About Concrete Flooring: Colorants

Concrete Flooring: Colorants

Concrete Flooring: Colorants

Stains (Chemical/Reactive)

How Acid Stains (Reactive Stain/Chemical Stain) Work?

Acid stains consist of a mild acid - usually hydrochloric acid – mixed with water and metal oxides, also called metallic salts that penetrate the surface and generate a chemical reaction with the free lime (calcium hydroxide) in the concrete.

The active ingredient in an acid stain is the metallic salt and the acidic solution lightly etches the surface which allows the metallic salt to penetrate into the concrete and react with the free lime that is present in the concrete. The resulting oxides fill the pores in the paste layer of the concrete, permanently changing the color of the surface. The color development is a total chemical reaction and is concrete-dependent.

Not all concrete slabs have the properties to be stained with every color. What’s more, every color has a different chemical reaction and requires different levels of free lime. It is the varying amounts of calcium hydroxide (free lime) that cause the mottling and marbling variegation in the translucent acid stain pattern.

The colors you get from acid stains are stone tones or earthy colors, like rust, deep chocolate, copper patina, amber and golden colors. Acid stains are UV stable; therefore they can be used inside or outside. Acid stained colors are very hard to reproduce because every concrete surface is unique and there are several factors that come into play during the chemical reaction and color development.


Patinaetch is a mildly acidic water based solution designed to etch and stain concrete or masonry substrates. The chemical reaction with the substrate results in naturally variegated earth tones similar to the oxidation of a copper or the patina of a bronze sculpture. Unlike paints or coatings, Patinaetch does not cover the surface; it rather works with the existing surfaces and possibly highlights irregularities.

Color Effects

Patinaetch comes in seven custom colors. The colors produced from these standard stains are unique to each concrete surface and could differ significantly from the color chart. Various color effects can be created by…

  • Spray different Patinaetch colors on top of each other
  • Blend two or more Patinaetch colors prior to staining
  • Broad casting chemicals such as fertilizer, miracle grow, etc.

Factors that affect the outcome of the chemical stain (acid stain)

  • Cement properties and amount
  • Type of aggregates and admixtures used in concrete
  • Concrete finishing methods
  • Concrete age and moisture content when stain is applied
  • Efflorescence
  • Curing methods

Stains (Water based)


Aquacolor is a concentrated, ready-to-use, highly-micronized inorganic pigment blended to integrally color or stain decorative concrete overlays, micro-toppings, skim coats or regular concrete surfaces. It is formulated as a dual-use product...integral color and an alternative to reactive stains (acid stains).

Integral Color: When using Aquacolor as an integral color, shake well and always disperse in the polymer additive (Cp1000) prior to adding in cementitious powder (Sgraffino). Squirt desired amount into a small measuring cup to ensure consistent results. The typical dosage is 10ml (0.35oz) of Aquacolor for every pail of Sgraffino.

Water based Stain: When Aquacolor is used as a stain, dilute and mix it with water prior to spraying.
Suggested starting mix-ratio: 4gal water per 8oz bottle of Aquacolor; to increase the color value, reduce the amount of water and vice versa. For better adhesion to the substrates, it is recommended to blend the Aquacolor solution with 10% acrylic polymer (Cp1000).


  • UV Resistant, suitable for interior and exterior surfaces
  • Versatile - Use it as an Integral color or water based stain
  • Perfect for shifting colors and adding accents even after the surface is sealed with acrylic sealers
  • Adds color and depth to the stamped concrete
  • Depth of color can be built-up by layering the colors
  • East to use spray application
  • No acids to harmful chemicals
  • Cement substitutes will not affect the color outcome unlike reactive stains (acid stains)
  • Saves time when used as a rinsing, no mopping, no neutralizing and no residue
  • Eco-Stain - environmentally friendly...Zero VOC

Integral Colors (powder)


Colorfast is a ready to use, finely ground blend of synthetic iron oxide pigments and admixtures designed for integrally coloring cementitious overlays, micro-toppings or skim coats. Colorfast is also used widely in concrete countertops both as an integral coloring system and broadcast coloring system to create natural variegated-marbleized visual effects.


  • Superior wet-ability, alkali resistant and curing stability
  • Available in 24 standard colors – can be blended to create unlimited coloring options
  • Flexibility in depth and tone of color
  • Excellent UV resistance
  • Packaged in user friendly 10lb pails

Dyes (Water/Solvent)


DESO Dye is a concentrated formulation of dyes and high strength penetrating vehicles intended to make ready-to-use coloring systems for regular concrete or cementitious toppings /overlays / skim coats. DESO Dyes can be mixed with acetone and/or water, depending upon application requirements. They can be used to create a range of affects from subtle earth tones to vibrant hues.


  • Saves Time — DESO Dyes come in a robust, stylish aluminum vessel that is ready to use. This liquid concentrates eliminates typical 3 hour waiting time associated with powder dyes to dissolve or the need to add penetrating agents. It’s easy, just add water or solvent.
  • Dual Purpose — Add water to DESO dye to make water based dye or it can be mixed with acetone to make a solvent based dye. No need to stock two different types of dyes
  • Ease in shipping — DESO dyes can be easily shipped next day air via FedEx or UPS.
  • Deep color penetration & fast drying
  • Unlimited color palette through blending

DESO dyes are for interior use only. Color will fade over time in areas where the dye is exposed to frequent UV light. The quality of UV protection in windows and doors may also determine the amount of time it takes before color must bere-applied.

Dyes (Solvent/UV Resistant)

Pellücid Dye - UV resistant dye for concrete surfaces

Pellücid Dye is a translucent, UV stable aqueous acrylic dispersion of organic and inorganic pigments designed to penetrate exterior and interior cementitious surfaces. Pellücid Dye creates a unique, multi-colored translucent color pattern that unlike paints will not crack, chip or peel. Pellücid Dye is available in 20 standard colors but can be combined to create an unlimited color palate.

Pellücid Dye is recommended for most cured, unsealed exterior and interior concrete substrates. Do not apply to a floor that has been sealed until all the sealer has been completely removed.

Features & Benefits

  • UV resistant, can be used in exterior areas
  • Very economical
  • Low maintenance
  • Creates a beautiful mottled effect similar to acid stains
  • VOC compliant when diluted as recommended


Surface Preparation is the most critical portion of any successful flooring system application. All substrates must be properly prepared as outlined in Düraamen’s Technical Bulletin # 1. Work must be performed by trained or experienced contractors or maintenance personnel.

Test areas are strongly recommended on the actual surface of the proposed application. Testing in several areas of the concrete will better determine suitability, coverage, adhesion and approximated final results.

Pellücid Dye is packaged only in a concentrated liquid form which needs to be mixed with acetone in 1quart, 1gallon or 5gallon increments. Mix Pellücid Dye into appropriate amount of acetone per instructions (this will depend on the size of the bottle purchased). Using the re-closable acetone container is recommended for mixing. Blend the mixture by stirring the open container, or by shaking the closed container for 30-45 seconds. Do not use any electrical device to mix the dye with the acetone.

Apply Pellücid Dye using an acetone sprayer with a conical tip, keeping the tip approximately 24” from the surface. Apply in a uniform circular motion, not allowing the dye to puddle. The concentrate should appear wet for just a few moments when applied properly. Mop up any puddle or excess dye with a clean rag to allow the surface to dry evenly. Allow Pellücid Dye to dry approximately 15 minutes.


  • Pellücid Dye will not freeze. However it is recommended to store in an area between 50°F and 80°.
  • All HVAC ventilation ducts should be blocked prior to application so that solvent fumes are not distributed.
  • After the Pellücid Dye is diluted with acetone, it is extremely flammable. Do not smoke.
  • It is not recommended to apply Pellücid Dye over carpet, tile and other types of floor adhesives.
  • Coverage rates depend upon many conditions including application method, surface porosity, applicator, etc.
  • Pellücid Dye should only be used at the recommended dilution rate (never straight).
  • It is recommended to seal Pellücid Dye with UV resistant sealers only.
  • Pellücid Dye is a permanent application. Please assure yourself of color outcome before applying it on the surface.
technical data
Solids content 10%
Drying time 15 minutes
Re-Coat Time 20 minutes
Foot traffic Depends upon the sealer
Wheel Traffic Depends upon the sealer
Min. Application Temperature 500F
Wet Appearance Colored liquid
Dry Appearance Colored surface
VOC <50gal.
Blush resistance N/A
Concrete Adhesion Excellent

Brochures for Concrete Flooring: Colorants

Brochures for Concrete Flooring: Colorants
Preview Description Format Size Open
Duraamen Company Brochure
PDF 3.9 MB Open
Color Charts
Color Charts for Acid Stains, Water Based Stains, Dyes, Metallic Epoxy Flooring, Garage Floor Coatings, Concrete Coloring and Seamless Resinous Flooring.
Technical Data Sheets
Architects Corner

Request for Information
(Please check companies and/or products above. Not to be used to promote your products or services.)
*Company type:    
    (* = Mandatory field) 

09 61 00 - Flooring Treatment

Skyscraper Banners