General Question

silverfly's avatar

[DIY] Is it possible to have light colored concrete?

Asked by silverfly (4045points) June 17th, 2010

I’m considering staining my concrete, but I’d prefer to have a light color rather than many of the traditional browns and dark colors available. Is it even possible to stain the concrete lighter than it actually is?

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10 Answers

grumpyfish's avatar

I don’t believe it’s possible to lighten concrete (except by painting). If you’re pouring new concrete, there’s a product called “white cement concrete” you may be able to find—it provides a much lighter surface to work from.

chyna's avatar

I don’t know if you are talking about concrete you already have or new concrete, but I just bleached mine a couple weeks ago and it looks great. It’s in a bottle just like regular bleach, but it’s for concrete.

OreetCocker's avatar

You can put additives into the mix to effect colour but it’s usually easier to darken rather than lighten it.

OreetCocker's avatar

@chyna GA didn’t even know that existed!

chyna's avatar

I didn’t either until a friend told me about it. I got it at Home Depot, but I’m sure Lowes carries it too.

Nullo's avatar

For some reason, I keep thinking of aluminum oxide, and thinking that you could mix it in.

Sunlight can bleach concrete, I think.

silverfly's avatar

I will be ripping up my carpet so the concrete is definitely already there. I think I’ll look into bleaching and mixing it in. Thanks all.

lilikoi's avatar

For existing concrete, staining just adds color and does not lighten. The bleach product sounds interesting; never heard of it before. I’d want to consider potential for corrosion due to chloride presence from bleach if you have reinforced concrete with rebar in there somewhere. Not sure if that product would be enough to cause any problems but I would want to know.

It is possible to add TiO2 (titanium dioxide) to the concrete mix to get a lighter color, but once it is cured TiO2 is no longer an option.

If you are going to paint concrete, make sure you do good surface prep and choose the right materials as if you just throw some paint onto the concrete, it may not bond well and then start to flake and peel off in short time.

silverfly's avatar

Thanks @lilikoi I don’t think I’m going to paint. I may just keep it simple and stain a darker color. We have a lot of light furniture so I think a darker floor will look good.

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