I cracked the code on how to color concrete and wanted to share the results with you guys! You can use this technique to create any concrete DIY imaginable, but to make things easy, lets start with concrete vases! Which, let’s face it, is just an excuse for me to buy fresh flowers and do a little arranging. 🙂
Click through for the step by step process of making your own concrete vases AND learn how to color concrete ANY color you can dream up!
After figuring out how to dye plaster any color under the sun last year, a bunch of you asked why I didn’t just use regular paint. I explained why I couldn’t do that here. BUT it did get me thinking about concrete projects and how it hypothetically should be able to stand up to paint being added in before pouring.
So, I thought I would give it a try. And it totally worked! Here’s how to make your own…
- rapid setting cement mix (available on Amazon)
- acrylic paint
- large (wide) mailing tube
- small juice glass (I used these -they’re on sale)
- cooking spray
- 2 buckets (that is okay to get messed up)
- trowel or spoon for mixing
- electric sander or sandpaper
- gloves and mask
How to Add Color to Concrete + Make a Two-Toned Concrete Vase
1. Start by cutting the mailing tube down to size, if necessary. I used a saw to cut mine down to about 10 inches high and made sure the end was capped off and the top was uncapped (as shown in photo).
2. Spray the inside of a mailing tube with cooking spray and rub it around evenly in the side with a paper towel or rag. This will prevent the concrete from attaching to the mailing tube when setting.
3. Next, put on a mask and gloves and add the cement mix to a bucket. Stir in water according to instructions on the packaging. Typically, you’ll need 4 parts cement to 1 part water. Mix well. If you want a two-toned look like my vases, start by pouring some of that mixture into the mailing tube straight away, once mixed. If you want the entire vase to be one color instead though, skip this step and move to step 4, mixing all of the concrete mixture with paint at once.
4. Quickly add in the paint to the remaining mixture! You have to move quickly for rapid sitting concrete because it sets up fast. I used acrylic paint, which is a bit thicker so it won’t affect the consistency of the concrete. It took more paint than I was expecting… 2-4 ounces of paint for 1 concrete vase similar in size to mine. You can add more or less paint based on the saturation you’re hoping for.
3. Then, start pouring the colored concrete mixture into the mailing tube. Fill a little more than halfway, then place the juice glass inside the mailing tube. Press down so that the concrete starts to push upwards, surrounding the sides of the glass. Then, continue adding concrete to the mailing tube, trying to avoid the juice glass opening (but getting in between the sides of the juice glass).
5. Wait for the concrete to dry. If you’re using a rapid setting concrete, it should be completely dry in a couple of hours (depending on the temperature, etc). Once dry, rip the container away to reveal your new vase.
6. Sand the bottom if needed so that the vase sits flat. You can use an electric sander or do it by hand with sandpaper.
7. Make sure the glass vase is free of debris (and dried concrete), then fill with water and add flowers.
Think you’ll giving this concrete color project a try? I’d love to know what you think.