How to Change the Color of Concrete

To change the color of concrete before it is poured, add a tint to the mix.
To change the color of concrete before it is poured, add a tint or dye to the mix.

People who want to use concrete in their landscaping often ask how they can change the color.

If the concrete has already been poured your best option is applying a stain to the surface. You’ll want to clean the surface well and let it dry thoroughly before you do this. Concrete stains come in solid or semi-transparent colors. Applying them is much like painting, but because concrete is so porous, once it goes on you can’t just wipe it off. So be sure you like the color.

If you’re pouring new concrete you can add a color tint, or dye, directly into the mix. This ensures that the color goes all the way through whatever you’re creating so even if it’s scratched or chipped the color doesn’t change. If you’re mixing multiple batches, it’s important that you mix the color identically in every one so that the finished project will have a consistent color throughout.


  1. We have concrete counters in our kitchen. They were installed in 2000 by a pool guy who had done one other job. We wanted black. He refused to put the die in the concrete and assured me that we could stain it later. Well, that was not the case. We have tried many ways to make them black – India ink worked somewhat. The counters look bad and they need to be food safe. What can we do?????
    Thanks for any help you can give.

  2. Hello, I am in the process of having my pool completely remodeled. I agreed to the Omaha Tan concrete color. Its been a week since they poured the concrete and the color is coral and no where near the color I chose. What are my alternatives? Not happy at all with Burketts at this point. Thanks,

  3. Will powdered tempera paint change the color of the concrete if added to the mix? My kids want to make rainbow colored blocks for their garden.

    • Hi, Beth,

      Danny says, “I would try that in a small batch. However, most concrete dyes are very concentrated and very strong. Quikrete offers many different colors of concrete dye that you might want to consider.

      Good luck!”

  4. I have cement pavers in my landscape. Several are much darker than the others. What can I use to lighten them? (I tried bleach.)

  5. We just had a new driveway poured with dark gray colorant. I do not like the color. It is way too dark. I wish we had gone with normal concrete. Is there any way to get rid of the colorant?


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