This post was most recently updated on January 30th, 2023
Update for 2023: Adding Tint or Color to Pavers and Concrete
Concrete Sealer Review continues to keep up with the latest tips and trends for your concrete and brick paver sealers through 2023 and beyond. In this updated article, we tell you the best way to add a tint or color to pavers and concrete to change the look of your sealer. If you have any suggestions for the best way to add a tint or color to pavers and concrete or have any questions, please comment below.
To change the appearance of pavers and concrete you can have tint or color added. This can be done to concrete or pavers that are being poured from a wet cement mix. The color can be added to the batch before it is poured into the form. For pavers or concrete that already exist, you can apply and colored concrete stain to the surface to change the appearance.
Once the tint or color is added to pavers or concrete the surface should then be sealed to help lock in the new color and protect the surface from harsh weather. As the sun beats down on concrete and paver surfaces the UV rays can break down the chemical bonds and fade the color like a bleaching effect. Some surfaces are more prone to fading such as those like pavers and concrete that have had dye color added to them. The darker the color the more prone it is to fading.
You can also add the tint or color to the sealer. Then you will be sealing and adding color to the pavers or concrete at the same time. Some tinted or color sealers can form a film like paint on the surface which would completely mask the natural beauty of the pavers or concrete just so you are aware. In the case of using an acid staining process, you would still need to seal the surface once the stain was cured. A better alternative to acid staining is applying a semi-transparent color concrete stain that dilutes in acetone. This process is not as tedious as acid staining. The surface can then be clear coated with a wet look sealer for a deeper, richer look.
Another option for faded pavers and concrete that have lost their original luster is to seal them with a matte, semi-gloss, or high gloss shine. This can help restore their color by darkening up the surface. This works well on both stamped concrete and brick pavers. Keeping your colored pavers and concrete clean and maintaining them by resealing them every few seasons will help the surface to last for many years while preserving the original appearance.
As an article and comment contributor to the site, Scott has been around the pressure washing industry since attending college. In 1993 he started his first company called Oakland Pressure Wash specializing in exterior pressure washing, concrete sealing, and deck staining. That company evolved into OPW L.L.C. shortly thereafter concentrating more on exterior restoration. Scott and his restoration Michigan company have restored over 10,000 projects in the Metro Detroit area since the early years. He has become an authority in the restoration industry and has contributed to numerous restoration forums and informative sites.
All the products he suggests through this site are sold through online sites and in retail stores, allowing the consumer to choose their own means of purchase. Scott’s eCommerce sites do sell many top brands he endorses and if you appreciate any of the help he has offered then feel free to purchase from one of them.
New build, antique bricks are being placed throughout the mud room. The color contrast is a little more drastic than we’d like. What color tint/stain and brand do you recommend? Looking to darken/dull out the orange a little…
In your scenario and type of bricks, we have no experience as if anything will work well.
Can I tint natural unfinished marble/stone in a similar way? white unfinished marble to a very light gray?
No, not possible.
I had new sidewalks and front and back steps poured summer 2021. Dark grey tint was added to the cement and mixed in the truck before pouring. No mention that it should be sealed by the contractor and the concrete did not survive the winter, lots of scaling and chipping. The contractor will not respond to texts or calls. How can I find out why this happened to the concrete and if the concrete company made allowance in their mix for the added tint. Spent thousands on this project and now it is a mess.
Thre is no way to find out what went wrong.
Similar, but not exactly the same as other Q’s here: can I use a “tinted sealer” (NuLock or other) to alter the rose (not brick red) hue of my pavers to gray? And thanks for your informative piece and the Q+A.
No, it is not possible to tint reddish color pavers to gray.
We used a paint stain to our reddish pavers around our pool to a cream color, so you could find a paint stain in grey I’m sure.
Painting pavers is not a very good idea. It will eventually peel or wear off.
I purchased an oil-based paver sealer from Lowe’s and asked if a tint could be added and was told it could not. Where do you suggest I purchase the tint and can I just add and stir before applying?
You cannot add tint to just any sealer. You would need to contact the manufacturer and see if it can be tinted or not
Thanks, I will do that. Do you think they will advise as to where to purchase the tint? Do you have a suggestion?
No idea if is tintable so not sure if they will advise or not. Not everything is compatible with each other.
Question. Can oh add a dusty or aah stain onto existing flag stone patios. I can’t afford to redo all of my hard scale but want to tone down the reds and oranges.
Would you recommend a stain selersye and then a sealant so it doesn’t come across looking like “paint”
You cannot stain flagstone.
We have Lexa Sterling Grey pavers. We find they have brown/beige look when wet and in general. We have the Melville shaded grey slabs beside them and they look very different. Any ideas how to stain Lexa so it looks more grey vs beige? We do not like wet colour of the Lexa slabs therefore just a sealer won’t offer the look we want. Thanks!
Sorry but no idea if this can be done correctly.
Our paver is reddish. We want gray how we can better accomplish this?
You cannot make red pavers gray. Sorry.
Is there any hope to match 200 s.f. of new infill pavers that came as a much cooler gray to older pavers that are much warmer? The supplier said this was as close as they could get after 5 years, but the owner is not happy. A tree fell and left a cutout that had to be filled in.
Does it look better to ore even when wet with water? If so, adding a wet look sealer would help.