Tinting a Concrete Floor with Jacquard
  • Hi, you guys! Project question of the day, here.

    Had I experience, time, monetary resources, or good sense, I probably wouldn't even attempt this; however, we're on a short deadline and this is a project that, unfortunately, has to be done right now, rather than done right. We want to do a faux finish of a pond/river/swimming pool (you get the idea: water and reflections) on the bare concrete of our living room floor. This is a heavily experimental project, which is perfectly OK with us; after all, if you freaking ruin the floor, that's why there's Pergo.

    This weekend, we took the floor down to the surface with a floor maintainer, so it's smooth(ish), uncoated, and ready for tinting. There are even some glue marks and trowel marks that would make for great ripples.

    Concrete paint isn't the right medium, and the aftermarket concrete stains are just not quite there yet, colorwise. I tripped over the notion of using fabric dye instead, as it's a super-concentrated coloration medium, and am captivated by the jewel-bright colors available from Jacquard.

    My vague plan is to use water-based Procion MX in a series of progressively darker washes, either with a sprayer or a mop, and add ripple/reflection highlights in an acrylic glaze, followed by several layers of clear non-yellowing urethane or epoxy as a sealer.

    I could probably do the highlights using a variant of the technique of faux marbling, where you drag a wide brush or feather in irregular, roughly parallel lines to create striations of varying widths; in fact, you can do that with reflections by just doing another set of wiggles at right angles to the first... um, never mind that part.

    The sealer tends to blur details (which is great in a faux finish, especially when you mess up) and epoxy would make it pretty much bombproof. If I end up with anything truly awkward or indefensible, that's why the Decorating Goddess makes throw rugs.

    The only part of the project not being done on the cheap would be the Procion MX: I'm perfectly willing to spend a couple hundred bucks getting enough dye to cover 300 square feet of concrete. I figure this is an usual dye job, in that you don't throw out a drop of the color, like you would if you were dyeing fabric in a washing machine or washtub, and that the concentration of the coloring will make it feasible to use the dye to cover the whole floor.

    So here are my questions:

    1.) Is there anything about this proposal that just shrieks "Disaster"?

    2.) Has anyone ever covered Procion with epoxy? Does it break down or fade?

    The plan is to get the coloration part rolling by Friday, which means there isn't a lot of time to work on feasibility studies. So anybody got any opinions, or are we way off the road map?
  • Um... I guess if y'all have no objections, I can just... go ahead?

    OK, then, I'll just be over here... mopping the floor in brilliant blue and vibrant green... see you in a bit!
  • Yikes! You wern't kidding when you said Friday! We've been discussing this around here and our best suggestion would be to use the Dye-Na-Flow acrylic paints. You'll still get a beautiful wash-y look but as a paint you'll have more of an actual bond with the concrete. You'll still want to use a varnish - our PearlEx Varnish is a good choice.

    Hope this isn't too late to be of help!