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How to Seal and Dye Concrete

A colored concrete floor is a stunning low maintenance finish for homes or businesses. It's the perfect type of restoration project to add value to any property.

When correctly applied, dyed, and sealed, polished concrete finish is smooth and trouble-free. There are no problems with cleaning grout, tile mastic, messy uneven, hollow, or broken tiles, and it's far more durable than wood.

Keep reading to learn how to properly seal and dye concrete floors and keep your customers happy. 



Preparing to Seal and Dye Concrete

Preparing to Seal and Dye Concrete

Before you can start applying the dye and seal, you have to prepare the floor first. This involves cleaning and fixing damaged or uneven areas using specialized equipment and materials.

Here is a complete list of what you'll need to seal and dye.


Concrete Sealer

The concrete sealer acts as a protective barrier for the concrete. There are different types of sealers including clear and tinted sealers that will provide different finishes. A good sealer will fight water damage and prevent stains caused by deicing salts, oil, and other contaminants. 



These do exactly as their name implies, change the color of a floor through a penetrating pigment. This means the color will enhance any surface variations. It also means that if there is any existing sealer or glue on a floor, the dye will not penetrate.



Concrete is meant to be flat and smooth, which is the ideal surface to seal and dye concrete. If the concrete floor is uneven or damaged, a grinder will level it out and remove the damaged areas. 



One of the essential parts of dyeing and sealing is getting the floor thoroughly clean. Using a powerful vacuum is necessary to remove any dirt or debris. A broom can also be used, but a vacuum will provide a professional level of cleanliness.



A high-quality polishing agent will give the floor the picture-perfect shine that people want in a sealed concrete floor. This doesn't have to be a separate tool. Instead, use an OnFloor multi-purpose floor grinder with a fine-grit tool.

Let's take a look at what is needed to prep a floor for the dye and sealing process.


Assess the Surface

Before you do anything else, it's important that you assess the surface of the concrete. In this step, you're carefully examining the concrete. This involves checking for cracks (big or small), stains, debris, and getting the garage's exact size.

Having this information will help you better prepare for the sealing and dyeing process and make the job go by even faster.


Remove All Sealers, Stains, or Contaminants

If you are not sure if there are any contaminants or sealers on the floor which will affect dye penetration and sealer adhesion, the easiest way is to assess water absorption.

You may be able to do this during the cleaning process, but if not, spray a little water over the surface you want to check. A clean concrete finish will absorb water and darken evenly.

Any sealer or contaminant remaining will show up as a light spot or as an area where water beads and does not absorb. 

Where there are sealers or stains, an initial run over with a planetary floor grinder and polisher such as the OF16S-H using an epoxy removal tool will completely remove the stain or sealer and prepare the surface to accept the dye and sealer.


Remove Debris

After preparing the floor, it is essential to remove the grinding dirt. Failure to complete this step will result in a lumpy, unattractive concrete floor. To avoid ending up with an unhappy customer, make sure to clean the surface rigorously. 

You can remove debris by using a broom or a vacuum. Even though both are an option, the vacuum is the better choice. It's the best way to guarantee that no debris is left behind.

We recommend the HEPA vacuum for maximum suction and efficiency.


Repair Any Cracks

If there are any cracks, no matter how small, you have to sand and fill them.

This guarantees even dyeing and sealing but also prevents damage. There'sThere's no point in sealing concrete if there is damage underneath.

First, sand the cracks to provide a smooth surface, using the Onfloor multipurpose floor grinder. Once cracks have been smoothed down, apply a concrete sealant. 

Finally, allow the sealant to thoroughly dry and sand the area for a completely flat smooth application. 



Dye the Concrete

Dye the Concrete

Once you've repaired the cracks and waited the appropriate amount of time to dry, it's time to dye the concrete. The dye will get absorbed into the porous concrete, which takes a few hours. To get an even, bold color be sure to apply two coats.

Your first coat will need less drying time than the second coat. For the best results, follow these time frames.


First coat: Dry for 1 to 4 hours.


Second coat: Dry for a full 24 hours. 

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Seal the Concrete

Sealing the concrete locks in color and adds a strong protective layer to prevent any damage. It's important to do this only after the dye has completely dried. Again, apply two very thin layers of concrete sealer for the best protection. 

Follow these drying times for each layer:


First coat: Dry between 1 to 3 hours


Second coat: Allow to cure for 24 hours, but 48 to 72 hours is optimal, especially for cold or humid weather.



Polish The Surface For The Final Finished Look

Polish The Surface For The Final Finished Look

Now that the floor is entirely free of contaminants and all the cracks are filled, the concrete's final polishing is needed for a refined look. This will not only make the floor look good, but it will add extra protection against scratches and abrasions.

Again, this can be accomplished using an Onfloor multipurpose grinder with a finer grit tool. Concrete is usually ground to a 70 grit finish creating a smooth appearance for the dye and seal process.



Get the Best Results

Knowing how to seal and dye concrete properly is only part of delivering excellent results to your customers. It's also important to have the right equipment.

OnFloor Technologies provides the highest-quality machines, tools, and sealants you can find. Contact us to schedule a demo today!

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