Customize Color for Stucco and Plaster Finishes
Vivid, Colors for Indoor and Outdoor Use
Many of our customers want to color stucco and plaster, but have a difficult time finding the right colors and small enough quantities. Because stucco and plaster are cement and sand only mixes containing no aggregate, colors can appear somewhat different in fact than they are on color charts. Concrete pigment creates color by coating the cement particles with color so other ingredients are a less important part of the color equation. Plaster and stucco mixes are comprised of a 3:1 ratio of sand to cement. Whether you are mixing your own material or using a pre-bagged product, having this basic information can help you to determine how much pigment you need for any plaster or stucco project.
The pigment needed to achieve a specific color from our color charts is based on the amount of cement only rather than the total weight of the mix. The color chip provides the color name, pigment number and pound rating. The pound rating calculation is derived from how many pounds of pigment would be needed to color a 94 lb. bag of cement. In the case of our diagram below, 1 lb. of 15.4 blue pigment would achieve the color Cornflower in one 94 lb. bag of white Portland cement.
Concrete Pigment Measurement Diagram
Direct Colors offers several calculators for concrete pigment-related projects. The calculator most useful for coloring stucco and plaster is called the Custom Batch Calculator. The Custom Batch Calculator requires two pieces of information – the weight of cement in your mix and the pound rating for the color chosen from our concrete pigment color charts. We recommend calculating both for batch size as well as the overall project. For example, if you planned to use one 80lb. bag of stucco mix and wanted to integrally color the stucco to Cornflower. You’d enter 20 lbs. for the cement content and a “1” for the pound rating to calculate the amount of pigment needed for the project which is just under a quarter of a pound (.21 lbs.) per bag.
We’ve created color charts with our stucco and plaster customers in mind that feature images of the actual pigment to assist with custom colors and mixes. By adjusting the pigment concentrations in the mix design, a limitless number of colors can be created using this product.
Direct Colors Concrete Pigment Colors for Stucco and Plaster
Outdoor stucco applications should be sealed with an acrylic or penetrating densifier sealer to protect the color integrity from the elements. Some customers prefer a light shine and the ease of application our Sprayable Satin Finish Sealer offers, especially for stucco projects. We also have a matte finish penetrating sealer that is also easy to apply but produces no color change at all. This sealer also enhances durability and is a one-time application. Interior projects can also be sealed to deepen color appearance and add gloss.