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An Alternative Perspective of White Cement From an Artist

Rick Lobdell of Concrete Mystique Engraving prefers gray concrete over white because he says gray gives him more options for color variations.
Rick Lobdell of Concrete Mystique Engraving prefers gray concrete over white because he says gray gives him more options for color variations.
The floor with the hammerhead shark was done on gray concrete while the one with a dolphin was done on white. Photos courtesy of Concrete Mystique Engraving
The floor with the hammerhead shark was done on gray concrete while the one with a dolphin was done on white. Photos courtesy of Concrete Mystique Engraving

Not everyone prefers white cement products over run-of-the-mill gray concrete when it comes to coloring.

“The only time white works for me is if I’m trying to do a water scene,” says Rick Lobdell, owner of Concrete Mystique Engraving in Nashville, Tenn. Even then, he adds, he usually prefers gray. “The blues look great (on white) and are very vibrant. But any other time I find it a distraction to perfectly good gray concrete.”

Lobdell, who says he is an artist and not a decorative concrete contractor, says that white as a canvas color “kills a lot of color variations because it flattens the look. You don’t get as much depth with white as you do with gray.”

Besides that, you can leave footprints if you walk on the white surface with shoes. You can’t draw with soapstone because it won’t show up. Blue chalk is out, too, because most colors won’t cover it up.

“To me, as an artist working on concrete, gray is more beneficial because it gives me more options on which direction to take the colors.”

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