Eliminating Color Spots in Microtoppings

Are you seeing spots? How to get rid of spots when adding color to your microtoppings.

You may have noticed that when you mix dry powder color with water and add it to your microtopping, you end up with little dots of color in your finished product. That’s because color grains are the size of sugar, whereas cement is more like powdered sugar. Xylene is commonly used to break down the color granules for more efficient blending.

Contractor Rick Smith takes it a step further by using acetone, and says his method gives him better control of color in finely detailed applications.

Among his crew’s jobsite tools is a big commercial blender, the stainless steel type used in bars and restaurants. Color powder is measured in with acetone and a little water, then blended, beaten, whipped and frapped to a fine liquid. “The acetone breaks everything down and melts the color,” Smith says. “It meets California VOC regulations and is one of the few mineral spirits that blends in water.” There is no exact speed or time, he says. Just rub a pinch between the thumb and forefinger until it feels right. More tips are available at www.richardsmithconcrete.com.

How to get rid of spots when adding color to your microtoppings. 1. Add acetone.
1. Add acetone.
How to get rid of spots when adding color to your microtoppings. 2. Add water.
2. Add water.
How to get rid of spots when adding color to your microtoppings. 3. Add dry powdered color, cover and blend.
3. Add dry powdered color, cover and blend.
How to get rid of spots when adding color to your microtoppings. 4. The blended mix is ready to go.
4. The blended mix is ready to go.
How to get rid of spots when adding color to your microtoppings. Traditional Mixing Method
Traditional Mixing Method
Notice dots of color in the microtopping.
How to get rid of spots when adding color to your microtoppings. Blender Mixing Method
Blender Mixing Method
No color dots mar this microtopping. All photos courtesy of Rick Smith.

Thanks to Richard Smith of Richard Smith Custom Concrete

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