Waterfall and stream

cweathersbyNovember 25, 2005

Hey everybody,

I made a concrete waterfall and stream for my pond. The spillway rocks for the waterfall were made from molds I made in clay. It's pretty cool, but the texture and color of concrete is not the look I'm going for. I've tried concrete color, both liquid and powder, in all shades, and haven't found a mix that looks right. How would you suggest that I get a "dirt brown" color into the tufa mixture that I'm going to put as a top layer for all of this concrete? What ratios should I use? I want the pitted look that peat moss gives over time.

Thanks to everyone on this forum. I never would have thought that I could make molds or shape a waterfall and a stream if I hadn't have stopped by here one day!

A warning to everyone ... the "brown" dry concrete color is NOT brown. It's pink. And no amount of other colors mixed in will take away the pinkness.


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Hi Carrie
I have every shade of brown going from light tan to dark chocolate and none of them turn pink.
Your best bet is find a place that provides concrete pigment to the pros.
Many of the pigments offered to us crafters as suitable for concrete are not that good.
You will also find the really good stuff to be cheaper than the crap flogged to us unsuspecting crafters.:)

    Bookmark   November 25, 2005 at 2:08PM
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shrubs_n_bulbs(z8/9 UK)

Which particular colour brown did you want?

Here is a link that might be useful: Concrete colours

    Bookmark   November 25, 2005 at 4:22PM
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shrubs n bulbs, where would I find this product? I like the Sand Tan and Goldenrod.
David, the cement color that I bought was Sakrete brand and the color was sold as "brown" the color that resulted was pinkish, and adding "charcoal" and / or "buff" only gave colors that would best be described as maroon. I would have thought that cement color sold at Home Depot by the bags of cement would not have been for crafters?

    Bookmark   November 25, 2005 at 6:29PM
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I have gotten some really nice colors in powder form from my local Ready Mix Concrete guys. Some nice browns and golden colors. If you can't find them in the Yellow Pages try following a cement truck home.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2005 at 7:03PM
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Have you taken any photos? I will ask our local concrete/road materials place about colorants.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2005 at 7:13PM
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Hi Carrie
Here is a pot and stand I made with 3 different browns.
Chocolate on top, tan on the bottom and a combination of the two for the stand.
I used white Portland cement and white sands. there is peat in the chocolate top and the stand.
the products I used was Tamms Colorants

Here is a link that might be useful: Browns in a colored Pot

    Bookmark   November 25, 2005 at 9:57PM
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David, that is a very cool pot. I bet part of my problem is that my portland cement is grey and my sand is yellow.

I was looking at a site earlier that said around water features a good, natural mix would be 1 pt portland, 2 pts sand, 1/2 peat, and 1/2 clay. What do y'all think? Grey portland, yellow sand, peat, and red clay? I liked the colors of the 2 "rocks" I made as spillways because they were in a red clay mold and the clay stuck to the cement. If there was a way I could duplicate the clay being stuck on the rest of my stream and waterfall I would be satisfied. What would happen if I mixed the tufa mix above and then took this red clay and pressed it onto the tufa? Is the clay that's stuck on my "rocks" permanently stuck on or is it going to wash off eventually? It hasn't washed off with a water hose, I know that.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2005 at 10:36PM
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After experimenting with colors using different ratios and portland, sand, the red clay in my yard, and other stuff I have around, I like the color that is gotten from using:
1 pt portland cement
2 pts sand
1 pt red clay from my yard
Does anyone know whether this is a mixture that will work? If it will, is there any way to use a higher ratio of clay?

    Bookmark   November 26, 2005 at 12:05PM
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Hi Carrie
It is my understanding that clay will not work with Portland cement unless it has already been fired.
I have not tried it myself.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2005 at 1:04PM
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Hi Carrie
When I'm unsure about a recipe I make a couple small test bricks, cure them and then test them for strength.
I've had quite a few recipes that sounded and looked great that would not cure properly.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2005 at 1:10PM
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Thanks, David. That makes sense.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2005 at 2:39PM
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I wouldn't waste the time/effort trying to stain any of the rocks that will be covered with water because after a few months they will be covered with a dark green/black algae.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2005 at 2:40PM
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