Considering following the advice on pinterest to replace 1/4 of the water in some concrete with latex house paint to tint it.

Wondering if anyone has done this and knows if this will actually affect the strength or durability of the concrete. Or, as pinterest suggests, improve the concrete.

Yes, there is a similar question on DIY but it was asked if it can be done, and that answer is yes; I'm asking how the resulting concrete will be affected.

  • 1
    This is largely unanswerable, as it depends on the composition of the paint. While there is a pretty good range of latex concrete additives, each of them has a different purpose and effect on the set of the chemistry of the concrete. Likewise, different paint formulations will have different effects. My recommendation would be to use a latex additive if you need one, and a dye or stain for color.
    – Comintern
    May 27, 2015 at 0:12
  • Thanks, that makes sense that it's really an unknown. I see a youtube video in the future by some DIYer where he/she replaces 1/4 of the water in some basic cements with standard BEHR paints from Home Depot and shows the results.
    – ssaltman
    May 27, 2015 at 17:18

3 Answers 3


Latex paint added for color, strength or work-ability will not harm concrete, it actually has a chance of improving it. The scientific article from New Zealand with link someone posted here actually states that optimum strength is achieved at 12% to 16% paint replacing water. http://www.hms.civil.uminho.pt/ibmac/2008/14IBMAC_123.pdf

As far as the original post information, I did not read anywhere in the article that a 60% paint ratio to 40% water ratio was suggested. Article states that too much paint is not good, nor does too little accomplish much. Other online research would lead me to the conclusion that I should not exceed 20%.

One site suggests that amount plus 10% to make a wetter mixture, but I trust the scientific study info more. An excessive amount is a bad idea, but at the 12 to 16% levels the concrete is actually improved over a water only mix.

I am using paint for purposes of adding color, and getting rid of old paint, but will follow NZ article guidelines for strength and work-ability.


There are specific concrete color additives. I would use those. Not paint.

  • thank you but that does not answer the question
    – ssaltman
    May 28, 2015 at 19:52

Yes you can. 12-16% of the water can be replaced by acrylic paint. Often result is stronger http://www.hms.civil.uminho.pt/ibmac/2008/14IBMAC_123.pdf

The article says optimum strength is achieved at 12% to 16%. Exceeding that amount may be a bad idea, but at these levels the concrete is actually improved over a water only mix.

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