DIY Cement Eggs Tinted with Colorant
It’s probably no secret: I love colored cement. Using ordinary latex paint as a colorant is beyond economical and convenient for small batch cement projects like the one I’ll show you today. With paint in the mix, the finished piece is colored, and yet the texture of the cement is also there. Earthy and primitive like cement tends to be, yes–but also interestingly colored.
In this project, I’ll show you how to make colored cement eggs, which are especially popular this time of year with Easter and Spring just around the corner. Of course, these cement eggs can be used to decorate your home throughout of the year.
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- measuring spoons/cups
- dust mask
- protective gloves
- mixing bowl
- Quikrete Anchoring Cement, Rapid Set Cement All, Shapecrete, or similar
- latex paint (for instance, most interior wall paint, optional)
- pin with ball head
- masking or painter’s tape
- paper towel
- cement/concrete sealer (optional)
ABOUT THE PAINT COLORANT
The type of paint to use for coloring cement (and concrete) is latex paint. Most interior wall paints are this type of paint. Leftover paint and sample-size jars are ideal for this project because you don’t need much. You can also use acrylic latex paint in little containers that you can find at craft stores. When paint is added to the cement in the mixing process, it tints the cement, giving a muted version of the color and sometimes an unexpected color.
EMPTYING THE EGGS
Using a pin with a ball head, poke one hole in the end of the egg that is more pointed.
On the other end of the egg, use the pin to poke holes in a circle shape, roughly 1⁄2 inch diameter, as shown in the photo below. Then go back and poke more holes very close together (between other holes) around the circle.
Eventually you will be able to pop the circle out, leaving a nice circular hole in the egg.
Next, position a straw over the hole on the pointy end of the egg and blow the contents out through the larger hole. Rinse the eggs with water, then put a small bit of tape over the single hole in each egg so cement doesn’t leak out after the pour.
MIXING AND POURING THE CEMENT
The amount of dry cement you will need is roughly 1⁄4 cup (2 oz) for a small egg, 1⁄3 cup (about 3 oz) for medium and large size eggs, and 1⁄2 cup (4 oz) for jumbo size eggs. I used three different egg sizes: medium, large, and jumbo, and I generally made cement batches big enough to fill several eggs.
Cement with Latex Paint Recipe
Use the following general proportions per batch:
8 parts (dry, by volume) Quikrete Anchoring Cement, Rapid Set Cement All, Shapecrete, or similar
1 part water
1⁄2 to 1 part latex paint
This translates to the following for a one cup size batch (nominal):
8 oz cement (dry, by volume)
1 oz water (adjust to a pourable consistency)
1⁄2 to 1 oz latex paint
This size batch will fill two to four eggs, depending on the size of eggs.
To mix a batch of cement, first put the cement in a mixing bowl. Next, add the paint to the mixing bowl. (I used blue and white paint in different proportions for my eggs. As an aside, the eggs turned out a surprising variety of colors using only the same two paint colors.) Then add a small amount of water and mix. I usually mix with a gloved hand, but a spoon or stick works well also. I like to mix the cement batch initially to a crumbly cookie dough consistency, then add more water to adjust the batch to the consistency I want. For the eggs, I adjusted the batches to a pourable state, like a runny pudding.
I transferred the colored cement into a small disposable cup, and then poured the cement into the eggs.
When I made smaller batches, I used a disposable plastic cup rather than a bigger mixing bowl. I could pour the cement into the eggs from the cup.
After pouring the cement, I wiped off any cement from the outside of the eggs with a paper towel.
Let the eggs cure at least 3 hours before removing the shells.
REMOVING THE EGGSHELLS FROM THE CEMENT EGGS
I have an easy way to get the eggshell off the cement eggs. But first let me tell you a method that is a pain in the rear. Get a knife or file and pull the eggshell off in little chunks. It will take about 15 minutes (or more) per egg. You will get weary thinking you shouldn’t have made so many of the lovely egg creatures. You will remember the phrase “work smarter, not harder,” and it will eat at you all the while you are pick, pick, picking at the shells.
So here is how to do it smarter.
The cement is harder than the shell. This is the key. Take the eggs to a patch of concrete or other hard surface. I did this on my front porch which is rough cement. Rock the egg against the surface giving it some pressure. The eggshell will crush into a powder.
Wipe off the powdered egg, and rub a new section of the shell into the hard surface. Continue until all the eggshell is off. Some of the eggshell may come off in larger chunks. Removing the shell using this method is super fast and easy! After removing the shells, I washed the eggs with water to remove any remaining debris.
The last thing I did was seal my eggs with a silane/siloxane concrete sealer. This is optional. If any of you try waxing your eggs (or use a different sealer), let me know how it worked out. I have been wanting to experiment with waxing cement/concrete but haven’t gotten to it yet. Well, this sure was a fun project for me, and I hope it is for you, too!
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