Dyed Gravel

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Century Landscape, Nov 15, 2011.

  1. Century Landscape

    Century Landscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 87

    Hey guys,

    This may be a dumb question, but I've never seen a product locally or heard of this product and don't know if it exists.

    Have any of you heard of dyed gravel? I'm working up a proposal from some plans drawn up by an architect for a large commercial property, and it calls for "colored gravel" to match several different colors in a color scheme. It's actually for an army base and they have a large area where they want to do a digi camo design out of colored gravel. So I would need several shades of beige, gray, and green as well as a nice bright yellow.

    I've never seen any product quite like that and was wondering if any of you have?

    I'm also thinking perhaps it's more likely that they have a dye for gravel? also haven't seen this, but looking for suppliers if anyone has heard of or is familiar with some type of product that would work for this application.

  2. Gilmore.Landscaping

    Gilmore.Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 645

    Maybe kinda the same idea as died mulch, will probably fade rather quickly...

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  3. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,545

    I have never heard of dyed gravel.
  4. Dr.NewEarth

    Dr.NewEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,476

    Can you install normal gravel and then spray paint it with a spray gun to get the shapes?

    Phone the Architect and discuss options with him.
  5. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,131

    I checked into this for you with a buddy who did something simular. He was doing an install at a High school and hey needed a large area of 3/4 stone painted with their logo. What he did was put them into a cement mixer and pour in paint and let it mix at the slowest setting to completly coat the stones. He did White, Black, Red, and Yellow, and it took a few days as it was about 5 yards total and of course he had to buy a cement mixer as the rental companies wouldn't want you returning a paint stained mixer.

    After about 5 years it still looks great. He thought about spray paint but the problem is if anyone walks across the stones they will move and many will turn over exposin g the non painted side
  6. Gilmore.Landscaping

    Gilmore.Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 645

    That's a pretty good idea, i assume special concrete/stone paint then? Very creative thinking.
  7. Swampy

    Swampy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,435

    Would think a epoxy paint like the stuff used on garage floors
  8. Century Landscape

    Century Landscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 87

    This is very similar to what I had in mind. I've pretty much also never heard of dyed gravel, at least not in this wide range of color. I didn't much like the idea of spraying paint or a dye on top of it all for that exact reason, I would be concerned about penetration and uniform coverage over all areas. It will be extremely important to get something that will hold up for years with no maintenance.

    As far the practical standpoint of dyeing the stone if using a mixer - I'd be talking about 30,000 sq feet - at 4" thick for dyed layer my figures have that at about 370 yards of stone give or take. That's a lot of stone to mix and dye! Any ideas on how large of a capacity cement mixer that's available?

    Also, do you know what type of paint/dye your friend used? I would think that some type of dye might work better than paint and soak in a little better for a longer lasting finish?
  9. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    I would try to track down natural gravel in the colors you need, especially since you said they are earth tones. You'll probably have to buy it by the bag/pallet. Not sure you're going to find a brilliant yellow unless you go buying gemstones.

    The reason you don't hear about dyed gravel is because rock is not going to dye very well...you could surface stain it but it's not going to absorb and hold large amounts of color.

    You might also want to consider glass gravel which can be found in a large range of colors. They tumble it to remove the sharp edges.
  10. punt66

    punt66 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 8,536

    In my area there are many different decorative stone available. From crushed marble/brick/bluestone/brownstone/river rock. many colors available.

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