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How to Stamp Concrete

How to Stamp Concrete
Stamped concrete is a decorated, customized, and economical alternative to the paving driveway of a home or an office. Although professionals are called in most of the time, the task is simple enough to be handled by an amateur, too. All it takes is interest, the necessary tools, and proper planning.
DecorDezine Staff
Home decorating and designing and architecture has evolved amid interior decorating styles that are unique and interesting. The 21st century homeowner is not satisfied with only what his money can buy. He is consistently on the lookout for ways and means to optimize the funds at hand. When it comes to basic designs involving concrete and paving, the old-fashioned 'keep it simple', is out. The versatility of available resources and materials to enhance interior designing and exterior enhancement has made it possible for the homeowner to experiment, without waiting for professional assistance.

Concrete stamping, a method to enhance the walk or the rock garden, indoors or outdoors, is not at all difficult. If you are an enterprising person and willing to give your touch to design a customized home or office, you are ready to go. The exercise could be planned to include kids and friends and make it a fun-filled activity. You could ask them to sign their names onto the walk or display their art on the ledges of the rock garden. They, especially the kids, will surely be up to it and more than willing to help. You could plan the event on a weekend and make the effort more of a family event and turn it into something that you could talk about for years to come.

Tools and Material Required

  • Textured and floppy mats
  • Hardener/Integral color
  • Release agent
  • Tamper
  • Resin hand float
  • Bull float
  • Finishing trowel
  • Screed
With good quality concrete, the tools enable you to touch up grout lines and make deeper impressions. Equipment kits for stamping concrete are easily available in the market. They contain guidelines and a step-by-step explanation of the whole process. Planning ensures the job is perfectly done. You should plan on paper:
  1. Orientation of grout lines
  2. Repetitive patterns like brick or cobblestone
  3. Lines of the pattern that run perpendicular to the area to be covered

  1. Adopt a concrete base that meets the requirements of the planned specifications as far as mix and reinforcement is concerned. Double-check for the calcium chloride content. It would dilute the effort. Refer to the manual instructions and create the mixture accordingly. The concrete should always be more than four inches in thickness.
  2. Color it by using any of the two basic techniques. In the integral color technique, the liquid color is mixed with the material and then poured. In the broadcast technique, the color hardener is poured over the concrete that has already been set in place.
  3. Remember to use the sweeping arm movement to cover a maximum concrete 'throw' each time. The hardener should be allowed to get completely absorbed prior to working on it with wood or any of the floats. The material should not be overworked.
  4. Once you are satisfied by the color, it could be given a touch of finesse with a steel trowel or Fresno, prior to the use of texture mats. Keep the release agent close at hand at this stage. The powder prevents the mats from sticking to the slab.
  5. The release agent should be brushed onto the mats and broadcast. The layer between the concrete and texture mats should be thick enough to prevent the color from 'bleeding' or the wet concrete from seeping.
  6. For the artwork, pick the darker-colored release agent. When pressing a texture mat, supervise the kids. Though force is not required, timing is important.
  7. Once the texturing commences, there is little or no time to waste. This includes the necessary touch-up work as well.
  8. Use a good high-powered pressure washer for 24 hours to enable the concrete to set. This helps remove excess release agent from the surface, evenly. The release remains could be sprayed back into the grout lines.
  9. Use a decorative sealer and clear enhancer when the slab is completely dry.
There are professionals who step in to stamp concrete. You could invite the professionals to work on your designs, along with the kids and friends.
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