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How to Do Concrete Stamping

Concrete stamping offers an interesting alternative for homeowners who want to liven up their driveways or patios. The technique produces a look that is similar to pavers, but the process is significantly cheaper. Instead of laying down bricks, you would create embossed impressions with a rubber stamp. These impressions remain indefinitely, which is why the technique has to be done right the first time.

Standard Concrete Stamping Form

To achieve concrete stamping, you must first decide which instrument you are going to use to create the impressions. Commercial stamps are recommended, as they are specially designed for this process. Their impressions are clearer, and they are easier to remove. However, some homeowners feel that commercial stamps limit their creativity. If you agree with this opinion, you can create a makeshift stamper from various objects around the house. Just make sure that: 1) the object has a pattern, and 2) the object is hard enough to create an embossed impression.

Now you are ready for the next step: the actual stamping process. This begins with the mixing of your concrete, if you plan on using an integral color. Distributed in powder or liquid forms, integral colors are designed to become one with the floor. So, if the surface gets damaged, the floor does not lose its unique hue.

After the integral color has been added, you pour the concrete as usual. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions if you are unsure of this process, as it does not change simply because you plan on stamping your concrete. What does change is how you set it. In a typical situation, concrete is left alone after it is poured. However, with stamping, you press a stamp down into the mixture while it remains wet. You then lift the stamp back out, which should leave behind a permanent impression.

To make the process smoother, make sure you apply liquid release on both the mixture and your stamp of choice. With liquid release, you will be able to remove your stamp without taking too much concrete with it. The substance will also help the concrete cure faster, but you want to be careful with this advantage. If you cover too much of the area BEFORE you stamp it, the concrete may end up drying too soon. With that said, apply the release to one section at time… the area that you plan on stamping immediately.

When you are finished stamping, give the area a week to dry. If you would like to add a secondary color, you can do so with an antique agent. This substance is typically mixed with xylene, and then applied with a sprayer. The resulting color will not be in-depth like an integral hue, but it will give your concrete its finishing touches.

In conclusion, concrete stamping is not that complex, once you understand the steps involved. However, being that it will require some coordination, you may want to practice the technique before doing it for real on your driveway or patio. Place the concrete in a large, flat container that represents one block of concrete. Follow the steps above. If you are pleased with your results, you should be ready for the real thing.

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