Main Menu
  Sponsored Content

Recipes: Concrete Polishing Effects

For this collection of concrete recipes, we checked in with a few veteran polishers and asked them for creative techniques that add an aesthetic counterpoint to polished concrete floors. From a simple (and highly effective!) antiquing technique to a stained, stenciled and etched method for intricate pattern work, this batch of recipes is sure to have something to fire up your imagination.

As always, our goal with these recipes is to inspire you to try something new with your concrete work. But in the process of experimenting, it's super-important that you keep the basics in mind, too. For example:

  • Read and follow the manufacturer's instructions for any product you use.
  • Remember to wear safety gear anytime you're working with potentially hazardous materials, even concrete dust.
  • And always, always, always do a sample of any effect before you do the entire project - especially if it's a technique you've never tried!

 

Floral Floors Submitted by Rachel Bruce, FLOORmap Stencil Designs, Springdale, Ark. www.floormapdesigns.comFloral Floors
Submitted by Rachel Bruce, FLOORmap Stencil Designs, Springdale, Ark.
www.floormapdesigns.com

This technique can add depth and a delicate pattern to an already beautiful floor.


Ingredients:

  • FLOORmap vinyl stencil: FIG113
  • AmeriPolish Solvent-Based Dye: Midnight Black
  • Muriatic acid solution, mixed 4 parts water to 1 part acid

Directions:

  • After placing your concrete, grind surface to the point where you're using 400-grit abrasives.
  • Once you've finished a pass with the 400-grit pads, clean the surface thoroughly to remove all dust and debris. Let the floor dry completely.
  • Apply the FLOORmap stencil design to the surface, following the manufacturer's instructions to ensure that you have an even, secure transfer of the pattern.
  • Mask the area from the edge of the stencil outward with masking tape and plastic sheeting, protecting the surrounding concrete from unwanted etching.
  • Using a sprayer, carefully apply the muriatic acid solution to the exposed areas of the stencil pattern.
  • Keep the surface evenly wet (reapplying solution, if necessary) for about 10 minutes.
  • Once the desired amount of etching has taken place, thoroughly neutralize and power-wash the acid off the surface. Let dry completely.
  • Remove the stencil from the surface, and clean the surface of any residual adhesive, dust or debris.
  • Apply an even coat of AmeriPolish dye to the surface, and let dry completely.
  • Clean any dye residue from the surface before continuing with the polishing process, stepping up your abrasives until you reach the desired level of gloss.

 

Adventures in Aggregate
Submitted by Dan MacLeod, Danamac Concrete Systems, Langley, British Columbia, Canada

www.danamac.ca

Adventures in Aggregate Submitted by Dan MacLeod, Danamac Concrete Systems, Langley, British Columbia, Canada www.danamac.ca

Mild-mannered, terrazzoesque floor by day, photoluminescent phenomenon by night. This glow-in-the-dark effect can brighten up any surface.

Ingredients:

  • Ambient Glow Technology 1/2-inch stone photo-luminescent aggregate
  • W.R. Meadows Inc. Spectrum 930 patina acid stain: Cinnamon
  • Neutralizing solution: 1 pound baking soda dissolved in 5 gallons of water
  • W.R. Meadows Liqui-Hard Ultra concrete densifier
  • W.R. Meadows Bellatrix concrete enhancer
  • Special equipment: a wet-grind polishing machine, a high-speed burnisher

Directions:

  • Place a slab of 35-megapascal (roughly 5,000 psi) concrete and seed it liberally with the AGT aggregate. Let cure for 28 days.
  • Grind the floor wet, starting with 25-grit diamonds, to expose the aggregate.
  • Continue with 40-, 80- and 150-grit diamonds, cleaning the floor between steps.
  • Switch to using 50-grit resin pads, followed by 100-grit.
  • Once you've finished grinding with the 100-grit resins, wash the floor thoroughly, let dry and mask off the walls.
  • Apply an even coat of the acid stain over the entire surface. Let it dry, and then apply a second coat of stain.
  • Once the second coat has dried, wash off and neutralize the floor.
  • Densify the entire surface by applying the Liqui-Hard Ultra. Let the Liqui-Hard dry overnight.
  • Begin polishing the floor using 200-grit diamond abrasives.
  • Continue to polish, stepping up to 400-, 800- and finally 1,500-grit diamonds, making sure to clean the floor between each step.
  • Once you've finished with the final grit, wash the floor thoroughly and let it dry.
  • Apply two thin coats of the Bellatrix concrete enhancer.
  • Burnish the surface to a high gloss with a high-speed burnisher.
     

A few colors of dye, some common butcher paper and a little creativity are all it takes to get this handsome mottled finish.

Role Mottles
Submitted by Rachel Bruce, FLOORmap Stencil Designs, Springdale, Ark.
www.floormapdesigns.com

A few colors of dye, some common butcher paper and a little creativity are all it takes to get this handsome mottled finish.

Ingredients:

  • AmeriPolish Solvent-Based Dye: Caramel, Saddle Brown and Walnut
  • Heavy butcher paper or masking paper, at least 24 inches wide
  • Special equipment: Preval sprayer or another aerosol sprayer

Directions:

  • After placing your concrete, grind surface to the point where you're using 400-grit abrasives.
  • Once you've finished a pass with the 400-grit pads, clean the surface thoroughly to remove all dust and debris. Let the floor dry completely.
  • Mix a batch of AmeriPolish dye that's equal parts Caramel and Saddle Brown. Apply an even coat to the entire surface area.
  • Once that coat has been applied, mix a batch of Saddle Brown and spray it unevenly over the surface to create more depth and texture. Avoid any kind of distinct pattern when applying the darker color.
  • Cut several 5-foot lengths of paper (three or four pieces). Tear off one 5-foot edge of each piece so you have a 5-foot-long ragged edge. Make sure your torn edge has plenty of "hills " and "valleys " for a more dramatic visual effect.
  • Mix a batch of dye that's equal parts Saddle Brown and Walnut.
  • Place your paper panels at random and fill an aerosol sprayer with the Saddle Brown and Walnut dye mixture.
  • Position the sprayer above the paper and spray out towards the torn edge. Spray at an acute angle (close to 0 degrees), letting the dye settle out over the concrete surface. This approach will give your colors a nice, natural-looking gradient.
  • Pick up the paper panels, rearrange them, and repeat the dye process. Make sure you vary the angles and positions of the paper often to ensure a random, nonrepetitive pattern.
  • Once you've achieved the desired pattern, let the surface dry thoroughly.
  • Clean any dye residue from the surface before continuing with the polishing process, stepping up your abrasives until you reach the desired level of gloss.

 

Easy Antiquing
Submitted by David Stephenson, American Concrete Concepts Inc., Springdale, Ark.
www.acci-us.com

Ideal for distressed floors with lots of cracks, pits, chips or gouges, this versatile technique can be used to turn a fixer-upper into a masterpiece.

Ideal for distressed floors with lots of cracks, pits, chips or gouges, this versatile technique can be used to turn a fixer-upper into a masterpiece.

Ingredients:

  • Prosoco Consolideck LS, Ashford Retroplate 99, AmeriPolish SureLock Densifier, or your preferred densifier
  • Prosoco Consolideck LS Guard, Ashford Retro Guard, AmeriPolish SureLock Stain Protector, or your preferred semitopical stain protector
  • AmeriPolish Water-Based Dye: Walnut or Midnight Black
  • Special equipment: pump sprayer, soft-bristled broom, shop-vac with squeegee attachment, high-speed burnisher

Directions:

  • Grind your surface to the point where you're ready to densify, then apply your densifier of choice. You can also choose to add base colors or any detail work to your slab at this point.
  • After you've finished coloring, detailing and densifying, polish the floor to a 1,500-grit shine.
  • After cleaning the surface, apply an even coat of your stain protection. Let it cure thoroughly.
  • Mix enough AmeriPolish dye to spray-coat your entire slab liberally. Depending on your color scheme, you can use the Walnut (for an earthier look to your highlights) or Midnight Black (for a starker contrast). (You could, technically, use any available color for this step, but experience has taught us that only Walnut and Midnight Black achieve the contrast necessary for this technique to work.)
  • This next step of the process should move fairly quickly, as the dye should only sit on your surface for a few minutes. (If your color sits any longer it will start to change the base color slightly as it soaks into the slab and migrates.)
    Spray out your dye and broom it if necessary to ensure even coverage. Make sure that any large defects are colored well.
  • Let the dye sit for 2 to 5 minutes and then shop-vac all the color off the floor. Because of the initial coat of stain protection, the only areas that will take color will be the cracks, chips, pits and score lines, which will give the floor the gorgeous, antique-looking patina we're after.
  • Once you have all the dye residue cleaned off with your shop-vac, there will still be a slight haze on the polished surface. This is best removed with a burnisher and a good burnishing pad.
  • As a final step, to protect the newly dyed areas from collecting dirt, apply another coat of stain protection, let it cure, and then burnish the surface again to finish. he polished surface. This is best removed with a burnisher and a good burnishing pad.

Related Content

Secrets of Better Concrete Stenciling

finished product of stenciled concreteTo enhance newly-poured concrete or to rejuvenate existing concrete, stenciling is a decorative application worth considering. It may seem like a simple process, but a few fine points separate nice-looking, profitable stencil jobs from the rest. We’ve asked some experienced stencilers for tips to elevate your stenciling jobs from so-so to spectacular.

How to Apply Color and Eye Catching Design to Polished Concrete Floors

A rounded corrugated roofing material enhances the Curvy border in green colored polished concrete floor designed from using graphic tape when apply the concrete color. Graphic design can be produced before or after the full curing of the slab, utilizing saw cuts, specialty tape, stamping or stenciling. In this article we will focus on the methods used following a full cure, in conjunction with acid stains and acetone-based dyes.

Stenciling Existing Concrete

Stenciling floors or objects is a fun, rewarding artwork form with almost immediate gratification.A look at sandblasting, stenciled overlays and the new gelled-acid etching techniques.

  Advertisement












Top