Complex and intricate designs can be applied to concrete surfaces very accurately using adhesive-backed vinyl stencils. They offer control, precision and, if needed, repeatability. Stenciling is a very old technique from the world of paint, but as it evolves in the concrete world, it’s becoming very modern, thanks to people like Rachel Knigge-Bruce.
Work by: Volunteers, various cities
In preparation for the 2012 Concrete Decor Show in San Antonio, Texas, show coordinators and trainers met at SAY Sí, an award-winning nonprofit youth arts organization, last September to brainstorm ideas for hands-on workshop possibilities. They saw potential for overhauling the building’s front entrance.
Featured artisan: Greg Hyde Hryniewicz, Hyde Concrete, Annapolis, Md.
As any decorative concrete artisan knows, staining is one of the most nuanced, finicky and unpredictable techniques in the playbook. Yes, stains offer a fantastic variety of design possibilities — just consider the difference between an acid-stained floor and a water-based stain job, for example.
Specialized Concrete Artisans Inc., Waterloo, Wis.
This versatile staining technique creates a rich mottled finish that can be used on either newly poured, ultra-lightweight concrete or preexisting standard-weight slabs — or on a project that includes both.
When Ray Anger, owner of Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Decorative Concrete Staining & Scoring Inc., came on board as the decorative concrete contractor for the Scottsdale location of Diane’s Beachwear, a California-based chain of upscale beachwear boutiques, he took plans for the store’s floor from simple to spectacular. The store’s general contractor, Skyline Development & Construction, originally proposed a solid blue epoxy coating, but Anger had something much more eye-catching in mind.
If you think clear sealers won’t affect the color of concrete, you’re right in some instances and wrong in others.
The project originally given Kevin Baltz, president of Memphis, Tenn., company Baltz & Sons Concrete Services, was a lot simpler than the one he ended up with. “I was first approached to do some hardscape and subbase for a network of brick or paver stone terraces,” he recalls. “The connecting walkways were going to be asphalt.” He can’t hide the disdain in his voice when he makes that last statement.