Decorative Concrete Tips: Creating Leaf Impressions

Soaking the leaves in concrete before you start to get the best effect.Prepare your canvas by floating the slab smooth using a finishing trowel with rounded ends.

While the concrete is still wet soak the leaves you intend to use in a bucket of water for ten minutes to make them pliable.

Choose leaves with high definition, veined and grainy in texture.

Once they are soaked lay them flat and trowel them into the wet slab. You can also paint the back of the leaves.

Press the colored side of the leaf onto the concrete to get the desired look.Choose your pallet of powdered cement/mortar colors for the leaves beforehand. We use Davis Colors, pure oxides, preferably autumn tones; orange, red, yellow or brown give a natural look to the finished work.

Again begin by soaking the leaves in water.

Dip an inexpensive two inch paint brush into clean water then dip the brush into the concrete color and paint the back side of a wet leaf with the color now clinging to the bristles of the wet brush. You can use several colors on one leaf or keep it monotone.

Press the colored side into the slab with the trowel. You can also use the tip of a groover to connect the leaves thus creating a vine/branch effect.

The finished look of an imprinted leaf adds the special touch to any patio.Wait one day, two days are best, for the concrete to set then wash out the dried leaves with a hose or easily pull them free by hand. If you use oxides to color the leaf impressions it’s a must to seal the slab. This can be done with Davis’ Cure & Seal product soon afterwards.

Viola! Your client will have a concrete work of art.

Extra Tip
To preserve leaves that you would like to use during the winter months pick your favorite leaves now and store them submerged in olive (vegetable) oil for use during winter months. This will help preserve the distinguishing details and flexibility of the leaves in order to achieve the best results.

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