Lee Levig of Concrete Works shows how applying color hardener to create light and shade effects on decorative concrete.
In picture 1 we are using a drastic difference in color for the sake of this example. The base color is a very light beige and the highlight color is terra-cotta. Lightening or darkening your base color will add depth and quality to your work.
In picture 2 we have floated and steel-troweled the highlight color into the surface.
This is the finished product (picture 3). You can see the color change in the stamped surface. Remember, this picture is showing drastically different colors for this example. Ordinarily, we would use colors that blended better for an earthy look.
We all have seen how to place color hardener. But what you maybe haven’t thought about is how you can use color hardener as an accent color for a base slab.
Here’s how it’s done:
1. After you place the concrete, you bull-float it. (I tell my crew to make it flat every time they touch it.
2. Distribute the color. We use a color basket.
3. Let the color sit until moisture has moved up through the powder, then bull-float again. By the way, no steel trowels or fresnos have touched concrete yet — only wood, fiber or magnesium.
4. At this point, you have shadow spots, and you can either cover those areas with the same color or add some drama. Add another color to the surface to lighten and darken your base color.
5. Finish out like a regular stamp job.