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Staining & Coloring Concrete

How To: Prep for a Concrete Staining Job

Preparing the concrete job site is an important part of any staining or coloring project.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.

Pigments for Integrally Colored Concrete

Iron oxide pigments in yellow, red, brown and black.Not any pigment can be used in concrete. The chemistry of portland cement plus exposure to sunlight and weather can cause most integral concrete colors to fade.

Understanding pigments is the foundation for successful decorative concrete.

A Concrete Tree Celebrates the Branches of a Family-Owned Business

Steven Ochs Smith Paints concrete treeBeing next door to the Artistry in Concrete competition at the World of Concrete 2015, Steven Ochs knew he had to bring his A game to the Smith Paint Products booth. Ochs, a decorative concrete artisan and chairman of the department of art and design for Southern Arkansas University, presented several designs to the Brunners, owners of the family-run business.

L. M. Scofield Presents Its 2013 Decorative Concrete Awards

A large yellow pansy with a purple center is stained onto concrete floor.L. M. Scofield is pleased to announce the winners of its Fifth Annual Decorative Concrete Awards contest. The contest is open to any contractor, architect or designer who uses or specifies Scofield Systems. Projects are judged on skill of installation, creativity, artistic expression, and integration with the overall design intent.

Prepping Your Finished Concrete Surface for a Sealer

How to fix cloudy sealer on concrete surfaces.

Surface preparation is a commonly used term in the decorative concrete industry. An argument can be made that it might even just be the most used term in the industry. We hear or read about it most often when dealing with overlays and stains. Grind, scarify, acid etch, etc.

How to Create Ashlar Pattern Layout for Concrete Stain

Ashlar Pattern Layout can be Quick and EasyOver all the years I’ve worked in decorative concrete, I’ve done a lot of basic tile patterns. That’s all I did almost every week for three years as I learned to use my tools. I got so bored doing these that I had to find a way to design something a little different but still easy to lay out.

A Decorative Concrete Oasis in the Hills: Griffiths Home, New Braunfels, Texas

Concrete floor stained with orange sun raysDetails Decorative Concrete created and developed many decorative concrete projects from scratch. But the Griffiths Home was different. It contains many interior decorative concrete surfaces already in place, including floors, tub and shower.

Decorative Concrete Blooms in Children's Garden

Concrete garden outside library in WisconsinJ.C. Santy Construction, Pulaski, Wisconsin, uses metallic and mica powders from Crescent Bronze Powder Co. to bring brilliant color to decorative concrete. One prime example is The Children's Garden created by artisan and owner Brad Santy for the Brown County Public Library in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Reactive Stain on Concrete

Concrete floor that has been colored using reactive stain.It’s possible for concrete to have stone-like qualities without trying to be stone. It’s possible for concrete to be random and variegated like the knots and grain in wood without trying to be that wood. It’s possible for concrete to develop a visually active graphic patina like copper without it being, you guessed it, copper.

When to Use or Not Use Dry-Shake Color Hardener

Throwing color hardener on concrete.Some say avoid this combination altogether. But others say it can be done well — as long as contractors are aware of potential pitfalls.

Soy-based Concrete Stains an Alternative to Acid Stain

SoyCrete is also used in vertical applications, as seen on this exterior concrete wall.SoyCrete is also used in vertical applications, as seen on this exterior wall.

Concrete Crafters Blend Applications at Popular Microbrewery

Concrete Crafters Blend Applications at Popular MicrobreweryThere’s a little bit of art and a little bit of science involved in the making of beer. And when the popular Sun King Brewing Co. in Indianapolis, Ind., needed an upgrade to its floors, the local flooring contractor contacted to handle the job applied the same mixed approach.

Color Your World with Integrally Colored Concrete

Walt Disney World awesome integrally color concrete outdoor area.Choosing integrally colored concrete offers lasting color and design options with the right materials, tools and techniques.

Reactive Stain Effects on Concrete Using Household Items

Ironite is a brand of fertilizer that is composed of primarily iron sulfate in a clay granule.In fact, it was recommended that we avoid promoting this product and, if we had to sell it, that the variegated results should be disguised by buffing with a colored wax.

A Leader in Decorative Concrete: Bomanite Corporation

Early in the imprinting concrete era, Brad Bowman walks on an early concrete stamp made of metal.Bomanite Corporation has been a leader in the decorative concrete industry for more than half a century. What began as a small company with a single vision has now grown into a worldwide organization that offers its franchise partners five separate licensing programs: Imprint, Toppings, Polishing, Precast and Grasscrete.

Brickform Redevelops Pro-Dye as a Liquid Formula

With the older-generation, powdered Pro-Dye, contractors have to wait for as long as three hours for it to dissolve after it is mixed with acetone. Now the wait is over.After listening to suggestions from contractors and distributors, Brickform, a division of Solomon Colors Inc., has redeveloped its popular Pro-Dye as a liquid formula.

How Admixtures Affect Integrally Colored Concrete

This walkway in Florida was created with integral color. The integral colors used are Cranberry, Marina Green and Powder Blue, which were originally produced by QC Construction Products.Something has to give when pigments interact with pozzolans, plasticizers and other additives in your mix.

Recipe: Iron Giant with Acid Stain

Clean the slab with TSP solution and a blue or black pad on your floor buffer. (The type of pad you use will depend on the porosity of the concrete. Don't use an overly aggressive pad, as it can damage the concrete and expose the aggregate.) Do not use muriatic acid to clean the slab.Using iron shavings to alter the reaction of the stains, this recipe is ideal if you're after dramatic patterns and bold swirls of color.

Fixes for Common Concrete Surface Color Problems

Looking up into a rainbow colored umbrellaUnfortunately, complaints about how color turns out are an all-too-familiar topic of conversation. Complaints can involve but are not limited to integrally colored concrete, color-hardened concrete, stamped and textured concrete and stained concrete.

Small Stamped Concrete Project Turned Large

Stamped concrete patio with pergola and fire pit in muted slate colors.What began as the customer’s modest plan for a concrete slab to go under a jumbo-sized hot tub morphed into a three-tier, 2,700-square-foot stamped concrete patio that integrates a spa with two other focal points: an eating area with wood pergola to house an outdoor kitchen, and a recessed fire-pit area with sitting wall.

Former Janitor Gets His Start with Concrete Staining

acid washed brown floor with leaf curls throughoutCary Grant has had an interesting life and he admits that his name, the same as the classic Hollywood icon, has always been an icebreaker.

Staining & Coloring Concrete
Synthetic Rock Features using GFRC

GFRC rock made from panels that were molded from natural stone.Glass-fiber reinforced concrete and other materials can be molded to make rock structures so natural-looking, even Mother Nature will be fooled.

Floor Remodel of Craig's Cruisers Family Fun center in Michigan

Frog on the floor of the retail space adds a playful element to the theme park.Ken Miedema, of Concrete Revival LLC, in Jenison, Michigan, was contracted to remodel the floorS at Craig Cruser's Grand Rapids location. He utilized V-8 High Performance Floors products by Xtreme Engineered Floor Systems to achieve several very unique applications and looks.

Pigment Peculiarities

A vibrantly colored surface may not seem like the end of the world, but the color difference between the surface and the underlying concrete can pose problems not only in the case of damage somewhere down the line, but also just in the process of finishing the slab.Any time you’re dealing with integral color, the key to success is getting a nice, even distribution of pigment. The key to that, in turn, is managing the water-to-cement ratio in your mix.

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