Decorative Concrete Technique: How to Create Realistic Stone Effect with Concrete Stain

You can fool your audience by creating the best replication of stone that we can by using different shades of the same color in a project as seen here in a pool deck.
Shown is a Random Stone stamped concrete colored with a Beige Cream color hardener and a Rose Taupe color release. Sealed with a low-sheen penetrating sealer to provide softer colors and a real stone appearance. Installer: Frank Rusk,Las Vegas,NV.

When stamping, California contractor Lee Levig likes to use more than one color as the base color, usually different shades of the same color.

“Let’s say I want to pour a 1,000-square-foot job that’s tan with a dark brown release. I’ll use 10 buckets of tan color hardener and three buckets of a different tan. I’ll broadcast the first color and then I’ll take the other three tans and mottle those in here, kind of a hit and miss technique. Now, we virtually have four colors down as the base,” he explains.

“Then, I’ll take a dark or opposing color, say terra cotta, and apply it here and there for highlights. Next, I’ll throw something in there, like burgundy, that I won’t use a lot of and I’ll blend it in. This gives me a few areas with ‘imperfections’ that make the floor look like a real stone,” says Levig. “How many times do you break open a stone and only see one color? We’re trying to fool your audience by creating the best replication of stone that we can by using different shades of the same color in a project as seen here in a pool deck.

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