Decorative Concrete Tips: Concrete Stenciling Vertical Surfaces

Stenciled concrete is done in a vertical application here and colored to look interesting for those passing by.If you are stenciling fresh-poured concrete there may be vertical surfaces you also want to stencil, such as step fronts or the lips around the edge of a patio where you may want the pattern to roll over the edge. Various contractors use different techniques to tackle these challenging surfaces. Here’s a sampling:

“For step fronts, sometimes we’ll staple a double thickness [of stencil] to the inside of the form. Then, when you strip the forms away, the grout lines are there. Then you can color the face with a slurry of color hardener applied with a paint pad.” – Steve VandeWater, ArtistiCrete L.L.C., Noblesville, Ind.

A concrete stencil is used for a logo on this vertical concrete space.“[We] put on a parge coat, then apply stencil that has an adhesive on the back. Or, apply a wet coat and apply the stencil, but you have to be pretty good to do that. [Then] apply a color hardener top coat — a pretty thin layer — and texture it if you want.” – John Klug, G.R. Trumble Construction Co., Florence, Ky.

“[Vertical surfaces] are tricky. You have to be able to pull the face form at the right time to get the stencils in and the colors up. [You don’t want the face to fall, so] timing is very, very critical. If you’re getting into this for the first time, you want to practice. You don’t want to try it out on a paying customer.” – Doug Burgan, Spray Pave Utah, Roy, Utah

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