Take a Concrete Class and Learn How To Install Vertical Concrete
You know about the advantages of stamped concrete when it comes to working horizontally, but there’s another exciting way of working with stamped concrete – why not think about using vertical concrete? Moon Decorative even offers an exciting new vertical concrete class called Yes, Concrete Can Go Vertical!
You can add drama to vertical surfaces by using vertical concrete stamped overlays. Essentially, you use a cement wall overlay material in order to build up a vertical surface and extend it outward. This material can be applied over wood, masonry, drywall, or even existing painted drywall – pretty much anything that’s vertical – and it will go on a bit more than three inches before it begins to sag. Once applied, it can be stamped or hand-sculpted, so the possibilities are practically endless. You’ll learn more about this when you take the concrete class.
You probably know about the flexibility you get with manufactured stone. You get even more versatility with vertical stamped concrete, because you can create the stone patterns in any shape and size you like. You can combine sculpting and carving with stamping to create a really unique effect, so if you’re a creative craftsperson, you can get stunning results.
As with all vertical concrete mixes, vertical overlays are fire, water and weather resistant, and can be stamped and tinted to mimic far more expensive building materials. It can be used outside for just about anything, or indoors to refinish fireplaces, backsplashes, walls and more. For renovations or for brand new projects, the effects that can be created using vertical stamped concrete are exciting.
So, should we get to work? The concrete class, Yes, Concrete Can Go Vertical! lasts for a day and a half. Over that time, you’ll learn the uses of SS Vertical Mix, one of the many concrete products available from Moon Decorative. You’ll be building boulders that will be used in water features, and you’ll learn how to prep the SS Vertical mix, reinforce, apply the mix, stamp it, carve, and color.
This is a great opportunity not just to learn a new technique, but to meet and socialize with other decorative concrete aficionados. We guarantee a good time, and on the full day of class, we’ll even provide you with lunch. Check out the course offerings for dates, times and pricing. We look forward to seeing you in concrete class!
Specialty Concrete Products Protect Your Countertop, Reducing the Need for Repair
You’re proud of your enCOUNTER concrete countertop, and you want to make sure that it looks beautiful for many years to come. The good news is that’s very possible. Concrete countertops are extremely durable, and can take a fair bit of abuse before they become damaged. The bad news is, almost any material can scratch or chip. The best way to protect your enCOUNTER system is with specialty concrete products like enSPARTIC or enPOXY concrete countertop sealers/coatings.
enSPARTIC provides a clear, high-gloss coating that cures in very little time, saving time and labor over polyurethanes and epoxies. It’s for indoor use on surfaces that have been properly prepared, and with its bonding strength and superior penetration, it will deliver years of protection from wear, abrasion and impact.
enPOXY is a 2-part epoxy system that is extremely heavy-duty, and provides a food-grade surface that resists bacterial growth. It’s very durable, but takes longer to cure than enSPARTIC.
Either of the specialty concrete products will offer outstanding protection, but as we’ve said, anything can scratch. If you do end up with scratches on your countertop, you may be able to repair them yourself, assuming that the scratches are just in the sealer. All you need to do is apply some sealer to the affected areas. If there are a lot of scratches, the entire countertop will likely have to be resealed.
Of course, touch-ups have to be done properly otherwise you can make the surface look even worse. You’ll need a fine brush, a steady had, and a single-component sealer. If you use too much, just remove the excess with a paper towel. Once the sealer is dry, you can use fine sandpaper to smooth out the surface – that way the repair won’t look overly visible. You could also use nail buffing pads.
If your countertops have taken a lot of abuse, you might want to consider calling in a professional who is well-versed in the use of specialty concrete products. As we’ve mentioned, you could attempt to reseal the entire surface of your concrete countertop, but realistically, this is less of a DIY project than spot repair. It’s more complex, and unless you’re particularly handy, you’ll probably be better off leaving it to a pro. Fortunately, a reseal job isn’t usually all that expensive, and once it’s done, you’ll get many more years of enjoyment from your concrete countertops.
Specialty Concrete Products and Finishes for Countertops
With all the different finish options available for your enCounter professional countertop, and the specialty concrete products that are available, there’s simply no need for anyone to have boring countertops. Concrete artisans can create stunning effects by stamping, grinding, or polishing the countertop surface, and can even add objects to the concrete for a really unique treatment. Let’s talk about some different finishes, and then we’ll tell you about an exciting new addition to the specialty concrete products lineup.
To achieve a glossy, polished appearance, countertop installers use 800-1500 grit diamond polishing pads. 5-grit would be used to expose aggregate.
This is simply an unpolished finish. Grinding would only be done if aggregate needed to be exposed.
Pressed or Veined Finish
This is a method of finishing the countertop that’s best left to highly skilled artisans. The process involves packing a stiff, wet concrete mix into the mold by hand, and then not vibrating the mix and slurry. In this way, a void is created, and with the right coloring in numerous slurry coats, creates a veined or pressed appearance.
Whatever type of finish you select, you’re going to want to make sure it’s protected. There are several specialty concrete products that can ensure protection. These sealants ensure that the concrete countertop will repel stains before they have the chance to actually penetrate into the concrete.
As countertops age, they will begin to develop a patina regardless of how well they’re sealed and waxed. This isn’t necessarily an undesirable thing, as the patina often adds depth to the countertop. Many people find that they actually prefer the appearance of a nicely aged concrete countertop.
What’s New in Specialty Concrete Products for Countertops?
We’re very excited about the new DYE-namic concrete countertop acetone dye. It’s the first dye product that can be used both indoors and out. It’s made up of fine-ground color particles in a solution that penetrates your concrete countertop. It can be used alone, or applied over other colors to create multicolored, variegated, multi-shaded designs that are one-of-a-kind. You’ll love the effect, and how easy it is to use – it takes about a third of the time you’d need for acid or water based stains, and it requires no neutralizing or time-consuming cleanup before sealing. It’s another great way to add a unique touch to your concrete countertop!
If You are Resurfacing a Pool Deck, Consider a Concrete Class
Decorative concrete is a great way to resurface a shabby-looking pool deck, and overlays are one of the easiest methods. If you’re not sure how to approach the project, though, consider taking the Moon Decorative’s concrete class, Overlays are an option.
It’s indisputable – when the days get long and the weather gets hot, there’s nothing quite like a dip in the backyard pool. But if the decking has begun to look a little rough, that’s going to diminish the experience somewhat. And besides, keeping up with repairs increases your home’s value. We know, realtors are going to tell you that a pool can be just as much a liability as it is an asset, but the reality is that a well-maintained pool area is still going to be less of a liability than one that’s seen better days.
When it comes to fixing up pool decking, concrete overlays can be a great way to tackle the job. They’re created from cement or sand blended with polymer resins, for a slip-resistant surface. They’re also tolerant of UV rays and chemical-resistant.
Overlays can be installed in a wide variety of patterns that mimic more expensive materials, so it’s a matter of deciding what will work most effectively in your particular pool area – you can create effects that look like marble, sandstone, cobblestones, brick, or just about any other building material you could imagine. You can also incorporate elements like leaves, shells, or footprints into the design.
The compounds used to create the overlays dry quickly, so the job could actually be finished in as little as a weekend, assuming that you know what you’re doing. Naturally, that’s where our concrete class comes in.
Of course concrete overlays aren’t limited to pool restoration – they’re well suited to any outdoor restoration project, in almost any area where you need to save the existing concrete.
Does this sound intriguing? Then sign up for our concrete class, Overlays are an Option. It’s a stamp and spray base class in which you’ll learn how to save existing concrete with stamp overlays. You’ll use seamless texture stamps, pattern and border stamps, stamp mix, spray base and knockdowns, and you’ll learn skim coat techniques. Check out our decorative concrete class offerings for dates, times and pricing. You’ll learn a lot, have a lot of fun, and when the time comes to fix up that pool deck, you’ll be well prepared!