Tips and Techniques for Working with Metallic Epoxy
If you have ever spent time on a DIY website, or a design based television program, you have probably come across decorative concrete. The popularity of decorative concrete continues to grow as people are bringing custom and unique designs into their homes and businesses. There are always new products and innovations making their way into the industry, and new technologies offer home and business owners a spark of creativity in design. The newest of technologies in the decorative concrete industry is really making a statement and we are seeing it more and more in the design community. If you are going for a unique and upscale look for your flooring, consider finishing your concrete flooring with a metallic epoxy coating.
What Is Metallic Epoxy?
Metallic epoxy is one of many options available for finishing a concrete floor. This type of coating utilizes a clear polyaspartic or epoxy base that is applied over the concrete slab. A metallic powder is then applied and manipulated into the desired pattern. Metallic epoxy coatings give the concrete a glossy shine and can give your flooring a unique three-dimensional appearance. With metallic epoxy, you can achieve the illusion of ripples, craters, and waves. The best part about metallic epoxy coatings is that no two are alike – your floor will be unique.
Tips for Using Metallic Epoxy
Before applying a metallic epoxy coating, the concrete flooring must be fully cured and properly cleaned. When the surface is ready, the clear epoxy or polyaspartic base is applied over the entire surface. Next, the metallic powder is added onto the surface – it can be poured out in lines from a small bucket or a watering can could be used for greater control. A squeegee trowel is used to manipulate the metallic powder into the desired pattern. If multiple colors are chosen, the colors can be poured out in opposite directions – being careful not to pour one on top of the other.
When it comes to manipulating any metallic epoxy, there are many techniques to choose from. One option is to simply apply the first color in a solid coating then dip the squeegee into the second color and apply it in brush strokes. The one-stroke backroll technique is a great way to blend multiple colors and will give a floor an acid stain look. Another option is to wait for the epoxy coating to get tacky, then apply some kind of solvent, like xylene or denatured alcohol, to create illusions, like a ripple effect. You can even use a blowtorch or a leaf blower to manipulate the metallic epoxy. You are only limited by your own imagination.
Plain concrete floors can be boring and bland. Fortunately, the new innovations in decorative concrete design are still being created, and there are many options for coatings to add color, texture, and intrigue. For a concrete floor that will command attention and set your home or business apart from all the rest, consider finishing your floor with a metallic epoxy coating.
Tips for Cleaning a Concrete Slab Before Applying Concrete Acid Stains
If you are looking for an economical and unique way to upgrade your concrete flooring or simply want to give your space a little added color, concrete acid stains may be the way to go. Replacing a concrete slab can be prohibitively expensive, but revamping it is not. If you plan to apply a stain, however, you will first need to clean and prepare the concrete to ensure adhesion.
Cleaning Concrete for Concrete Acid Stains
Whether you are a DIY homeowner or a concrete contractor, you need to follow the proper steps to clean and prepare a concrete slab before applying your acid stain. If you do not prepare the slab, the stain will not take properly and you could be left with uneven color or no color at all. Before you start preparing the slab for an acid stain application, take note that you must not use any kind of acid wash or acid-etching solution – if you do, the concrete acid stain will not take at all and you will have done all that work for nothing.
One product that is used in the industry a lot to clean an older concrete slab is a trisodium phosphate (TSP) solution. Apply the solution to the concrete slab and then use a long-handled scrub brush or rotary floor machine with a nylo-grit scrub pad to work it into the concrete. Any heavy mastics can be removed by scraping with a putty knife or applying a poultice solution made of fly-ash and denatured alcohol, and grease stains may be treated with chemical strippers, or degreasers. Give the entire floor a final rinse to ensure removal of any residue. Keep in mind that even if you do thoroughly clean the entire slab, you might be left with patches that have lower lime content – those patches might not take the stain, so you’ll have to apply a faux finish to match the concrete stain on the rest of the slab. It is always best to test a small area first before applying the solutions to the entire floor. Always read labels and follow directions for the products you are using.
Once you have thoroughly cleaned your older concrete slab, you can apply the concrete stain of your choice. For high-quality concrete stains that add depth, richness, and color to your concrete flooring, make Moon Decorative your first stop.
The Decorative Concrete Products You Choose Do Matter
Whether you are installing a new floor, building a pool deck, or revamping an old concrete surface, decorative concrete products are the way to go. The beauty of decorative concrete is that it is highly customizable – especially in comparison to premium materials – and it is both durable and versatile. With so many options, however, you need to be careful about selecting the right decorative concrete products for your project.
Types of Decorative Concrete
Both concrete contractors and homeowners alike can benefit from the wide array of decorative concrete materials available from Moon Decorative. If you are thinking about upgrading your worn-out concrete flooring, adding a decorative concrete overlay might be a good option. When installing the overlay, you have the option to add texture with a stamp or add color with a stain or dye. Stamped concrete can be customized to mimic the appearance of premium building materials, like brick and flagstone, as long as you choose the right stamp for the job’s requirements.
In addition to being mindful about choosing the right texture for your concrete overlay surface, you also have to think about color. When it comes to coloring concrete, you can choose an acid stain, a water-based stain, a concrete dye, or an epoxy coating. It might seem like any of these options would work, but it does matter which one you choose. Water-based stains are best for non-reactive surfaces in areas that require low VOCs. Acid stains offer a greater depth of color and texture, but they are more difficult to apply. Concrete dyes can be used inside or outside, and they can be applied one on top of the other to achieve a variety of looks and colors.
The type of decorative concrete product you choose will have an impact on the outcome of your project, so educate yourself about the options and then select the one that is best suited to the job.
Recoloring Stamped Concrete Projects
Tips for recoloring and re-sealing stamped concrete
Concrete is highly versatile – you can apply stamps to give your concrete flooring the texture you want. Stamped concrete will last for many years, and it is highly durable and easy to maintain. Before or even after your stamped concrete starts to wear out, you won’t have to replace it – you can rejuvenate it simply by recoloring it and re-sealing it.
The method for recoloring stamped concrete is fairly simple, but you may still want to contact a qualified concrete expert. Because different portions of your stamped concrete surface may have aged differently, you do not want to start off by staining the entire surface. If you do, some parts of the surface may take the stain differently than others. Your best bet is to apply a tinted base coat to even things out and then to apply a second coat in a contrasting color. This process will result in a uniform look in terms of both color and pattern. After applying both coats, you can then finish the surface with a clear sealer or lightly tinted sealer.
Just because your concrete surface is worn out or discolored doesn’t mean that you have to replace it. Recoloring stamped concrete is a much more affordable and efficient option.