The Stamp Store to Moon Decorative

The Stamp Store’s next evolution:

Moon Decorative Concrete

Over the past 23 years, the Stamp Store has established itself as an Oklahoma City mainstay—a place known for excellent customer service and knowledge in the decorative concrete industry. The founder of the Stamp Store, Doug Bannister, developed the company’s pioneering technologies and iconic status in the business of concrete. CEO Jeff Schulhoff comments, “We were impressed with that, but I think we were equally impressed with the team that surrounded him.” The professional staff of the Stamp Store certainly functions as a cohesive unit, while continually learning and teaching as new techniques and tools in the industry evolve.

The Stamp Store’s commitment to expert education and customer service has proven to be a unique offering to the community and was the vision on which the Stamp Store was founded in 1995. The SS Specialties product line was also created to improve upon the industry standards. Contractors and customers came (and still come) from all over the Unites States to learn decorative concrete techniques and application for their own business and homes.

In May 2016, Moon Chemical Products acquired the Stamp Store. As the company continued on its journey of growth, the Stamp Store took its next step in further grounding itself in the decorative concrete industry—embracing a more recognizable name. In January 2018, the Stamp Store became Moon Decorative Concrete.

Staying true to the company’s initial focus, Moon Decorative Concrete is committed to maintaining our current trusted product line while researching and developing new products and continuing to educate our staff and customers. Our team’s desire is to invest and better support our contractors and customers because we realize our clients are our best spokesmen to showcase the artistry, beauty, and durability of decorative concrete. Our monthly hands-on training classes continue with participants creating concrete countertops, learning to acid stain, and gaining experience with multiple sealers and coatings to maintain and protect their concrete. Moving forward, Moon Decorative Concrete is planning to create training videos to familiarize our customers across the globe with the newest, in-vogue concrete techniques, as well as developing a user-friendly website that makes purchasing the right products simple. As always, our staff is devoted to remaining a technical resource to contractors and customers for on-site assistance.

We appreciate your support and look forward to serving you!

Ensuring Professional Results with Quality Cement Countertop Products

Concrete Poker Table

Cement countertops can be a beautiful addition to a home or business. These particular types of countertops tend to be more specialized and personal than other countertop materials yet are known to be very durable, beautiful and functional.  Keep in mind, however, that cement countertops do need to be manufactured and installed correctly in order to be effective. There are several important factors to consider if  professional results are your goal. Hire a Professional The easiest and most obvious way to ensure professional results from your countertop installation is to hire a professional fabricator to do the job. They will have all the proper tools at their disposal as well as years of experience and training that let them complete the installation efficiently and correctly. Professionals will also be able to help you select the best quality cement countertop products and let you know which ideas work and which ones don’t, preventing you from wasting your time and perhaps the cost of materials. Use the Proper Products Whether you plan to hire an expert or manufacturer the cement countertops yourself, you want to be sure to opt for high-quality products. While cement countertops can last indefinitely, to make them last longer than those made from other materials, quality cement countertop products are worth the extra money upfront. Concrete countertop materials including the cement mix, as well as the protective countertop coating will be of a better quality, allowing them to last longer than cheaper products. Quality products also tend to not only perform better, but make for easier application and have easier-to-follow instructions, making it simpler for you to do the job yourself.

Concrete Boardroom Table

  Pour Slabs Using the Same Batch To get professional results from your countertop installation, you want to do more than just follow all of the instructions for mixing correctly. You do need to add the ingredients into your mixer in the proper order, but you also want to plan your batches. Aim to use the same batch of concrete mix to fill in any slabs that are right next to each other. If any element of the mixture varies from batch to batch (such as cement color, moisture, or aggregate gradation), it will be noticeable. Don’t worry if your slabs are too big to use the same batch on several. Fill each slab partially with one batch (to the same point) and then pour the other batch on top. This will let you finish with a uniform appearance. Simply remember to stop casting lines, stir the edges of the different batches a bit to help blend them. For the best results when pouring the countertops yourself, ask some friends to help you so you don’t feel pressed for time and can mix and pour simultaneously.

Acid Staining Tips For Professional Results

For the seasoned professional this advice may be redundant, but perhaps you might pick up just a little bit of information that will help you get even better results. Tip #1: Acid Stain Coverage Rates. Some manufacturers claim their products should be installed at a specific sq ft rate per gallon. Many porous concrete surfaces would take more stain while tight surfaces would reject it and create an awful puddling look. Acid stain should be applied untill the surface is saturated but not puddled. A second spray coat over the reacted first coat is a great way to ensure full coverage and full color deposit. Tip #2: Acid Resistant Brush. Acid stain is designed to be scrubbed into a concrete surface to help ensure full coverage as well as adequate penetration. If you have been looking for an ‘acid resistant brush’ and have only come up with a 6″ inch tiny plastic one, not to worry. Acid stain only has a small percentage of acid and will not disolve plastic. So any plastic fiber broom or brush will do the trick. You can even use a red or green floor pad as a way to move around the material and scrub it into the floor. Tip #3: Using a Cloth Mop. When washing and neutralizing an acid stain finish on a roughened surface it is a good idea to use a cloth mop head. Many wool and yarn mops have tiny hairlike strands of fabric that can get caught on the roughened floor and leave behind a hair like residue on the surface. Not always immediately apparent these hairs will often show up in the sealer and then are impossible to remove or repair. By using a cloth (t-shirt material) mop head you will prevent this from happening. Tip #4: Sealer Application.  After all the hard work of the acid stain finish is done it is time to seal and protect the finish.  Many think the thicker the better, but this is rarely the case with a sealant system.   Thick sealers tend to leave roller lines (if rolled) take longer to dry thereby increasing the chances for things to get stuck in the finish.  As well thick coatings over top of porous surfaces like concrete can cause air bubbling from the off gassing. Concrete that is heating up expands and blows out and concrete that is cooling off shrinks and breaths in.  Try to apply sealers during cooling off time (evening) or keep a consistent temperature.  Also if possible, dilute the first coat and apply a starter coat, thin and consistently and preferably with a sprayer.  Once you establish a sealed surface you can apply a slightly thicker second or third coat.

Concrete Industry Terms

accelerator – admixture used to shorten concrete set time and/or earlier strengths air entrainment – microscopic air bubbles in the cement paste that allows space for expanding  moisture during freeze cycles bleed water – water that rises  to the surface of freshly placed concrete as the aggregate settles bottom out – to bottom out is  making certain that the mat textures every inch of the plastic concrete calcium chloride – admixture used to accelerate the hydration process, not for colored concrete chemical stains – muriatic acid based pigments that reacts chemically with the concrete color hardener – (CH) blend  of Portland cement, pigment and silica sand used to color the surface  of fresh concrete crazing – shallow map or pattern  cracking caused by sealing in bleed water with steel trowels fiber – secondary reinforcement serves to control shrink cracks… can be steel, polypropylene, nylon, etc. Our 30,000,000 polyester fibers per pound is excellent finishing aid – liquid or powder  that prevents the rapid evaporation of moisture from the surface; also known as “surface evaporation retardant.” Ask for “Eucobar” floppy – stamping tool (with joints) that is more flexible, allowing closer imprinting to walls fly ash – pozolan material used as cement substitute, causes slower set times franchise – buying territory  and paying fees to a parent stamping company for the benefit of their expertise, technology, advertising and name recognition, but it shortens the learning curve gauge rake – adjustable cams  allow for varying depths to accommodate different depths of texture when doing stamped overlays gloss reducing agent – added to sealer to reduce the amount of shine of stamped concrete integral color – pigment added to the ready mix truck so that the color is throughout the concrete top to bottom. Use in either fly ash or Portland mixes metal squeegee – flexible  Blue Steel blade used to spread thin overlays micro topping – silica flour, Portland cement and polymer. Used to stretch a new “canvas” over an unsightly floor. Can be stained and scored mix design – specific formula  of sand, rock, cement, water and admixtures suited for a particular set of job conditions. Have several to suit different conditions pH pencil – indicates the acidity/alkalinity level of a slab for subsequent procedures.  Water based stains and some sealers are pH sensitive plastic – concrete that is still  plastic is still stampable, not yet hardened pounder – rubber or steel plate with a handle used to bottom out the stamps psi – pounds per square inch  rating of concrete strength determined by test cylinders breaks release agent – (RA) substance  used in stamping to keep the wet concrete from sticking to the stamps. Can be pigmented powder or Clear Liquid Release – “bubblegum” retarder – admixture used to slow down the hydration rate to allow more time for stamping. Add  on site to implement “step retardation” S tool – used in detailing fresh stamped work, imparting joints or reducing squeeze sealer – solvent or liquid base  material used to protect and enhance the appearance of stamped concrete seamless – feather edged texture mats without joints. There are many textures available and in different sized mats skin – small, thin, jointless  texture mat, especially good against walls and step faces slip resistant polymer – very  fine material stirred into the sealer to help increase traction slump – measurement that indicates  the rate of workability of plastic concrete, lower is drier squeeze – thin ridge of fine  paste and release that may form between the texture mats while stamping stamper – cream of the crop concrete finisher stencils – used with sprayed  or troweled overlays, can be sticky back step retardation – adding on site to delay the setting time, allowing for a more  manageable window. For example: adding retarder to the last half part of the load super plasticizer – high range  water reducer admixture that provides the advantage of workability  without the penalty of lower strength and segregation from additional water. Can be added on site by the contractor water to cement ratio – pounds  of water per pounds of cement, lower is better water based stains – latex or acrylic based pigments can look like acid stains with many more  colors available. Best applied with airless or HVLP equipment wash – a solution of thinner (xylene, toluene, mineral spirits) added to a smaller amount of  solvent based sealer with dry RA added for color, applied with a pump up sprayer, airless or brush. Effective for accent stamped areas, coloring individual stones or evening out colors water reducer – admixture that  increases the workability and decreases the amount of water in ready mixed concrete

Step-by-Step: How to Renew Your Concrete with Concrete Stain

Do you have a concrete area around your home that could use a little upgrade? Do not assume that your only option is to tear up your patio and build a new one – there may be an easier solution. Concrete stains from Moon Decorative are a simple solution for renewing the appearance of your concrete area without having to start from scratch.

Concrete Entryway DIY Stain

Steps to Apply Concrete Stain
If you have never worked with decorative concrete products before, the task of staining concrete may be more work than you are equipped to handle. In this case, you should consider hiring a concrete contractor recommended by Moon Decorative. If you are an experienced DIY homeowner, however – especially if you have experience with decorative concrete – then you might be able to complete the job yourself. Below you will find a list of basic steps to follow in applying concrete stain:
  1. Before you begin preparing the concrete for staining, you need to choose the type of concrete stain. Moon Decorative has a wide variety of options, including water-based stains, acid stains, and concrete dye stains.
  2. Consider a water-based stain if you are applying a new color to a surface that has already been stained. Choose an acid stain if you want to achieve a more mottled color and if the slab is bare and never been stained or sealed. If you want to blend two or more colors, choose a concrete dye stain.  The knowledgeable staff at Moon Decorative can help recommend what products are best suited for your project.
  3. Protect the lower portion of your house and any landscaping adjacent to the area you will be staining with plastic film.
  4. Prepare the concrete surface by cleaning it with a either a cleaning product, or cleaning process recommended by the Moon Decorative staff.  How you prepare the surface will depend on the system you are using. Ensure the surface is completely clean as per the instructions supplied.
  5. Apply the stain by following all product application instructions. There are many ways to apply the stain for best results, make sure you know these techniques before starting.
  6. Depending on the outcome desired, you may wish to apply a second color, to create swirls of color for a mottled or marbleized look or to touch up any areas where the first coat didn’t cover.
  7. Allow the stain to dry for the recommended time period supplied by the product manufacturer.
  8. Once completely dry, you can then apply a protective sealer following product recommendations.
By following these steps, you can renew your existing concrete slab with new color, and enjoy the benefits of your hard work!

How to Recolor Old and Worn Stamped Concrete

Stamped concrete driveway with edge borders

When you or your clients want to achieve the look and feel of slate, brick, stone, or another rough-textured material, concrete stamping is a great way to do that. Over time, even the most beautiful and best done stamped concrete can lose its color and begin to look faded and unattractive. Recoloring it with concrete colors can quickly revive the look of stamped concrete. There are few ways to approach recoloring concrete based on your final outcome desired.  Some concrete colors are opaque like paint and will hide and color the entire concrete surface, whereas some concrete colors are stains and add translucent color to concrete, and then there is everything in between.  Generally, stamped concrete has natural colored highlights and is not one uniform color, therefore a stain should be used to recolor the concrete to achieve a natural rich look. In order to get concrete stain to work and stick properly you will want to remove any old or existing sealer on the concrete.  You will need to use a stripper like Soy Gel natural paint stripper, this will remove your sealer to expose the concrete and allow it to absorb the new stain you will apply.  Using a water based  SS rainbow stain system will not only provide a full range of colors to choose from, but this stain system is easy to use, eco friendly and ideal for stamped and other concrete surfaces. SS rainbow stain can be applied by brush, roller or ideally a good quality industrial sprayer. A sprayer will make quick work of applying stain while giving a natural pattern and finish. After the stain has dried, you will then want to apply a sealer to lock in the color.  Sealers are also applied with rollers and brushes but can also be applied with a sprayer. Regardless of which type of concrete colors are used, it is important to finish with a clear, water-based concrete sealer. This will help to protect the color of the concrete and ensure a long-lasting finish for the design you can then reapply the sealer yearly or every couple of years to maintain the color indefinitely. Loss of color in stamped concrete is not an uncommon problem, particularly with outdoor concrete. With the use of concrete stain, it is possible to bring back the beauty and vitality to any concrete surface.

Employee of the Month, Marisol Blanco

One of our most important employees is Marisol Blanco, and she is our Employee of the Month. No one deserves this more than Marisol. She is our only bilingual employee and an invaluable team member. Marisol is incredibly skilled at offering and translating technical assistance for our diverse customer base.

Going Strong

Eight years ago, Marisol interviewed on a Thursday, was hired on Friday, and started on Monday. We did not want to miss out on this valuable asset to our company! Specifically trained as a technical assistant, she excels at helping customers as soon as they walk in the front door. Marisol’s loyalty and dedication to the job are impeccable; she has rarely missed a day of work! She will step in anywhere she is needed and is often seen helping load customers’ cars with products.

Play

Marisol is a fierce soccer player but doesn’t get to play as much as she used to. Her children—ages 18, 14, 10, and 2—are (as you can imagine) her #1 priority. Marisol’s love and pride for her immediate family are evident anytime they come up in conversation, but she also very close with her extended family and travels several times a year to visit them in Mexico.

Laughs

Some of our biggest laughs in the office are getting Marisol to try new foods, often saying, “Just take a tiny bit,” or “Here, try this; it’s good,” as we extend a fork in her direction. She tends to be a good sport about this, but it takes a lot of coaxing at times. She has, however, learned to eat Italian food and carrot cake. Marisol is an amazing cook; salsa and pozole are her specialties, and she gets us back all the time with the heat of her salsa. “It’s not that hot,” she says, so really, she gets the last laugh. If Marisol won the lottery (and we hope she does), she would use it to pay off debt, help her family, and save more money for her kids. That’s Marisol, March’s Employee of the Month. We are both lucky and blessed that she is a team member here at Moon Decorative.

Brickform’s New StampApp

The coolest thing since sliced bread in the decorative concrete industry is Brickform’s new StampApp. This reality app allows contractors to use their iPad or phone to show homeowners on the spot what different patterns and color combinations will look like on location! With what seems to be an endless selection of colors to chose from as well as patterns, this app allows you to actually see what your selections look like with your home. Contractors can save favorites for homeowners, and help speed up the process of selection and homeowners can actually see what the vision looks like. We often hear from folks that coming to Moon Decorative is a little overwhelming with 30,000 square feet of ideas. Brickform’s new StampApp actually let you see your exact color with your chosen pattern. We have already found it to be an invaluable tool. The best thing about Brickform’s new StampApp is that it’s FREE to download and use. We would highly recommend you watch this video below: Once you’ve installed the Brickform StampApp on your tablet or phone, you’ll need to print or request a free image target to make the application work. But that’s easy. Go here to do this. If you want to see it in action, stop in Moon Decorative and we will give you a demo.    

OKC Home and Garden Show

A big “Thank You” to all who visited us at the OKC Home and Garden Show in January.  We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did! The beautiful Bennett Event Center was used for the first time since its construction and Moon Decorative’s booth was in this building. What a wonderful new asset to the OKC Fairgrounds. We had the opportunity to teach 7 accelerated how-to classes on DIY Acid Staining during the course of the show at “The Shed” located in the Centennial Building.  Much appreciation to our trainers:  Tim FrazierRick White and Dave Handy who all did a spectacular job relating to all of those who participated.  Our objective was to introduce home owners to the beauty and practicality of decorative concrete, and also translate their experience into confidence with their own creative concrete projects. We were pleased that we had the ability to connect with so many over the course of the weekend who range from having interest in using decorative concrete in their existing & new houses as well as those who are starting their jobs tomorrow. We entered everyone who stopped by our OKC Home and Garden Show booth into a drawing for a Amazon Tap, and the lucky winner was  Kati Saleider of Guthrie, Oklahoma. Her exact words when we called, “I’ve never won ANYTHING! How cool!” We are happy as well. Moon Decorative will be at the OKC Home + Outdoor Living Show on March 24-26th.  Be sure to come out – we’ll be sure to dazzle you in preparation for spring!

Employee of the Month: Christine Spretnjak

She kinda stays under the radar, but she’s an intricate part of our team. Meet this months Employee of the Month, Christine Spretnjak, Director of Community Outreach. Over the past 3 years, Christine’s roles have been morphing. She started out part time helping with some marketing and odds and ends. Since then, she has worked our way into our hearts and is no longer just working odds and ends.   Christine enjoys creating new things with many others including our current beloved contractors and potential contractors and distributors. She has been reaching out to them over the past 6 months exploring, discovering and striving to fulfill their needs. As a result of her research – listening and asking – Moon Decorative is now expanding its offerings to include rebar so that we can fulfill our ideal to become Oklahoma’s Premier Decorative Concrete Supply Center! We would like to extend a convenience to all of our contractors so that they can receive all of their excellent products, services in one place at a competitive price.   This last fall, she coordinated and arranged an outreach class with OKC Vo-Tech schools bringing students here to learn about the field of decorative concrete. In the past she has set up AIA Lunch and Learns for CEU credits. She is also responsible for attending several industry organizations in the OKC area such as the Oklahoma Home Builders Association, Chamber of Commerce and the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Association of Realtors keeping the pulse on the activities that involve decorative concrete. Currently she is taking the reins on getting us involved at several local trade shows, which is pretty detailed and takes a lot of man-hours in planning, as well as execution.   In her spare time, Christine enjoys sleeping and well, dreaming. Can you believe that she’s been studying nighttime dreams for over a decade? If you have a dream that you’d like to share, she’s always game to give feedback!   Often people butcher the pronunciation of Christine’s last name…. Spretnjak (think Spret-n-jack). And just so you know, its Croatian. Christine’s family heritage might be Croatian, but her immediate family is in Chicago, however, she feels at home here in OKC. We are happy that she is part of Moon Decorative’s family. Congrats to Christine, Employee of the month!

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