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 ProductsCement 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. 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 ResultsFor 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 Termsaccelerator – 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 StainDo 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.
Steps to Apply Concrete StainIf 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Protect the lower portion of your house and any landscaping adjacent to the area you will be staining with plastic film.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Allow the stain to dry for the recommended time period supplied by the product manufacturer.
- Once completely dry, you can then apply a protective sealer following product recommendations.