Concrete floors are not just for your garage anymore. With the recent advent of alternative concrete finishes, stencilled concrete is being used for patios, walkways, driveways and even interior floors. The floors can be finished in a variety of geometric patterns or designs and dyed virtually any colour to suit your taste. The stencilling process creates a pattern by using a heavy paper stencil. So grab your supplies and begin to transform your concrete floor into a work of art.
Place pre-cut stencils on wet concrete. You will need two people for this part. Stand on either side of the concrete surface and carefully position the stencil. Use scissors to cut the edges of the stencil pattern to fit. For a large surface there will be additional pattern sheets. Align all of the sheets.
Work the stencil gently into the surface of the wet concrete with a trowel. Apply colour hardener evenly to the concrete surface while the surface is still wet, according to manufacturer’s recommendations. Work the colour hardener into the surface with a trowel. Apply additional colour hardener to achieve the intensity of colour you prefer.
Apply a liquid or powdered release agent to the surface. Roll the surface with a stencil roller to add desired texture to the surface of the concrete. A variety of stencil rollers are available to create the texture you choose, including brick, tile or stone.
Remove the stencils when they no longer adhere to the concrete. Remove them in reverse order. You will need two people for stencil removal. Stand on either side of the surface and lift the patterns straight up and dispose of them.
Sweep the release agent from the surface the next day. If any of the colour hardener has spread under the stencil, chip it away from the surface by hand, then rinse the surface. Use a pressure washer to remove any remaining release agent.
Cut expansion joints into larger surfaces such as driveways, according to ACI standards.
Apply a coat of 15 to 20 per cent acrylic sealer to the dry concrete surface. Apply an additional coat of 25 to 35 per cent acrylic sealer and allow to set and dry thoroughly. Do not drive on the surface for 36 hours.