Imprinted concrete or stamped concrete is concrete in which a pattern is stamped while the concrete is wet to add interest and dimension to an otherwise dull, boring surface. Patios, driveways, walkways, sidewalks and stepping stones are all perfect places to add this element of design and personalisation. Concrete stamps are available in many sizes, shapes and designs, ranging from faux stone to paw prints to celestial images.
Prepare the area for a concrete pour by measuring, marking, excavating, adding crushed stone and wire mesh and finally concrete.
Wait until the top layer of moisture is no longer apparent on the surface of the concrete, which depends on the outside temperature and weather conditions and can range anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour.
Place the stamp on the wet concrete and press it in one-half inch to 1-inch, depending on the type of stamp. Stamps that come as metal plates with two vertical handles sink into the wet concrete under force. Grab the vertical handles, lift the stamp, set it onto the wet concrete, press in, lift and move the stamp next to the imprinted design and repeat.
If you are using a large roller that rolls over a concrete surface and leaves behind impressions as it rolls, roll the roller in a continuous forward line. After reaching the end of the concrete surface, lift the roller and begin rolling next to the first line. If you are using a stamp mat, place the stamp mat on the wet concrete, tamp the mat with a hand-held tamper using equal force over the entire mat, lift the mat, place it next to the first stamped area and repeat. If you are using small, hand-held stamps, primarily for borders and accents, place the stamp on the wet concrete, press down firmly to create and impression, lift and repeat.
Consider using metal cookie cutters for borders and accents. You can use cake pans with pretty borders to create designs in concrete. Add dye to concrete during the mixing process to create coloured concrete. Pour concrete in sections to avoid stepping on wet concrete and ruining your design.
Do not walk on wet concrete while stamping. Only stamp as far as you can reach.