If you are looking for a great and inexpensive way of decorating your concrete floors, concrete stenciling could be the answer to your styling prayers. With stenciling, you can get the look of brick or stone floors but not the accompanying price tag. Some elaborate patterns can even give your floor a Persian rug look! All you need to do is find a stencil pattern for the design that you have in mind and follow the steps in this article. Stencil patterns are available in numerous and various colors and designs. They can be applied on existing surfaces or newly-made concrete floors.
- Get the length and width of the area that you want to stencil on. Grab a measuring tape and take the measurements of the area of concrete that you wish to put your stencil. This will tell you how much or how many pieces of it you will need to buy at the store. Once you have the dimensions, make a rough sketch of the area so that you can bring this with you when you get the pattern. Some hardware stores and home improvement shops carry concrete stencil designs but you might be able to find more choices from online shops that specialize in these projects.
- Prepare the stencils and the area you want to work on. Using a very sharp utility knife, slice each stencil from the roll. This should be done before pouring the concrete. Some stencils are asymmetrical and may be cut aligned or just offset them. Place some blocks around the area where you will use the stencils. Make sure to cover the floors and structures nearby.
- Pour concrete on the surface and make sure that it is level all over. If you can, use a self-floating kind of concrete to make the work faster. Follow the instructions for mixing the concrete and pour it over the area that you blocked. Have somebody help you screed the freshly-poured concrete at least twice. Make sure that the sides and edges are smooth before breaking out the stencils.
- Position your concrete stencils based on your design. Once the surface is free of too much bleed water but still slightly wet, place your concrete stencil patterns over the areas. Begin with the center piece of the stencil and work your way toward the sides. Once you are satisfied with the placement of the pattern, plaster it onto the surface using the stencil roller. If this is not available, just use your trowel to tamp down on the wet concrete to make an elevated pattern.
- Apply the color hardener onto the wet concrete. Read the manufacturer’s instructions before spreading the color hardener onto the exposed area of the concrete floor. Work the color into the concrete using a bull float. You need to do this a quickly as possible because the color will not be absorbed evenly if the concrete starts to harden.
- Create a realistic-looking profile. Apply an antiquing agent. This comes in liquid or powdered form. This agent creates shadows that mimic the look of indentations between bricks, tiles, or stones. If you are working on a brick or stone pattern, the surface should be made slightly rough to give it a more authentic look and feel. You can use a texture roller for this step of the project. If you are working on a tile pattern, make sure that you smoothen out all the imperfections by working on the surface with your trowel.
- Lift up the stencil and allow the entire surface to dry completely. Right after texturizing the concrete, remove the concrete stencils that you have used for the project. Leave the surface overnight before sawing the control join and sealing the surface of the slab. Wait another twenty four hours before sweeping the release agent from the surface.
Now that you have given your drab concrete floors a new and better look, make sure that you remove any colorant and hardening agent before allowing anybody to step on your floors. You can clean the surface by training a hose on it and allowing the water to wash away dirt and chemicals. Apply a sealant to make the design last for many years.