Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Solvent Base Sealer Reseal, and Using Concrete Stencils with Concrete Stains

Ask a Pro

Hello Angela,

Q.- The concrete stain and solvent base sealant looks as though they have faded.  I feel I did something wrong, except, it looked great for the first 6 months. Can I restain and then reseal or do I need to take off the sealant and then restain. It still beads up, but looks dull?
A.- It is likely that the solvent base sealer has matted down from traffic. You can clean and reseal. Do a test area first to be sure it is working before doing the entire project.
 To maintain the gloss you may want to consider waxing it with Top Shield mop on Floor Wax by which is really an Acrylic Finish or Topcoat for high traffic that has better traction and scuff/dull resistance. It is designed of course for use interior though its UV resistance allows for exterior applications on porches, covered patios, and the such that doesn't get allot of standing water. It will be much easier and much less expensive to freshen up from now on if you do...
Q.- ...So I rolled it on with a roller, how many coats do I put on. And how long to dry each coat before the next coat. The concrete is smooth and coarse, it is a front and back porch, so it is both. I love the look, I just want it to shiny, like the driveways I see. Will coarse concrete eventually stop soaking it in and get shiny?
A.- Wait until it is no longer sticky, between coats. Usually a couple hours +/-. After you have added all the coats you intend, do not allow any traffic including foot traffic for 72 hours to achieve the maximum sealer lifespan.
   You will add coats until you like the look. The smoother the concrete the less coats that are needed. Very smooth concrete usually only needs 2 coats. The more porous the concrete, the more coats that are needed.

Hello James,
Q.- Does the concrete stencils work well when using concrete stain on existing concrete. Will the stain bleed under the stencil?
A.- The stain will try to bleed under. The best thing is to mist on a few coats spraying from directly above, letting it dry between coats. Avoid doing a saturating coat and/or spraying at an angle.
Q.- Does the stencils work better if used when the concrete is first poured. If so, how to stencil concrete and how would I stain then?
A.- It is much better to stencil concrete when it is fresh poured. The concrete stencils were designed for use with fresh poured concrete originally. After you have bull floated and preferably fresno'd the fresh concrete you can lay the concrete stencils and then lightly roll them down with a texture roller, or lightly fresno down.
Attention: Do Not Bury the stencil! Keep it shallow. Allow the concrete to dry until you can just no longer fingerprint it. Pull the concrete stencils up. Do not walk on the concrete crumbs that fall off the stencils. If the stencils start breaking then hurry it up. If the concrete dries too much you will have to chisel out the concrete and stencils. Anyway, blow off the concrete crumbs with a leaf blower and allow the concrete to cure for 28 days or until it has become one uniform light color, whichever comes first.
   After it has cured: Clean the concrete and stain it. The stain will settle into the slightly deeper mortar joints and so the mortar joints will be slightly darker than the stones which will let it look as though the mortar was colored to match the stones but is a bit darker.