Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Using concrete stain and skim coat on basement walls

Ask a Pro
Q. - I would like to skim coat a very dry basement wall to get rid of the concrete form lines and then finish with artist grade concrete stain. I do not work with concrete so I would appreciate any advice.  Also, what would you recommend to give the project a very nice finished look?
Hello Wes,
A. -  While the supplier of the skim coat should be able to give you most all the info you need on the skim coating process, I can offer a couple of thoughts. Be sure that use a pool trowel. It has rounded corners so as to not leave lines and allowing you to get a smoother finish overall. Also, depending on which kind you use, it can dry quickly, so be aware of the skim coats drying time, and finally, be sure to prepare the wall well. Whether it be with a grinder, or sandblast, or sand, or whatever, and also discuss using a bonding agent with the skim coat supplier.
   As for the concrete stain, it will be simple. Spray it on as you would a floor, but be sure someone is following behind with a soft bristle brush. Lightly brushing in a circular motion to take out any runs as you go. Be sure to consider where the water will be going when you neutralize and wash the walls down. Of course you can attempt to carefully mop the walls with mops, and/or sponges/rags. Be aware that though it is best to wash the walls down well, the wash off water will still have the capacity to stain, so again, carefully consider all steps before beginning.
   We recommend you seal it with Clear Shield Advanced water base decorative concrete sealer, giving the concrete a nice natural satin finish to it.