Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Questions before doing a vertical wall.

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I have some questions prior to beginning my wall. Thanks, Ed
 
Hello Edward,

Questions:

We have some samples from Concrete Camouflage in transit. Are there any differences in application between a vertical wall (our situation) and a floor?
  Acid Stain is liquid like water, so it will run easy, which means you'll spray it on lighter than you would a horizontal surface. You will spray on the stain and then use an applicator brush, following behind and brushing in a circular motion, to take out any runs as you go. Otherwise you can mist on very light coats, one at a time.
 
Can a vertical wall be neutralized with just water? 
   Yes. Just be sure to flood rinse it well. Don't use allot of high pressure, just lots of water.
 
Is it necessary to seal a vertical wall? How many square feet on a vertical wall will a gallon of concrete stain cover?
   You do not have to seal a vertical wall when using the Artist Grade acid stain by Concrete Camouflage. How much it will cover is determined by how porous the concrete is. Smoother concrete will reap at least 400 sq.ft per gallon and maybe up to 500+. However, rough or porous concrete may only see 250 to 300 sq.ft. per gallon. And cinder block would only see about 150 - 200 sq.ft. per gallon.

 

Monday, July 19, 2010

Why do I have blisters in my sealer?

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Q. -  We've used a solvent base sealer product two seasons now and both times were done in proper weather conditions and both times bubbled (blistered). Could this be because surface of patio is hotter then outside temp (although we applied it one year at 6am and the other time at 8pm) or is it because we're putting it on too thick? This condition is after first or second coat, didn't make a difference.
 
Hello Bill
 
A. -  When solvent base sealers blister during application, it's because the temperature of the surface it is being applied to and/or the air temperature is too hot. Strong hot direct sunlight will also cause it. What happens is the Xylene or whatever solvent the sealer has as a base, tries to flash off too fast and it blows bubbles in the sealer as it exits.
  
   A couple points: Rolling a fresh coat of sealer on should re-liquefy the existing sealer, allowing both coats to settle back out, and effectively remove the bubbles completely. That is if it's done when it's not too hot, otherwise they would just come back. You are correct that the concrete temp was likely hotter than the air temp, especially if it had direct sunlight. Perhaps you should try to seal early in the day, after it has had the night to cool, and preferably in the shade, and in a temperature range of the 70's F, and no higher than the low 80's F if possible. If you are continuing to get bubbles and blisters then you may need to seal during a cooler time of year, or switch over to a water base sealer.
   Finally, if you do start getting blisters during sealing, then you can use leaf blowers to blow across the surface of the sealer after you seal it - yet before it dries, which will pop the blisters and allow the sealer to settle back out, and dry down without them.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

What is best to stain vertical walls and cinder blocks?

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Q. -  Shotcrete vertical exterior retaining wall being installed and want to stain it. What product do you recommend? Also plan to stain a concrete cinder block wall and what works best with that?
Sincerely, Ed
 
Hello Ed,
 
 A. -  The artist grade concrete acid stain by Concrete Camouflage is best for both applications. Here's a couple points to remember. Stain is liquid like water and will tend to run easily, so you will spray it on lightly and follow behind with an applicator brush in a circular motion to ensure complete coverage and to remove any runs as you go. You can do additional coats to darken it up if you choose.
   Also, have your shotcrete guy to shoot you a couple sample board pieces to test the stain colors on later to ensure you like the color before doing the entire project, and keep a couple extra cinder blocks for that same purpose.
   The shotcrete and the cinder blocks will stain a different version of the color you are using. So it's important to do plenty of testing before hand. Then you can be sure that you are using the correct color or colors to compliment each other as well as their surroundings.
   A final thought is that while most standard grade concrete stains require you to seal them, the artist grade concrete stain by Concrete Camouflage does not require being sealed. Therefore, if you prefer the natural unsealed look with the vertical surfaces you can leave them unsealed.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Which tape is best for creating a pattern or border?

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Q. -  When doing a  complicated pattern, what type of masking tape do you use?
 
Hello Chris,
 
A. -  The best tape you can use to create a pattern and/or a border on concrete when concrete staining, is actually a packaging tape. The kind that is a clearish looking, with the strings that run through it. You can find the packaging tape that has the strings running through it (clearish - like a plastic type of tape or a heavy duty scotch tape sort of tape - just be sure that it is not a paper tape, and that it does have the strings running through it) at about any packaging store, ups, fedex, etc.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Why do I see more red in some areas than others?

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Q. -  I stained with island sand applied using a garden sprayer in a circular motion.  Surface was scrubbed with TSP and rinsed thoroughly before applying.  There are noticeable redder marks in some areas.  I think the overall look is good still, but is there a reason for this?

Hello Sean,
 
A. - The stain works by chemically reacting with the lime, cement, and minerals in the concrete, to change the pores and surface of the concrete to the new and permanent color. When your concrete was originally poured into place, that lime and cement and all the other components were randomly dispersed throughout.
   The stain is simply reacting with what is there and where it is. Of course you can highlight with other colors if you like, but if you're happy with it you may want to just leave it alone.
   Another consideration is that if you seal it, then that will change the color's appearance as well. The solvent base sealer will make it look as it does when saturated wet with water, and the water base sealer will make it look as it does when it is damp with water.