Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Advice on Patching Concrete and Using Decorative Taping to Create a Border.

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Dear Earl,
Sorry, I have a few more questions.
Hello Kimberly,
No problem at all. We're happy to help all that we can.
 1) Would you recommend cleaning with the TSP prior to patching the tack strip holes or patch and then clean?
    A. -  You need to ensure that concrete is as clean and dry and dust free as possible to ensure the best chances for the patch to stay in place. The sealer and wax will help to hold it down, but if the patch loses its bond then it will pop out, so there is no replacement for good and adequate prep. Therefore, yes. I would use the T.S.P. and water to thoroughly clean the concrete to be patched first. Be sure and rinse it a couple times with clean water afterwards.
   NOTE: A little extra advice just in case you need it. After you apply the patching material and smooth it out as best that you can, you need to let it dry and cure for at least a day or two, more if it's curing slowly. Then you will use a concrete rubbing stone to rub it and smooth it out, which will feather it into the concrete. It's like sanding bondo on a car body repair to smooth it out, which helps it to disappear into the surrounding area. The rubbing stone can be found in the concrete tools area at your local lumber yard or home improvement store. If going to a local home improvement store then the concrete tools are usually down at the lumber end with the sacks of concrete and concrete patching materials. It looks like a small rectangular cinder block with a handle on it, and it will make the patch blend in and smooth down quickly and easily.
 2) Also which do you think would be the best method of applying the stain with the tape, using the brush method or the 2 light coats of stain?
    A. - If you're going to use a different color or do multiple coats on the border, or certain areas, then I would brush on the border and/or decorative areas, and then spray the rest of the floor. If you're using a darker color on the border, or say, opposing blocks - you can apply the darker color with the brush and then spray the entire floor with the lighter color, including over the darker brushed on areas because the darker color will overpower the lighter color anyway.
   If you're using the tape as a design in the floor but using the same color overall then I would just spray it all and forego the brush.
   NOTE: Be sure and rub the tape down really well, especially along the edges, and be sure to not saturate the tape too much because the stain will try to get underneath it, which is why you drag the stain up to the tape when brushing, and why you spray directly down over the tape with two lighter coats, rather than spraying at an angle or spraying heavier coats.
Thanks for all of your help!
Best regards,

I hope this helps,