Tuesday, July 2, 2013

How do I protect a design in my concrete when I stain the concrete around it?

Ask a Pro

  Q. -  I have scored and stained a pattern in my broomed concrete. We love it so much we have decided we want to also stain the area outside of the pattern. The problem is with broomed roughness, masking tape does not stick well. I have thought of covering pattern with rubber while I stain outside area. The pattern has been sealed but have read stain can discolor sealer. Any suggestions how I can stain outside area without ruining pattern? Note we really want to spray, not brush, to get the natural look. Thanks!
Hello Sean
  A. -  Stop by your local hobby store. Pick up some poster board, 3M spray glue, a can of spray gloss and a roll of packaging tape. Cut the poster board to fit/cover the design, then remove it and spray the poster board with the gloss and allow to completely dry. Then spray the 3M glue along the edges on the bottom. Stick the poster board down about a 1/16" to 1/8" back from the edge. Tape the edges with the packaging tape and rub it down really well with your thumb. Tape any seams/overlaps where the sections of posterboard meets itself to seal it.
When you spray on the stain, spray straight down rather than at an angle. Instead of spraying one heavy saturating coat, spray a light coat - allow to dry and then another light coat, then another if needed. After the stain has sit for the appropriate drying/reaction time, use some rags to wipe any wet stain off the poster board if there is any. Then neutralize and rinse off the stain from the entire area. Remove the poster board. Rinse everything down again if needed. Allow to dry and then apply your sealer.
I hope this helps,
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Earl Choate, Ph.D.