Applying a concrete overlay is a very effective renovation technique, especially when traditional replacements aren’t advantageous or possible. If you’re starting a concrete overlay product, our team at Stamped Concrete recommends using Brickform stamped concrete overlay products, which create highly aesthetic, long-lasting results when used to resurface worn, cracked pads.
In this article, we’ll cover how to apply Brickform’s stamped concrete overlays and leave you with some helpful tips and advice on how to ensure professional results during this type of project.
Tools Needed for This Project
You’ll need the following supplies and hand tools to achieve the best results when working with stamped concrete overlays:
- Acid Stain
- SC-60 Overlay
- Liquid Colorant (optional)
- Gauge Rake
- Hand Finisher
- Liquid Release (if stamping)
- Concrete Stamps (optional)
Let’s review each a little closer.
Brickform’s Acid Stain reacts with minerals that are present in concrete. It penetrates and integrally colorizes the top layer of the concrete, and it won’t fade, chip, peel, or crack.
Brickform’s SC-60 Stampable Overlay is a premixed blend of materials. When mixed with water, it forms white cement. Each 60-pound bag covers up to 25 square feet when applied between one-fourth and one-half of an inch.
Liquid Colorant (optional)
The optional Brickform Overlay Liquid Colorants are engineered blends of color that can be used to enhance and colorize the SC-60 Overlay. They are UV-resistant, water-based, non-hazardous, and available in 39 different hues. Each 10-ounce bottle treats one 60-pound bag of SC-60.
Gauge rakes feature interchangeable cams that can be set at different heights, which helps achieve a uniform application of SC-60 or other self-leveling materials.
Hand finishers create a smooth and level surface for concrete stamping.
Liquid Release (if stamping)
Mist both the concrete stamper and the concrete with liquid release to ensure the best results when stamping, texturing, or stenciling your finished pad.
Concrete Stamps (optional)
Concrete stamps are used to mimic the appearance of wood, stone, or brick in your concrete pads. They are available in various sizes and patterns.
How to Use Stampable Concrete Overlays
Once you have all of your tools ready, you’ll want to make sure you follow the steps outlined below. Remember—work slowly, as this project is not meant to be rushed. Taking your time ensures better results.
1. Surface Preparation
Before you apply concrete overlay, you must take extra time to prep, repair, and prime your work surface. Use epoxy and sand mixed together to fill in relief cuts, seams, and cracks. Allow it to dry and then grind it smooth. Then, top with a slurry of SC-60 overlay. Scrape off excess material and then allow the entire smooth surface to thoroughly dry.
2. Mix the Overlay (optional color step)
If you want to add color to the white SC-60 concrete overlay, you’ll need one 10-ounce bottle of Brickform’s Liquid Colorant per 60-pound bag. Mix the colorant with the recommended amount of water BEFORE mixing the SC-60 in.
3. Spread the Overlay
Dump out the entire batch of colorized or white SC-60 onto the treatment surface, If you have the manpower available, have someone dedicated to continuing mixing batches. This will help to achieve a more uniformly moist overlay. You don’t want the surface drying out in some spots before others.
4. Smoothing the Overlay
Use a gauge rake to evenly distribute the overlay material onto the work surface. A three-eighth-inch topping coat is generally recommended. Be sure to keep the entire rake blade on the surface along the edges to avoid feathering on the sides of the pads. Feathering will cause rapid drying.
5. Hand Finishing the Edges
Lastly, use a hand finisher to polish the results. SC-60 is a self-leveling overlay material, which helps to achieve excellent results in this step. This step is critical for project success, regardless of whether or not you’re stamping the surface. Once you’re finished, you can start stamping your concrete. For more information on this process, please view our How to Stamp Concrete guide.
Tips & Suggestions
First, it’s smart to consider the depth of the overlay material application in relation to the atmospheric conditions at hand. Start in any shaded areas as sunlit areas will dry faster. Also, consider going a full half-inch on windy days to allow more work time.
Next, if you’re stamping your surface, then allow the SC-60 to cure to the point where it is similar in sponginess to the thumb pad on your hand with your fingers outstretched before beginning to stamp.
Finally, it’s advisable to use a clear liquid release product and spray it on both the concrete stamp and the area of concrete to be stamped. This will ensure a proper release and a better-finished product.
Need Help? Contact Stamped Concrete Today!
Stamped Concrete is a leading provider of concrete stampable overlays and other decorative concrete supplies. You can view our complete line of products here. If you have questions about concrete overlays or need help selecting the right products and tools, please contact one of our professionals today.