The basics of Stenciled Concrete
It is easy to be fooled by stenciled concrete. The recently developed materials and processes make it nearly impossible to differentiate a stenciled slab from actual masonry work. The stencils are made with heavy-duty professional paper and come in rolls of up to 1,000 square feet. They are cut into matrix patterns and are available in a variety of patterns. Much like the concrete overlay and stamped concrete, installation of stenciled concrete requires the paper stencil to make the pattern, a color hardener and a sealer.
After the concrete has been poured, the precut stencil is laid across the area and gingerly worked into the surface of the wet concrete. Cut the stencil to fit with scissors. Slightly embed the stencil into the surface of the concrete with a stencil roller. The number of passes you make with the stencil roller and the pressure you apply will determine the amount of relief between the “bricks” and the “mortar.” Once the surface water has evaporated, two to three coats of color hardener should be applied over the entire project area and worked into the surface with a trowel. Wait several hours before removing the stencil to reveal the pattern. If some of the color hardener accidentally leaked under the stencil, it may be chipped away by hand.
Finished concrete is a long-term, less expensive alternative to traditional masonry work. Plus, you won’t waste time pulling weeds and grass that has grown through the joints. Once sealed, the concrete will not stain and it is simple to maintain with only a quick sweep and rinse offering a striking appearance year after year.
When replicating a tile or stone pattern with the use of concrete it is often desirable to have a true likeness, which often times require grout lines.
With typical stamped concrete the imprinting tools create an imprint of a grout line but aren’t able to leave the grout grey while coloring only the stone or tile pattern as in real life.
Stenciled concrete is therefore a solution. With the use of stencils just about any pattern, tile formation or design which has a grout pattern is now possible.
The two main categories of stenciled concrete are: