Q:

How do you stamp concrete yourself?

A:

Quick Answer

Stamp concrete by spraying the stamps with a release agent, pressing them into the wet material and lifting them out to leave the pattern. Use a tamper or step on the stamp to press it into the material. Repeat the process quickly, as the concrete becomes more difficult to stamp as it cures. Options for coloring the stamped pattern include mixing the coloring agent with the concrete prior to pouring or using concrete stain after it cures.

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Full Answer

Prior to pouring the concrete, prepare the base of compacted sand and gravel. Without proper preparation, the new concrete may lack structural integrity and water can erode the support, causing cracks. Add reinforcement steel or welded wire mesh to the concrete to prevent cracks. For larger surfaces, stamped concrete requires expansion joints, just as with standard concrete finishes. Applying stamps to existing concrete requires pouring a thin layer over the top of the old surface and applying the stamps to the new material.

Concrete stamps are available at many tool rental stores for approximately $25 per day per stamp, as of 2015. The average cost of installing stamped concrete professionally is between $2,700 and $5,900. Homeowners who install the material themselves can expect to save between 20 and 50 percent on the cost of the project. Patterns that allow for the use of a single base color are generally less expensive than those that require hand detailing of the pattern.

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