How To Stamp Existing Concrete

Aug 30, 2021 | Concrete Tips

Upgrade your existing concrete surfaces with stamped overlays! It’s super durable, cost-effective, and adds beauty with ultimate ease.

Stamped concrete overlays continue to be a worldwide trend. They offer you the best way to improve the feel and appearance of an existing deck, home, or driveway surface. The process is often easy and fast.

But, how do you stamp existing concrete perfectly?

Here’s the shortest answer: First, clean and prepare the area for stamping. Next, mix and apply the skim coat on the concrete. Then mix the thin finish and begin stamping. Smoothen the surface, add color and finally apply sealer for excellent binding.

Do you want to know more? This easy guide will help you throughout the entire stamping process.

How Stamped Concrete Overlays Work

Stamped concrete overlays are ideal for both residential and commercial environments. They are easy to apply and come with an affordable price tag.

These overlays work by applying a decorative pattern/design on the top of existing surfaces. It makes your old surface look much better than it ever did before.

They can be applied on wood, metal, or concrete surfaces. And because of the ease and speed, stamped overlays are great for both DIYers and professionals alike.

The best part is that you can choose textures, patterns, and personalized designs from various options available online to suit your surface needs.

After that, it just becomes a matter of applying the overlay on your surface and then waiting for it to dry up.

Do you know that you can replace your old or existing concrete surfaces with ease? If you’re doubting, we have identified simple steps in the next section to help you. The process is inexpensive and relatively easy to do.

How To Stamp Existing Concrete

Stamped concrete overlays are an easy upgrade for your existing surface area. And it can be done by anyone with little to no experience in the field.

All you need is a good quality stamping tool, overlay mix (water and cement), colored powder to enhance the pattern, and decorative items like stone chips.

Here’s how to stamp existing concrete in a much better way.

Step 1: Clean the Surface

Before you start, it is essential to examine your existing concrete. The results will be as good as the existing concrete.

Check for any structural damage. This will help avoid any future problems with your stamped concrete overlay.

Seal the cracks on your existing surface. Fix any surface deterioration your concrete may have.

After that, sweep off the area to remove all dirt, pebbles, and stones. You can also use a pressure washer for heavy dirt accumulation.

Start profiling to make the surface rough to allow the overlay to bond with the concrete. Then apply an oxide blocker and let it dry for about 24 hours.

The critical thing to note in this step is that:

• Remove any weakened or loose material before installation
• Ensure that the existing concrete surface is free from contaminants that would restrict bonding

Step 2: Prep the Concrete for the Skim Coat

Now comes the time to prep your existing surface by applying an overlay adhesive (skim coat) on top of the surface.

You can purchase a premixed adhesive or make one yourself using cement and water (1 part cement, 4 parts water).

Apply the adhesive from top to bottom with a 3/8″ notched trowel. You can also use the 3/4″ V notch trowel to get a smoother finish for the overlay.

Step 3: Mix the Skim Coat that You Will Use for Stamping

To get the best results when you stamp your existing concrete surface, make sure that the overlay (skim coat) is of a manageable consistency.

You need to mix it with just enough water without making it runny and difficult to manage. Add white powder pigment for color if desired and mix well. Use a gauge rake to help you get a uniform topping thickness.

Step 4: Apply the Skim Coat on the Surface

Start by using a squeegee for applying the skim coat. This is where you will start practicing how to stamp existing concrete. You can also use a notched trowel (as mentioned in Step 2) to get better results.

This is where you will have to put in some effort and practice to get the best results.

Step 5: Mix the Thin Finish & Texture Pave

Mix the thin finish and texture pave base in a clean bucket with water. You can add more cement powder if needed to get the right consistency you are looking for.

Add color pigments for better results, spread it on top of your overlay (using a squeegee), and let it dry for about 30 minutes at an ideal temperature of 60-75 degrees F.

Step 6: Stamp the Concrete

Now that the thin finish and texture pave base is dry, you can use a stamp pattern to create your unique design.

Apply the base concrete from top to bottom (using a squeegee) and let it dry for about 4-6 hours or more, depending on temperature and humidity levels.

Step 7: Smooth Out Any Bumps

Once you are done with your design, you can go ahead and use the notched trowel to get a smoother finish. You can also use an edging tool for finishing the borders of your concrete overlay.

Step 8: Create a Border (If necessary)

If needed, you can create a border for your stamped overlay using a thin-set mortar. Apply it on your surface with a notched trowel following the pattern of your border.

Allow it dry for 12-24 hours, and then remove any excess material built on the surface.

Step 9: Color the Surface

You can use stone chips, color, or pigment to accentuate your design. Apply any of these items using a squeegee and spread evenly on the surface throughout. Use a color hardener to add depth to your surface and make its designs unique.

Step 10: Apply Sealer

Finally, add a sealer to protect your design from damage. Use a clean rag to remove any excess sealer that has been applied. Let the surface dry for about 4-6 hours before using it again.

You can purchase an overlay mix from your local concrete supply company or order it online. Make a thin mix using white powder pigment and water.

Apply the mix using a squeegee from top to bottom and let it dry for about 30 minutes. You can add more powder if the mix is too watery.

The process of stamping an existing concrete is not tricky. But keeping it simple will help you avoid making mistakes.

If you want a unique stamped concrete design for your existing surface, follow the steps above critically. You can also find inspiration from different designs and patterns that are available online or in magazines.

Let Us Help You get your Feet on Solid Ground

Nashville Concrete Contractors make the concrete construction process easier. From the first contact to contract, we are Nashville’s go-to concrete company; specializing in driveway and patio installation and repair, as well as decorative and stamped concrete design. Contact the NCC team today at 615-505-3595 to have our experienced concrete division assist you with your next concrete-related project.