How to Install a Decorative Concrete Overlay

Finishing a refurbished Decorative Concrete Overlay Concrete can be used as an economical alternative to expensive material such as granite, and is long lasting, durable and very customizable. Concrete coatings can transform drab gray concrete into beautiful art.

A great option is a concrete overlay, which are decorative fine coats of concrete that morph concrete surfaces into works of creative art. Overlays are most normally applied to floors, and can be installed indoors or outdoors.

Steps To Install a Decorative Concrete Overlay

  1. Clean the area off thoroughly. Use a broom and scrape away all loose material – you don’t want to start off wrong and ruin your overlay right away! Keep in mind to use painter’s tape to protect the edges of your walls. You may also need a couple of feet of plastic to protect the bottom portion of your walls.
    Spray or pour polymer on the floor, and make sure it is distributed evenly across the surface. Polymer is poured and mixed in a 5-gallon bucket – you will mix it to approximately the consistency of pancakes. The whole process takes about an hour for an area of 500 square feet. Allow the polymer to dry, which takes approximately 1 hour, or perhaps a little longer, just to be safe.
  2. Prime the whole floor again and allow it to dry. While the floor is drying, set up your mixing area. You will need a drill, mixing paddle, 2 five gallon buckets, a 5-foot by 7-foot tarp to protect your floor, knee pads, and a squeegee to spread the mix.
  3. Pour the polymer into one of your buckets, add the desired color and mix for several seconds. Slowly add cement and mix both products until no lumps are visible. After the mix is at the right consistency, pour a 2-3 foot diameter of product on your floor. Spread it evenly and thin. A 500 square foot floor should take about an hour to complete. Allow the floor to dry for 5 hours.
  4. Sand any drip marks or high spots down with 100-120 grit sandpaper. Apply the second coat of decorative product, and make sure it is finer and wetter.
  5. Finally, apply 2 coats of concrete sealer – acrylic works best. Sealers work best when using a sprayer and applying thin coats. Allow 2-3 hours of dry time between each coat.
  6. Apply the finish coats. If the finish coat is 30% solid, you will need to apply 2 coats to the concrete. If your finish coat is 25% solid, you may need to apply 5-6 coats. Wax when completed.

For a 1000 square foot floor, it will take about 10 hours of actual work, with lots of dry time in between coats. The total cost of installing a stamped concrete overlay is approximately $1.50 per square foot.

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