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Brushing up on your Concrete Finishing Techniques

Wrapping integrally colored concrete with a stamp patter. How to clean integrally colored concrete.With integrally colored concrete, color problems are frequently the result of poor finishing techniques. Here are some tips for the best results:

  • While any finish used on non-colored concrete can be used on integrally coloredconcrete, it’s important not to over do it.
  • Light or heavily broomed surfaces will give you a different color than a smooth finish, but if you rinse the broom between strokes, shake it out well—excess water on the surface of the concrete will streak or dilute the color.
  • Over troweling will cause dark spots and poor color results if there is trowelburn
  • Exposing aggregates can create contrast and often you don’t need as muchpigment because you’re just trying to get the gray out of the cement, not competewith the color of the aggregate.
  • Proper curing is important in ensuring consistent color.
  • Don’t pour integrally coloredconcrete if rain is expectedwithin 24-hours. Humidity and temperature play a role, too.
  • Don’t use plastic to cover integrally colored concrete.Condensation on the underside of the plastic can weaken or streak the color on the surface.
  • Efflorescence can be a serious problem because it is moreeasily seen on colored concrete. Prevention is the best solution for efflorescence; otherwise the residue will need to be removed by either mechanical or chemical means.
  • Color matched cures can help ensure the surface colorationis consistent. On the other hand, clear curing compounds ensure the concrete’s natural beauty is visible.
  • Avoid using white-pigmented curing compounds and those with a fugitive dye. Be sure to use a cureapproved for use on colored concrete. They are more expensive, but they often act as a sealer, as well.
  • To ensure good color results, seal with a UV-stable sealer. Any concrete left unsealed anduncleaned will tend to discolor.
  • Chemical cleaning or powerwashing and sealing will help rejuvenate a dirty, weathered surface.

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