If you have a wall or floor area that is not level or needs complete re-doing due to damp or cracking, faux wood or stone may be just what you are looking for. It is not as expensive as the real thing and some of the effects are fantastic.
They don’t require a great deal of expertise because the effect is created with stencils or stamps and it is inexpensive because it uses cement and cement colors.
Allen Mitchell, of Mitchell’s Contractors, St Olaf, Iowa., is somewhat of a concrete artist. His concrete work involves using stencils and stamps in various colors and designs. He creates wood and stone effects on cement that are hard to tell apart from the real thing.
What got Allen Mitchell more into concrete work and brought out his artistic flair, was installing radiant floor heat.
“We are one of the few contractors that install the tubing and do the concrete work,” said Mitchell.
Mitchell’s girlfriend, Linda Beck, of St Olaf, helps with the stenciling and Mitchell says he is glad of Linda’s free hand expertise in putting in the flag stone effect.
The effects of faux brick stencil patterns and faux wood patterns in cement can be produced inside the home on floors and walls and outside on patios and walkways.
While a lot of contractors will rent the stencils to create these magnificent effects, Mitchell elected to buy the stencils.
“We own different patterns of them,” he said.
The tools required for concrete work are very expensive but they can be rented. Concrete work is very tricky, it is a job that has to be done in one sitting, it is not something that you can take a break with and pick up later.
What does the ‘Wise Geek’ say?
“Resurface your patio, walkway or wall using a cement stencil grade topping,” explained the Wise Geek on his web page. “It is a less expensive alternative to digging up the old concrete and having it repoured to use with concrete stamps,he said.
He pointed out specifically how stenciling is done. A new surface of cement is spread over the desired area, and a plastic coated adhesive stencil is laid down.
“The proper color is applied and when the stencil is removed, it leaves “gray grout lines” as if between brick, stone, tile, or the pattern of your choice. Stencil topping creates a great faux-natural look at a fraction of the cost, while creating a better, stronger wear-resistant surface,” he said.
Butterfield Color, a company that sells stamps and tools for doing stamp or stencil faux work, is coming up with new designs all the time. They have recently come up with new Cut Stone Step & Form Liners. They claim that the liners enable the builder to add a realistic rough stone texture to the tread edge and risers of cast concrete steps. They also say that the rough finish can be used to add a stone texture to concrete pool coping, wall capstones and countertops.
Some of the new stone patterns that are in this year are:
York Bluestone and Colorado Flag, Diamond Tile and Verona Cobblestone among many more.