How to Stencil a Concrete Floor

Stenciled Concrete Front Porch

Front Porch with Decorative Concrete Stencil.

In the multitude of options for decorative concrete, one of the easiest to make a dramatic statement is with the use of stencils.  We were recently contacted by a contractor and homeowner who were looking to finish a front porch and outdoor fireplace room.  The two concrete slabs were poured at different times, which can cause issues with coloring since each slab could possibly take stain differently.  We opted to do a micro-topping over the whole surface to give us a fresh canvas to start and to hopefully allow for a more uniform color over the entire area.

Grinding the concrete for surface prep

Grinding for Surface Prep

 

We ground the entire slab in preparation for the micro-topping.    We then troweled a course coat of micro-topping with an integral color, followed by a smooth coat of micro-topping with a lighter integral color to add variation and visual interest.  Once these were dry we sanded the whole floor and vacuumed really well to remove as much dust as possible to make sure our stencil would adhere.

For this project, we got our stencils from www.floormapsinc.com.  The client chose a large round celtic design for the entry and a smaller border stencil for the doorway between the porch and fireplace room.  Once we had the stencils laid out on the floor, we secured them in place with blue tape.  The tape is placed to hold the center point while half of the stencil is secured.  To do this, the stencil is folded in half and the backing is carefully cut.  Then from the secured portion, the stencil is slowly pressed to the floor while the backing is slowly pulled out.  Unless the stencil is really small, two people will be needed to do this.  A plastic putty knife can be carefully used to burnish the stencil to the floor as the backing is removed.  Work slowly and evenly across the entire stencil pressing out any bubbles and making sure it is completely adhered to the floor.  Only remove a small portion of the backing at a time, while holding the stencil off the floor until the person burnishing it down can secure it.  Once the first half is completed, the same process is used to secure the other half.

Stencil Applied to Concrete

Stencil Adhered and Ready to Coat

 

A quick inspection is always good before proceeding to make sure everything is tight to the floor and that there are no air bubbles.  For this application the stencil was double cut to allow a two tone effect.  We removed the top protective film, which left us with the ¼” border exposed and ready.  For this, we integrally colored a super fine micro-topping to a dark chocolate which matched the wood trim.  This was troweled over the stencil to evenly fill the ¼” border area and to provide a slight height difference and visual interest.  After the micro-topping was dry, we removed the second cuts exposing the areas that would get stained darker than the main floor.  For these, we sprayed a water based stain with an HVLP gun.

Micro-topping for Border Applied

Micro-topping for Border Applied

When the darker stain was dry, the stencils were removed.  We lightly sanded the area where the stencil was applied to prevent any residue from altering the main floor color.  The entire floor was then colored with three different shades of water based stain, all using an HVLP gun.  When the stain was dry we applied a primer and a urethane top coat.  The end result, is a visually stunning entry with detail that would be difficult to achieve any other way.

Stencil with Secondary Color Applied

Stencil with Secondary Color Applied

For more information on stencils or any of our other services, please contact us to see how we can help with your upcoming project.

The Stenciled Border and Main Stencil

The Stenciled Border and Main Stencil

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