HOW TO STENCIL CONCRETE - Stenciling concrete is a great way to make the surface far more attractive. Concrete is not the most attractive looking material, although many people are adding dyes and additives to concrete and polishing techniques to make it more attractive. Applying a stencil pattern is easy and will certainly brighten up the appearance and it is fun and fairly inexpensive and will create a unique look to your concrete. In this guide we’ll show you how you can stencil concrete the easy way.
Stencils for concrete come in a variety of patterns, for instance you can purchase one that will look like cobblestones, stone paving or brick blocks when finished. Stencils also come in a variety of sizes however if you are going to stencil large areas, such as paths, patios or a driveway then purchasing the stencil on a roll allows you to cover large areas in one application. These stencils are made up of paper with a plastic coating and can easily be trimmed to fit, using a Stanley or Craft knife.
Concrete is a pretty dull color but you can add a dye to brighten this up. You can actually apply a stencil to concrete that is already in place and hardened by applying the stencil and then Spray Color the pattern.
Apply the stencil to the wet surface and trim off any excess as required. Leave the stencil in the concrete and allow the concrete to cure completely. Curing concrete, especially large areas, should be done by keeping the surface wet and with a film of water on the surface throughout the drying time. You can do this by taking a garden hose and a sprinkler head and setting this to a fine mist. Concrete, when wet is dark gray in color and turns a lighter gray when curing. When the concrete is fully cured (dried) it will appear as a light dusty gray – unless you have added a color dye. You could leave the concrete, with the stencil in place, for at least 3-4 days.
Once the concrete is fully hardened you can carefully peel away the stencil. You can now discard the stencil as it is only designed for a one time application. You may find that you’ll need to touch up areas to make it all look even. Now that you have your stenciled concrete you can apply a sealant. A sealant will help protect the concrete from stains, especially oil if it’s on a driveway. Acrylic based sealants work well as they do allow the concrete to breath and any moisture evaporate over the next few months.