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Decorative Concrete & Resurfacing Options

Concrete Décor

Stamped Concrete

Overlay Systems:
-Thin-Crete

-Spray Deck

Coloring Systems:
-Integral Colored Concrete

-Acid-Staining
-Color Hardener

Sealing Concrete

Stenciling Patterns Into Concrete:
-Sandblasting Method
-Stenciling On Fresh Poured Concrete

Brushed Finishes

Architectural Walls - Stone-Crete

Surface Preparation

Maintaining Decorative Concrete

 

BRUSHED FINISHES

Applying brushed finishes on concrete began as a practical matter, so surfaces wouldn't be too slippery.

As the use of decorative finish options increases, brushing or brooming the concrete surface has evolved into a fairly uncomplicated, yet versatile, technique to create unique artistic applications.

It's just like putting a brush in an artist's hand and letting him create on a canvas except this is on concrete. You pick a pattern and go with it.

A good thought to keep in mind is to mix applications to get different looks. You can mix the broom with stamps or with stains and different colors. For example, in long spans of concrete, like a driveway, you color it and broom it; then you do the borders with a stamp.

Brooming concrete is not much different than sweeping the floor with a broom. The finish look can vary widely, depending on how soon the brooming is done, the texture of the bristles and whether the concrete surface is wet or dry.


The tools for the job are simple. There are essentially two types of brooms - those made of horsehair and those brooms made of synthetic materials as nylon. Horsehair brooms create finer textures than do synthetic varieties.

The moisture content of the brush is also critical to creating various looks. A damp, stiff-bristled broom, for instance, can produce a coarse texture, perfect for heavy traffic areas and sloping surfaces. Dry, soft-bristled brooms are best suited for creating medium to fine textures.

Timing is another important factor. Getting on the concrete too early can create a weak surface; getting on it too late can mean the strokes won't make the desired indentations. Knowing when the concrete is ready to be brushed it's something you learn from experience and practice. Do the finger test: push your finger in and if it's hard enough and your finger won't leave an impression, then it's ready.


A critical factor to ensuring the desired effect is keeping the brushes clean. The bristles should be rinsed frequently to keep the tips clean.

To have the whole slab looking the same, apply the same pressure on the broom throughout.

What to avoid when you're brooming:

•Waiting too long to begin the process or getting on the concrete too early
•A dirty broom
•Too much water on the surface

Some possibilities for brooming effects:

•Changing the direction of strokes with different textured brushes can simulate the look of wood grain, similar to that of a parquet floor.

•Finishing the concrete with alternating brush strokes in jointed blocks can resemble a checkerboard.

•Pulling a lightly featured brush in a circular motion can create "Swirls".

•A "picture frame" look can be achieved by using the trowel's hard edge to block off the broomed parameter.

•A broom can be used to create curves, waves, and herringbone patterns, even circles.

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