Sandblasting Stenciled Patterns Into Concrete By Dare Concrete
Sandblasted stenciling is one of the cutting edge finishes in the decorative market today, with possibilities for creativity as limitless as artistic minds can take them.
The process involves sandblasting texture into the surface of concrete through stencils (sometimes referred to as "masks") to create patterns, borders, and logos with dramatic effect.
When images are sandblasted through acid-etch stain finishes into colored concrete or textured surfaces, the effect is even more dramatic. The most common type of stencils is logos, centerpiece medallions, and border patterns. Perhaps the most decorative feature for sandblast stenciling is a patterned border. Borders can be used to define room spaces and mark the separation point between other materials and patterns. Just look at the picture above - the floor was color stained by acid-etching, the tile patterns were saw-cut into the slab, and finally the stencil for borders was applied and sandblasted, being colored in a darker shade than concrete the floor to define the room.
Logos and medallions can be sized to almost any dimension, but images usually run to 2 feet to 15 feet in diameter. They can be detailed corporate symbols, intended to advertise and promote corporate images, or whimsical creations, intended for use on one project. Ornamental patterns on borders can be used on more than one project.
Creating stencils with simple images, where all the elements of the image connect to each other, can be created using a wide variety of materials. For example wood, hardboard, plastic, sheet metal, or manufactured stencil material. Almost anything that can withstand one sandblast application can be used.
Complex stencils have floating elements in the design so theyre constructed with single use stencil products developed just for sandblasting. This stencil has an adhesive added to one side to bond it to the concrete surface. They can come with either a vinyl plastic or latex rubber core. Latex is easier to work with because its less susceptible to dimensional changes caused by heat or cold. Depending on the aggressiveness of the sandblast, stencil can range from 18 to 48 mils, and they must be removed abettor the design is sandblasted.
Another technique to create a stencil is bonding the same stencil product to the concrete surface and drawing a pattern or logo freehand on it. Then with a knife, cut out the pattern. This is especially good when existing patterns or designs in a room are to be met or duplicated.
A few tips to sandblast stencils in your concrete floor: the first step to install patterns and logos is to create the desired color scheme and then seal the area. This enables the pressure-sensitive adhesive to bond better. After the stencil is adhered to the concrete surface, pass on a heat gun or a propane torch over the surface of the stencil, especially if the concrete is cold, pushing down on the stencil as you proceed to ensure good adhesion. Tape together all joints between stencil mats so the sandblasting doesnt leave a mark at the seam. And finally the last step, before the sandblasting process begins, is to remove all unwanted pieces of stencil material.
When the process of sandblast is complete, you can color the sandblasted texture with acid-etch or acrylic stains. In this case helps a lot leaving the stencil in place until after the coloring process is complete.
The popularity of stencil sandblasting is growing. Its used primarily in horizontal surfaces, but some images are now being sandblasted on walls and columns. As a cutting edge technique, images and patterns are now being installed in all areas of the country as one of the many finishes that decorative concrete offers.