Creating a Custom Concrete Finish

January 1, 2010

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Concrete maybe just an ordinary mix of cement, sand, gravel, and water, but it has the unique ability to produce artistic concrete finish that transforms any space in the facility beautifully. Newly mixed concrete is malleable and can be formed into anything. The concrete surface lends itself to pattern creation and embedding of decorative objects. Endless beautiful concrete-based finishes can be made from the myriad combinations of concrete with steel, glass, wood, stones, among others. All it takes is an artist’s eye and imagination. 

Concrete also possesses strength and durability that makes it a perfect choice for facility flooring systems. In solid state, concrete can be hard as stone, and when polished or applied with the appropriate sealants, concrete can be impervious to damage and last for long periods of time. 

No wonder customizing concrete finishes is one of the most popular and practical applications sought by facility managers to create interesting works of art in facility floors and spaces. 

Simple Tricks to Custom Concrete Finish 

Concrete applications can be customized by painting contractors to fit the specific requirements of the facility. Be it an office space, or a production floor, many contractors offer custom finishes built painstakingly by hand. The process of customization is simple and straightforward, and gives the contractors freedom to control the application process.

With customization, the desired strength and durability of the concrete surface can be achieved. The contractor has more room for adjustments every step along the way. The right colors and aggregated inlays can be produced, introducing eye-pleasing elements into any space. 

The simplest way to customize concrete finish is by using a trowel to create subtle patterns in the wet concrete mixture. Random arcs and geometric shapes add texture to the concrete that not only produces interesting patterns, but also increase skid-proofing and traction in the surface. Other tools such as steel bristles or a lawn rake can be used to vary the surface pattern. Pebbles or colored glass can also be used by simply embedding them into the semi-wet concrete. 

Creativity in Custom Concrete Finish Applications 

More complex applications of concrete-based finish include acid staining, polishing, mosaic tiling, and decorative coating application techniques that result in unique looks of concrete surfaces in the facility.

Acid stains transform the default drab gray color of cement into imaginative designs that cover any surface beautifully. Patios, facility floors, decks, and walkways come alive in chemically-induced stains that last for a long time, particularly when protected by a layer of sealer that completes the pleasing polished or matted finish.

Portland cement, when mixed with acrylic resin and a variety of colors, is another customizable concrete finish application that combines strength, durability, and aesthetics. Acrylic has long been used for resurfacing work, having excellent adhesive properties. The resulting decorative concrete application provides protection in unlimited colors. 

Most painting contractors will advise repairing rather than replacing the concrete finishes in facilities, mainly because there are more costs involved in replacement. Other areas of the facility can be affected by the replacement work, particularly when heavy machinery and equipment are used for the job. Repair work is a more viable choice, particularly when working with customized concrete that are resistant to most stains, spills, and damages. In addition, not only does a customized finish last for longer periods, it is easy to restore — with just a touch of cleanup and a fresh application of sealer or polish to restore its former beauty.

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