Learning Modules

On-Line Learning Center

If you are new to Decorative Concrete Finishing or would like to browse some brief overviews of the use of incorporating Butterfield Color® Products into your decorative finishing The On-Line Learning Center is the perfect place to start.

If you don't find answers to your specific questions here feel free to call us at 800-282-3388.


What is stamped concrete? How does it work?

These instructions are designed to give those unfamiliar with our products a description of how Decorative Concrete is achieved. The projects shown here used Butterfield Color's Uni-Mix Integral Colorant, Perma-Cast Antiquing Release Agent, and Butterfield Color Stamping Tools.

NOTE: This guide is intended as an overview, designed to give the professional Concrete Contractor a feel for the Stamped and Decorative Concrete process. For more technical assistance regarding the use of Butterfield Color Products read all associated product information; Technical Data Sheet (TDS), Specificaiton, MSDS or contact us toll free at 800-282-3388.

Step 1 - Truck

Step 1 - Into the Truck

When using the integral coloring system, the first step is to put the colorant into the truck. We recommend using a 4-inch slump. When adding the Uni-Mix®, make sure you have brought the load to the top of the truck. Simply tear off the the top of the bag, and throw in the entire bag, including the packaging. This saves a lot of mess, and the bag disintegrates completely. Mix for 110 revolutions.

Step 2 - Pouring

Step 2 - Pouring

This is a fairly standard procedure. After the truck has mixed for approximately 110 revolutions (about 5 minutes), pour the concrete.

Step 3 - Striking Off

Step 3 - Striking Off

The initial leveling off of the concrete is called striking off, and is shown here using a straight 2 x 4.

Step 4 - Jitterbugging

Step 4 - Jitterbugging

The process known as "jitterbugging" helps bring some of the cream to the surface, allowing smoother finishing and stamping.

Step 5 - Bullfloating

Step 5 - Bullfloating

"Bullfloating" is the next step. This closes the surface, bringing cream to the surface while flattening and smoothing it. It uses a long-handled magnesium float.

Step 6 - Edging

Step 6 - Edging & Trowelling

Edging the concrete gives it a nice smooth radius edge to the concrete.

Step 7 - Fresno

Step 7 - The Fresno Finish

The Fresno is the final finishing before release is applied. It uses a long-handled trowel, which is made of steel.
Note: The use of the fresno should be avoided if freeze thaw is an issue. Instead, the final finish should be performed with a wood or magnesium bullfloat.

Step 8 - Throwing Release

Step 8 - Throwing Release

Once satisfied with the edging and the finish, it is time to throw the release

As you can see, the release is spread evenly over the entire slab of concrete by literally throwing it. The release agent is used to prevent bonding between the stamping tools and the concrete. It also adds depth and texture to the concrete.

Step 1 - Laying StampsStep 9 - Laying Process

Step 9 - Laying the Tools

The Largestone Fan pattern is being used here, and as you can see, laying the stamps starts on one side of the job, and works its way over to the other side.

This is a continuation of the laying process.

Step 10 - StampingStep 10 - Patterned Fully

Step 10 - Finally, the Stamping!

To help imprint the stamps, we use a 10" x10" cast iron tamper with a strong wood handle.

On the right, you'll notice that flexible mats are being used along the edges to extend the pattern fully.

Step 11 - Handcut

Step 11 - Finishing Touches

It may be necessary to touch up some of the joints using a chisel before the concrete has dried.

Step 12 - Fan PatioStep 12 - Finished

Step 12 - The End Product

After 1-2 days, or when concrete has cured sufficiently, it should be pressure washed to remove excess release powder. After the concrete has dried thoroughly, it should be sealed using our non-yellowing acrylic sealer.

Here is the patio from the other side.

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