Painting Concrete Statues
is fairly easy to do using a good quality latex paint. The first coat of paint though needs to be thinned down until it's almost a pastel color. The concrete will soak up this first thin coat and it will act as a primer coat or bonding coat after this you can apply paints as you normally would without. Concrete can be sealed with any quality concrete sealer. Check out Direct Colors for Concrete Sealer or Acid Stain.
Pouring and ABS Concrete Mold
is very easy to do, first you take your concrete mold and apply a thin coat of vegetable oil, make sure to wipe down the mold when you are done applying the oil as you do not want any puddles of oil left in the mold you only want a light coat of oil to release the concrete. Then take your concrete mix and slowly pour in enough just to cover the bottom, move the mold around some making sure that all of the letters or the bottom has been covered, after this continue filling your mold until it is half full, if you are pouring a bench mold this is when you will add your wire or rebar. Wire or rebar should be coated or painted in some manner, as rusty rebar or wire will shorten the life of your concrete bench. Once your wire is in place continue filling the mold until it is full and drag off the top flat. Make sure there is no wire or rebar sticking out of the concrete and cover your mold until cured. In warmer temperatures normally you can remove the casting the next day, if it is cold weather you may want to wait 2 to 3 days before removing the casting from the mold.
How to use Acid Stain for Concrete Statues.
Acid stain is quick and easy to use. First the statue must be clean and free of any oil from casting, then using a brush or a sprayer you can apply your acid stain to the concrete statue. Make sure when applying the acid stain the acid will streak the statue if any runs go down the side and no matter how many coats you add afterwards you cannot get rid of the streaking so by starting at the bottom and working your way to the top you will have a much better looking statue. Once you have applied the acid staying let it sit for at least six hours. Once the acid stain has dried you will need to wash the residue off with a soap and water and rinse thoroughly. Once the statue has air dried you can now apply sealer. You must use a sealer over the acid stain, as the sealer is what brings out the true colors of the acid stain. When applying the acid stain and sealer you should wear rubber gloves and eye protection and make sure to wear old clothing as the acid stain will also stain your clothes. We buy our acid stains from Direct Colors.com and if you're not sure what color you want they also sell small sample size bottles.
How to mix concrete.
The most common mix for making your own concrete is probably the one two three mix. Which means just what it says, one part Portland cement, two parts sand and up to three parts small gravel. If you are pouring smaller statues you will use less gravel. Sand should be a Sharp or a River Sand the River Sand will have some small gravel in it. Almost any sand will work, but you do not want to use a place sand as it has been polished. Gravel should be Pea sized or smaller. This is just a basic mix to get you started, as you start four more statues you will find the mix that works for you. You won't your mix to have just enough water to make it pourable but not runny, as too much water will make concrete weak, but to dry of a mix and your statues will have lots of air holes in them. Casting statues is like anything else, the more you do it the better you will get at doing it. There are also water reducers that you can use to help improve your mix and to make your mix more fluid and also improve the strength of your concrete. You can find a short video of this in the info section under plasticizer. As I said before, this is just a starting point, should you need more help or have questions please feel free to email me or call me.If you are using pre-mixed concrete, then you will just be adding water. So for this mix you just need something to mix it in and add water, following the same rules as above try not to get too much water. You want the mix to be about like oatmeal consistency. I hope to add a few videos this spring about mixing and pouring molds, so keep checking back for more info.