What is concrete engraving?
It’s cutting a pattern INTO the surface of concrete. It does not require an overlay or topping, and it is not stamped concrete that puts the image on TOP of the concrete and is subject to chipping off. There are unlimited patterns that can be cut into concrete. This kit focuses on cutting a flagstone pattern.
What if my concrete is cracked and has lots of blemishes in it?
Cracks and other blemishes are easy to camouflage in a flagstone pattern. Often ugly concrete makes the most realistic looking stones. Natural stone is seldom perfect.
What if my concrete has oil stains or greasy spots?
These areas will need treatment with a degreaser. We suggest Concrete Resurrection Degreaser because it is specially formulated for this purpose. Test to be sure the grease/oil is completely gone by sprinkling some water on the spot. Beading of the water indicates the grease is still there.
What will my concrete look like after it’s stained?
The variegated, mottled look of acid stained concrete goes perfectly with a flagstone pattern and looks like it was created by Mother Nature herself.
No two slabs of concrete will color exactly the same due to the makeup of the concrete itself, its age and its condition. Your concrete may turn out a slightly different shade than your neighbor’s for instance, even though you used the same color stain.
Why do I need to pressure wash my concrete so thoroughly before beginning? Isn’t that a waste of time?
Surface preparation is the least enjoyable part of this project, but it is essential to the success of the job. Your concrete has tiny pores that are filled with dust, dirt, debris – all kinds of contaminants. For the stain to react properly, these pores must be open and ready to receive the stain.
Why do I need an air compressor?
The Piranha concrete engraving tool is powered by compressed air. The Piranha requires 5CFM @90PSI to run effectively.
How long does the acid stain need to stay on the concrete to color it properly?
Apply the acid stain as directed and wait AT LEAST 4 HOURS before you neutralize it with the ammonia. The acid MUST have time to react with the concrete, so don’t rush this part of the process. Leaving it longer generally does not make the color stronger, but it won’t harm the concrete to leave it as long as overnight if that fits your schedule better.
My concrete isn’t looking like the color I wanted. Why?
Have you neutralized and washed it? You will not see the real color of your concrete until you’ve completed the four-step process of clean/stain/neutralize/wash, and while your concrete is still wet.
I applied the stain as directed but when I neutralized/washed the concrete, the color seemed to come off. What happened?
Don’t panic! The color you thought was washing off is just residue and needs to be washed away. The color your concrete looks after you wash it and while it is still wet is approximately the color it will be after you apply the sealer. Sealer brings out the color and gives it life.
CAUTION: Be sure to use a wet vac to clean up the water/ammonia as you neutralize and wash the concrete. The ammonia/water can damage/color other surfaces and kill vegetation.
Is acid stain dangerous to use?
You should always take proper safety precautions when you use acid stain, including but not limited to safety glasses, protective clothing and rubber gloves. Acid stain can cause skin and eye burns, and vapors should not be inhaled. Read the container label and the Owner’s Manual for more safety information before you begin your project.
Caution! Be sure to protect adjacent surfaces and vegetation when applying stain. Overspray and runoff will color any surface they come in contact with and may kill vegetation.
What are the sticks of soapstone for?
Use the soapstone sticks to mark around your templates as you lay out your design. Soapstone easily washes off, but other marking methods may leave permanent marks on your concrete. Use only soapstone!
Do you have any hints for making my pattern look great?
Real flagstone comes in lots of sizes and shapes. To make your design authentic looking, we suggest that you vary the positions of your templates and the sizes of your grout lines as you lay out the design. Give the templates a twist or a turn so you get a variety. You can change the size of your stone shapes by using only part of the template outline. You'll see these ideas in practice on the video.
Do I have to put the sealer on my flagstone project?
Technically the answer is no, but we highly recommend that you apply the sealer and that is why we include it in the kit. Sealer will bring out the color and pattern in your project, enhancing its beauty. More importantly, it will protect your newly transformed concrete from traffic and weather elements.
What kind of maintenance is required?
Maintenance depends a great deal on the location of your project and your climate. We suggest rinsing off your concrete occasionally because dirt and debris act as abrasives when walked on. Usually applying a coat of sealer once every year or two will keep your concrete looking its best. If conditions are harsh, or if you use ice/snow melt chemicals on it, then you may need to seal more often.
Can I use my Flagstone Kit indoors?
The Flagstone Kit, the Instructional DVD and the Owner’s Manual are specifically prepared for exterior concrete. Interior jobs require different cleaning methods, products and techniques. Do not use Outside Acrylic Sealer for interior projects!