Projects Home

Stamped and Colored Concrete Patio Project

This was one of those projects that took longer than I expected. I think I started in mid-September and finished in late February. Approximately 13 yards of dirt was excavated, 6 yards of gravel laid, and 10 yards of concrete poured.

How Long Could it Take?

Date Photo Notes
September 2004 Concrete I rented a Kubota tractor for about $225. It took me about three hours of learning the controls before I became proficient (could operate several functions at the same time) at moving dirt where I wanted it. Sure I could have paid someone to do it for me, but you haven't lived until you driven one of these things. I moved a lot of the dirt with the bucket and then spread it across the top of the lot with the box grader. The box grader is the most useful piece on the tractor. I also filled some holes in the backyard and scraped up the remains of the blackberry bushes and fallen tree.
November 15 2005 Forms being laid out One of the few pictures I have of the forms being layed out. I did this mostly after work, so it was often dark. The concrete was only poured 3.5"-4" deep. If I had to do it over again, I'd pour it thicker.
February 23 2005 Concrete pumping equipment being laid out 6:45 a.m. Capitol Concrete and Curb arrives to check the site and forms. They had previously checked my work when I had them come out for an estimate. They snapped some lines across the foundation and tacked expansion strips to the existing concrete.
6:50 a.m. Orangevale Ready Mix arrives and the pour is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. The Concrete pumping equipment is laid out and connected up.
7:30 a.m. Concrete mixing starts.
February 23 2005 Concrete being pumped into the first form 8:00 a.m. Concrete is pumped into the forms. The concrete is Trowelled into the corners and packed against the sides of the forms. They screeded the surface as they went, rather than screeding it out over the edges of the forms like I have in the past. I don't think *any* concrete went over the top.
February 23 2005 BullFloating The edges are floated by hand from the sides, while the centers are bull floated.
February 23 2005 Concrete Pumping, screeding, and floating
February 23 2005 Concrete The concrete was mixed on-site and two trucks of dry ingredients were required for this pour.
February 23 2005 Concrete 9:00 a.m. CC&C starts spreading the Brickform Sunbaked Clay color hardener that will form the base color of the slabs.
February 23 2005 Concrete We could have also used an integral mix color, however, CC&C finds that the color comes out more evenly when applied to the top. Integral mix also costs more, but if it chips, the mix color is exposed, rather than the plain gray concrete color.
February 23 2005 Concrete Spreading color hardener
February 23 2005 Concrete Dispersing more color hardener. An additional layer of color hardener is added after the first is worked in.
February 23 2005 Concrete The color hardener is bull floated into the top 1/8" of the concrete.
February 23 2005 Concrete The colored concrete is then steel troweled to a fine finish using pole extensions. The slabs are also being edged.
February 23 2005 Concrete 9:30 a.m. The site foreman lays out pattern using a tape measure. Then control joints are cut using a 2-1/2" jointer. Since the whole pattern is being cut with the jointer, the concrete should crack along the joints and minimize face cracking.
February 23 2005 Concrete It's pretty muddy. It had been raining several days before.
February 23 2005 Concrete The inner diamonds were cut after snapping lines across the slab at 4 foot intervals. After the pattern is jointed in, the surface is steel troweled again. The surface must be smooth and even before stamping.
9:45 a.m. More color hardener is thrown on thin spots and steel troweled into the slab.
10:43 a.m. The slabs are steel troweled by hand using kneeboards. At this point, CC&C appears to be waiting for the concrete to set. The outside temp reaches about 80 degrees.
February 23 2005 Concrete 11:45 a.m. The Brickform Nutmeg Antique Color Release is spread and tamped into the center of the slabs. 12:00 p.m. Random Roman Slate texture stamping begins. The slabs are still being finish troweled, but it looks to be done.
February 23 2005 Concrete Stamping
February 23 2005 Concrete Stamping
February 23 2005 Concrete Stamping
February 23 2005 Concrete 1:00 p.m. The Nutmeg color is removed from the borders using a wet brush.
1:50 p.m. The job is completed.
February 23 2005 Concrete Close-up, border
February 23 2005 Concrete Finished, close-up, looking west
February 23 2005 Concrete Finished, looking east. Now we wait for 30 days for the concrete to cure. We are warned against washing the surface, so we must wait and see.
May 18 2005 Concrete Finished, looking west. The nutmeg release is washed away using a power washer and the surface is sealed. Some Rhino-grip is thrown into a deck sprayer with the sealer to provide traction when wet. It works very well.
May 18 2005 Concrete A close-up of the Roman Slate texture and the Sunbaked Clay coloring with Nutmeg Antique release.
May 18 2005 Concrete Another close-up

   Last update: May 18th, 2005