Things You'll Need
Compactor (available at machine rental companies)
Bull float (available at machine rental companies)
Concrete (have this delivered by a professional)
Concrete stamp or stamps of your choosing (available at home-improvement and garden)
Wire mesh or chicken wire
Stamped concrete patios are being installed alongside homes across the country. They add a finished touch and attractive elementl to landscaping. Stamp details vary from natural patterns to intricately adorned images resembling works of art. Once the concrete is poured and the hardening process has begun, the stamping is a fairly simple portion of the project. Whether your home is being built, or you're considering upgrades to an existing home, a stamped concrete patio will enhance its beauty and raise its value.
Measure and mark your planned patio area using spray paint. In the end, the paint will be covered with concrete.
Create a form for the patio area using two-by-fours. Unearth the grass and soil within the perimeter. Drive the stakes into the edges of the form with a sledge hammer until the top of the stakes are parallel with the two-by-fours.
Spread crushed rock throughout the patio area. Go over the rocks with a compactor. Use a level to see if the surface is flat. Redistribute rocks as necessary. Lay the wire mesh or chicken wire over the patio area and affix to the two-by-fours with a hammer and nails.
Pour the concrete onto the wire and spread evenly with the bull float. Test the concrete after about an hour to see if it is beginning to set. This is determined when a flat edge ruler inserted along the edge starts to show resistance during insertion.
Coat the area of the stamp that will come into contact with the concrete with a thin film of petroleum jelly. Lay the stamp onto the concrete and press firmly over the entire surface. Lift the stamp and repeat the process until you have achieved your desired pattern. Allow the concrete to harden for at least 24 hours. Apply the sealer according to manufacturer's instructions. Allow entire patio to harden for 48 more hours before using.
Kimberly Ripley is a freelance writer and published author from Portsmouth, N.H. She has authored five books and hundreds of articles and short stories. Her work has appeared various publications, including "Parenting," "Writer’s Digest," "Vacations" and "Discovery Travel." She studied at the University of Maine and later pursued her writing studies through numerous classes and workshops.