Concrete Stamping Mistakes To Avoid


Here at Calico, we’ve been in the industry for a long time. And we’ve seen a thing or two when it comes to concrete stamps! Learn from our experience and avoid these common mistakes we’ve seen over and over again.

Attempting to color-match

Please don’t try it! Color is tricky business and photographs of concrete stamp jobs will look only as accurate as your computer or phone allows. Even then, your image may still not be accurate enough. Do not guarantee that a color will come out exactly the same as a picture. Let your customer know that what looks like a soft beige in a picture on a website may in fact be nothing close to a soft beige. If you are unfamiliar with a color combination, make a sample and show your customer ahead of time.

Picking the wrong stamp for your skill level

For beginners, an easy rule to remember is to keep it simple. Don’t pick a pattern that is complicated if you’re stamping for the first time. Stick to the easier stamps, like a seamless concrete stamp. Seamless stamps are easier because you can lay them down in any direction. As long as they overlap, you won’t have to think too much on what goes here and what goes there.

Seamless stamps are also a great way to learn about the timing of stamped concrete. How long will it take you to use a 12” x 12” based tamper on a 5’ x 5’ seamless stamp (you have to hit every inch of that stamp) and get the 1,000-square-foot job done before the concrete gets hard? By using a seamless stamp, there won’t be any mortar lines or grout lines to touch up, either. Remember, the stamp is only going to do so much. Touch up and hand tooling are necessary parts of concrete stamping.  If you select a brick pattern, get ready to touch up many of those mortar lines and be prepared because it’s going to take more time.  That’s why we always encourage beginners to learn with seamless stamps.

Herringbone Red Concrete Stamp

Laying the stamps down incorrectly

Don’t guess. Ask for a guide on how to lay the stamps down if you are unfamiliar with them. We have several Proline placement guides that can show you the correct way to lay a particular pattern down. Don’t wait until the concrete is getting hard to figure out you’re not sure about what you are doing.

Not sealing

How many jobs get destroyed by not following the directions when applying sealer? You’ve seen it, color coming up or white clouds in the concrete. Applying sealant is a crucial step in any job. It maintains and enriches the color of concrete, whether the color is integral, a stain, a dye, or from a color hardener. Sealers can add gloss, too. Most importantly, sealers preserve concrete by helping prevent wear and tear.

Not scheduling properly

We’ve heard this before. “I need the stamps yesterday.” Concrete stamping is often an outdoor activity dependent on Mother Nature and timing is critical to making that end-of-year profit. Squeezing in as many jobs as possible is key and we’re very familiar with the homeowner that’s having the outdoor party or wedding and needs the job done NOW. That said, don’t rely on the stamps or color arriving perfectly and according to what you were told. We all know how staff and inventory shortages have run rampant since the pandemic started and unfortunately, our industry is no different. Even prior to Covid, shipping incidents could occur, preventing an essential stamp from getting delivered on time. No matter what, check every delivery of stamps and supplies upon receipt and allow time for errors.

One place for all your concrete needs

Calico Construction Products is your source for the best in Proline concrete stamps, colors, accessories, and more. Learn more about our products by reading our Frequently Asked Questions or contacting us at 800-221-9469. We’re here to answer all your questions and help you find the right products for the job!

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