Making a Statement with a Stained Entryway

When a high-end condo complex wanted to "spice up" its main entryway in front of its leasing office, Surfacing Solutions, Inc. Temecula, Calif., was up to the challenge. Shawn Halverson, CEO of Surfacing Solutions, started the company in 1999 with a focus on concrete repairs and decorative concrete installations. With an 80/20 percent focus on commercial and residential, Halverson says the company has grown every year it has been in business, even with the economy down.

In the fall of 2010, a condo complex in Irvine, Calif., contacted Surfacing Solutions regarding its exterior entryway by the leasing office. The client and Surfacing Solutions decided on creating a saw cut design on the existing concrete and coloring it with 10 different water-based stains colors, Halverson says. "The colors we chose are not something typically seen on concrete," he says. The project took the three-person crew one week to complete.

Since the existing concrete was only a few years old it was in good shape, Halverson says. However, the client requested that the mastic in all the joints match the color of the concrete it was running through so there wasn't a big gray mastic joint across the different colors. In order to achieve this look, Surfacing Solutions used a razor knife to remove the old mastic and then replaced it with new mastic. "We did some testing and found out the L. M. Scofield Lithochrome Tintura water-based stain we were using stuck to the new mastic, so we were lucky," Halverson says.

With the new mastic in place, the concrete was cleaned with a light acid wash and then allowed to dry for 48 hours. Once dry, the crew used a Mongoose hand saw connected to a vacuum for dust free cutting to create the saw cut design, which included a lot of radius cuts. "The existing concrete had linear joints so we incorporated radius curves to off set the joints," Halverson says.

With the design ready, the crew applied the base section, which consisted of using a HPLV sprayer to apply five Tintura stain colors. The colors used for the first coat included Bright Orange, Mustard Yellow, Azure Blue, Kelly Green, and Razz-ma-tazz Red.

Although the client wanted to spice up the concrete, they still wanted to mute the colors. Once the base coat of stain dried, Surfacing Solutions used a "fogging" method to apply five secondary colors over top the base colors. The secondary colors were Devon Brown, Autumn Honey, Zenith Blue, Capri Teal, and Vivid Violet. To fog the colors, Halverson says the crew adjusted the HPLV sprayers to just spray a mist of the stain over the base coat of stain, creating a highlight of color.

After the secondary stain coat dried, the crew used a pump-up sprayer to apply two coats of L. M. Scofield Selectseal-W sealer to finish the job.

"The Tintura stain offered us a great option for colors on this particular job," Halverson says. And although the job was on exterior concrete, Halverson says the stains have held up well and the client has contacted Surfacing Solutions for some additional work.