Wax polish and application accessories buying guide
Anne, Painter, Cambridge26 guides
What is waxed concrete?
The term refers to a family of products intended for decorative use and applied in thin layers (a few millimetres) - allowing you to cover all kinds of substrates, internal or external, vertical or horizontal.
What are the different types of waxed concrete?
Waxed concrete is a rapidly expanding market! Practical and easy to use, it comes in several varieties...
The best-known decorative concrete, it comes as a fine mortar, typically applied in two thin layers (about 1mm deep) using a trowel. Durable and easy to use, it can be applied both indoors and outdoors (with a specializd "exterior" finish wax) and on horizontal or vertical surfaces of all kinds.
Exclusively for interior and horizontal application, this self-levelling and smoothing mortar is applied to a pre-prepared substrate to a thickness of about 5mm. It comes in a variety of colours; however, its application requires some experience - to avoid lumps, bubbles, etc. and make a consistent layer in a single pass.
This comes in the form of a stain that can be used to tint porous substrates (concrete or cement, leveller etc.), again only on horizontal surfaces. It can be used both indoors and outdoors and the mottled effect produced varies widely according to the method of application.
Generally used outdoors, this technique using fresh concrete involves making imprints with a plate imitating wood, paving slabs, stones etc, to create a pattern. This is achieved with the help of a cement mixer or a top. It can be coloured (using a coloured hardener) or combined with a specialized exterior finish.
Great for first-timers, moulded concrete makes it possible to create simple and inexpensive designs using a giant stencil or mould, either on fresh concrete or an existing surface.
As the name suggests, concrete is applied with a special gun to a limited depth, creating a decorative effect. This is only used outside and on a horizontal surface (covering a concrete screed). It can also be used along with moulds to create other effects.
Which accessories can be used for applying waxed concrete?
Here's a short summary of everything you'll need to successfully apply your decorative concrete:
A large steel smoother should be used to smooth concrete screeds intended to receive a decorative concrete layer. It lets you smooth the surface after applying coloured hardeners or before and after applying moulds.
Trowels, rollers, rams and brushes
The manual magnesium trowel is used for edging and finishing, alongside the larger magnesium smoother.
What precautions should be taken before applying decorative concrete?
- Thoroughly clean the surface, using a cleaner or degreaser if necessary;
- Apply an adhesion primer, a specific type of undercoat that provides a better grip for your waxed concrete products. It improves the quality of the finish, consolidates the substrate, gives you more time for application and prevents air bubbles rising to the surface. There are two different types: one for porous substrates (plasterboard, cellular concrete, plaster, concrete screed, etc.), and another for non-porous substrates (tiles, paint, wood, metal, ceramics etc.)
Adhesion primer has another essential function: it removes the porosity of the mortar so that your finishing product will remain on the surface of the coating rather than sinking in. The first coat is to saturate the substrate, the second to give uniform coverage;
Apply a finishing varnish appropriate to your substrate (e.g. waterproofing for a bathroom, etc.) to permanently protect your plaster from wear and abrasion and for ease of maintenance. Apply two coats with a gap of 10 hours.
If you get a stain on your decorative concrete (coffee, wine etc.), no need to panic. Get warm water, a sponge and a little black soap on the case and all will be well!
Learn more about interior decoration...
Anne, Painter, Cambridge 26 guides écrits
I’m also a self-taught DIY and decorating enthusiast. I love to find and restore furniture, creating one-of-a-kind decorative elements. Last summer I completed the restoration of my sister’s house with my niece. We did it all: electrical work, tiling, finishing, plasterboard. And today, whenever I get the chance to share my experience, I'm happy to do it. Here's a typical DIY joke: ‘What’s the difference between a clown and a DIY enthusiast? One has paint all over his face, the other makes people laugh.’ Happy tinkering, everyone!
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