A concrete release agent is a chemical that prevents stamps from sticking to freshly poured concrete. This agent is available in powder or liquid form. It is usually applied before the final troweling process.
Powder release agents are composed of iron oxide pigment. They provide a subtle tint to the concrete. They can also create an antiquing effect. They are especially useful for decorative vertical concrete carving projects.
Colored powder releases offer a wide variety of colors. Most manufacturers package these release agents in 30-pound pails. They should be mixed together to ensure even coloring.
Liquid release agents are typically clear. They are easier to apply and clean up. They can be applied with a pump sprayer.
In addition to the usual pigments and admixtures, these products can include plasticizers, water reducers, and accelerants. They should be used with caution and with safety equipment. Some admixtures can discolor the concrete and cause sticky or sticky-out problems. Some liquids can stain landscaping and structures near the job site.
When applying a release agent, you should always use a dust mask. This helps protect you from inhaling the powder. It is also important to cover the stamped area with paper or plastic sheeting to keep the powder from staining the surrounding areas.
A stamped concrete project requires a lot of careful planning and work. It is also important to follow the guidelines and procedures for a successful imprint. The right release agent can be essential to a good plot.