Release powder is a type of coloring agent that helps the concrete stamping process. It creates a moisture barrier between the stamping tools and the freshly placed concrete, which allows them to separate easily without creating “puckers” that detract from the final stamped look.
It can also be used as an antiquing additive to give a finished product an antique effect that adds depth and dimension. It can be tinted for a more realistic appearance, and the dark pigment in release powder will settle in the lower recesses of patterns, like grout lines, to create a shadow-effect that makes grooves appear deeper, corners more pronounced, and the whole pattern look older and more realistic.
How to Apply It
Most manufacturers package powdered concrete release in 30-pound pails. For an even, uniform application, use a dry tampico brush about 8 inches wide to dip into the release and fluff the bristles before sweeping it on the surface in a light, uniform layer.
Work as you go and don’t get too far ahead of the stamping process, especially on windy days. Any loose release that lays on the concrete surface could blow away and soak up water, causing it to dry out too quickly.
How to Remove It
Once the concrete has fully cured, sweep up and contain excess powder release using a hose equipped with a trigger nozzle and soft broom. Do not leave it in place, as it may stain nearby buildings or existing concrete flatwork or landscaping.