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Old 08-23-2009, 12:57 PM   #1
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Concrete Does not Match


I recently has a stamped concrete sidewalk installed (37' x 6'). The contractor made an error that required the last 9' to be removed and re-poured. Despire assurances from the contractor that the new pour would match the first one, it doesn't. The concrete is a tanish brown color, but the pours are different shades; definitely noticable to the naked eye.

The pours occurred 3 days apart.

I am looking for ideas on getting it to all match. Is an acid stain the solution? Other ideas? I am pleased with the existing colors (both of them), but want them to match. I hate to make the color completely different and also hate the idea of tearing the entire thing out.

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Old 08-23-2009, 01:47 PM   #2
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Concrete Does not Match


what about getting the contractor back to match the color...he must have some impurities in the mix

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Old 08-23-2009, 02:08 PM   #3
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Concrete Does not Match


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Originally Posted by hellothere123 View Post
what about getting the contractor back to match the color...he must have some impurities in the mix
Dont't really follow you. Are you suggesting tearing it out and re-pouring? Everything I have read has said that two separate pours will never be an exact color match.

What I want to know is if staining it will create an exact match or if the sections will still be different?
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Old 08-24-2009, 04:48 AM   #4
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Concrete Does not Match


there're NEVER 2 successive loads of conc from the same plant - truck - driver that'll match in color & too many varying factors to allow it ( humidity of cement in the silo, sand, silos ) just too many,,, imo, the only way you'll get both pours to match closely is to overlay w/thin layer of polymer modified cement-based concrete ( typically 1/8" ),,, yes, all concs's different - even my driveway

if your guy's good w/acid, that's a possibility but i've never met ( or even HEARD ) of anyone that good,,, if there is, he's not wasting time or $$$ placing conc,,, never expect uniformity from conc - even an overlay,,, too many factors affect the color from placing, sun/shade, curing time, humidity - that's why we break up the color - so our eyes won't notice objectionable variations.

if all else fails, get throw rugs

Last edited by stadry; 08-24-2009 at 06:20 AM.
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Old 08-24-2009, 05:50 AM   #5
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Concrete Does not Match


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Originally Posted by itsreallyconc View Post
there're NEVER 2 successive loads of conc from the same plant - truck - driver that'll match in color & too many varying factors to allow it ( humidity of cement in the silo, sand, silos ) just too many,,, imp, the only way you'll get both pours to match closely is to overlay w/thin layer of polymer modified cement-based concrete ( typically 1/8" ),,, yes, all concs's different - even my driveway

if your guy's good w/acid, that's a possibility but i've never met ( or even HEARD ) of anyone that good,,, if there is, he's not wasting time or $$$ placing conc,,, never expect uniformity from conc - even an overlay,,, too many factors affect the color from placing, sun/shade, curing time, humidity - that's why we break up the color - so our eyes won't notice objectionable variations.

if all else fails, get throw rugs
Concrete is stamped, so putting 1/8" concrete over it will lose the design. Concrete is outside so rugs are not an option. I am still not following with staining or painting it is not the solution.
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Old 08-24-2009, 06:17 AM   #6
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Concrete Does not Match


even the 2 sections individually are not all the same color as hardener & release powders do leave variegated appearance,,, washing off the release changes color,,, skill of the artisans changes color,, using different brands of the same ' generic ' color is always DIFFERENT, TOO,,, understand its stamped ( you don't mention the depth which is relevant to resolution ) but brooming another thin layer over it won't ' lose ' the pattern,,, you'd have to adjust the coloring BUT overlays can work - we do it every day.

smith paint ( in pa, i think ) may work,,, colored sealer may,,, if exterior, dye won't for your mess,,, the rug ( grass mat ) was my early morning attempt at humor but maybe it was too early,,, IF you're hung up on perfection, either change some thinking OR rip it all out & do it over.

btw, this patio's only 1/8".
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Last edited by stadry; 08-24-2009 at 06:25 AM.
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Old 08-24-2009, 07:32 AM   #7
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Concrete Does not Match


Ivan, how long ago was the concrete poured?

Is it sealed yet?

Was the color Intregal (in the conc. truck) or spread over the surface?

Was a colored release used also?

And IRC, I would have never guessed you had that kind of talent!
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Old 08-24-2009, 07:43 AM   #8
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Concrete Does not Match


like that ? ? ? howzabout this 1 that's done over a lousy stamped conc job,,, LOVE h/o's who thought they were smarter than the artisans ( writing specs & setting ' price points ' [ wtf did THAT term come from ? ? ? ],,, when the job get's f'd up, you never hear back from 'em 'cause they're too embarrassed,,, we do get calls from others & its easy to tell what happen',,, fyi, i haven't seen anyone using integral color in transit mix for the above reasons.

what you can't see in this pool's apron is the amt of crks that had to be repaired,,, not only did the stamp job look like **** BUT there weren't enough contraction jnts to prevent random crking,,, it'd been only a few yrs but we also had to do some sub-surface sealing due to poor original base compaction & lack of jnt sealing which led to base erosion & void creation,,, btw, this work was done by a guy w/20yrs experience,,, his explanation was ' all concrete cracks eventually ! '

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Last edited by stadry; 08-24-2009 at 07:46 AM.
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Old 08-24-2009, 07:56 AM   #9
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Concrete Does not Match


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Originally Posted by jomama45 View Post
Ivan, how long ago was the concrete poured?

Is it sealed yet?

Was the color Intregal (in the conc. truck) or spread over the surface?

Was a colored release used also?

And IRC, I would have never guessed you had that kind of talent!
Not sealed yet.

Color was mixed in concrete turck (brownish), but there was also some type of chemical put on top that is supped to be powerwashed off (not sure if it is all supposed to come off or if some is supposed to remain....it is black). I did the powerwashing ymself after I fired the contractor. Who knows, maye I wasn't supposed to do this.

Pardon my ignorance, but I do not know what a colored release is or if it was used.

As for thickness, the sidewwalk is 4", the designs on the surface are meant to look like stone (and do and look good, it is just a color problem). I am guessing the depth of the cuts to create the illusion of stone are about 1/4", but that is just a guess. I suspect you guys will know better then me what the standard is. It seems consistent w/ other work I have seen.

I am working on getting pics posted...should be later today....Thanks in advance for your ideas and pateince.

Concrete was poured last Tuesday (section 1) and last Friday (section 2).

Last edited by ivanl; 08-24-2009 at 07:58 AM.
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Old 08-24-2009, 08:56 AM   #10
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Concrete Does not Match


integral color tough so, impo, its no wonder there's not a good match for the many reasons 1st posted,,, we've tried it w/no success which led us in other directions ( also posted ),,, the ' type of chemical ' could've been a liquid ' release ' [ bubble-gum smell ] which allows the stamps to be removed w/o tearing the stamp'd conc's surface,,, haven't heard of it being p/wsh's off, tho,,, sure it wasn't a fine powder instead ? ? ?

fired the contractor rather'n try to resolve the problem WITH him ? ? ? like to help but not sure we speak the same language
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Old 08-24-2009, 09:07 AM   #11
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Concrete Does not Match


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Originally Posted by itsreallyconc View Post
integral color tough so, impo, its no wonder there's not a good match for the many reasons 1st posted,,, we've tried it w/no success which led us in other directions ( also posted ),,, the ' type of chemical ' could've been a liquid ' release ' [ bubble-gum smell ] which allows the stamps to be removed w/o tearing the stamp'd conc's surface,,, haven't heard of it being p/wsh's off, tho,,, sure it wasn't a fine powder instead ? ? ?

fired the contractor rather'n try to resolve the problem WITH him ? ? ? like to help but not sure we speak the same language
Conctractor refused to aknoweldge the difference in color in the two sections. He wanted to seal it all and be done with the job. I would not allow him to do that b/c I wanted to pursue a solution to the color problem. He does not do staining of any type so there was no reason for him to remain engaged. He was paid.
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Old 08-24-2009, 09:13 AM   #12
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Concrete Does not Match


maybe he was color-blind i'd have done the same w/this exception,,, held back 25% to diminish repair costs,,, otoh, we've only seen your side til pictures're posted.

am curious - you washed it before OR after he was dismissed ? ? ?
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Old 08-24-2009, 09:41 AM   #13
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Concrete Does not Match


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Originally Posted by itsreallyconc View Post

am curious - you washed it before OR after he was dismissed ? ? ?
After. He did say that was what he was going to do next. Bottom line is that I have this situation. How I got here and how it could have been avoided is probably a subject for a different thread. At this point, I am really just interested in remedies.

I sopke w/ another local place and they are suggesting either acid or Smith's. Trying to get a new conctractor out to look at it and make suggestions. Trying to get more knowledgeable this time.

I feel worst for my wife. This was her project and she is a mess over it (in tears). She loves the design and does not want to tear it all out. We just want the color to look good (and uniform). And by uniform, I know that earthy colors are not all uniform, but in my current case, it is so blatantly obvious that it is two separate pours.
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Old 08-24-2009, 10:40 AM   #14
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Concrete Does not Match


Hope this helps
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Old 08-24-2009, 02:20 PM   #15
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Concrete Does not Match


Ivan, the pictures & additional info do help quite a bit.

First off, it's a good thing that there is no sealer yet, as that leaves far more options to correct & blend this together. I would first let this concrete sit a few weeks to allow the second pour to cure some more, assuming it hasn't sat for weeks already?

Second, get both pours wet (with water) to mimick the color enhancement that the sealer will produce. It will hopefully blend together better than when dry. Whatever you do DON'T seal anything until you are confident that it is satisfactory to yourselves..

It sounds like the contractor used a clear liquid release (hence the "bubble gum" odor IRC is refering to) with a powered colored release mixed together. This is a fairly common practice as it is generally "more forgiving" than other methods. Generally, the release gets rinsed off the following day, so if it stayed on the first pour say 5 days & only 2 days on the second, that could definatly contribute to some of the color variation. Regardless, you need to find out the EXACT manufacturer & color of the release used so you can attain some of it. You can mix the release with certain sealers to create a tinted sealer to help blend this all together. It takes some time & testing, but it is possible.

Acid or water-bourne stain is another option, since the surface isn't sealed yet. But, I don't think simply staining the entire sidewalk will hide ALL variation in color, as you the cold joint may still be noticeable, especially to yourselves. I have a patio at home similar to yours (random Sandstone) as well have done similar stamps in the past. The benefit to the acid or water-bourne is you have the ability to stain individual stones various colors to give a more natural appearance. We do this with stamped brick borders many times each summer. This process may actually help hide the variation the best, but will again take some time & experimenting.

I'll see if I can find some pics of random colored stamping from acid staining. IMO, it does a good job of breaking up the monotinous look of regular stamping.

Regardless of how you follow up on this, Good Luck.

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