Step 4: Stamping and curing

After about an hour the concrete should be firm enough to imprint circles about 1/4-inch deep with the tops of cans.  After about 6 to 12 hours (depending on the weather), place a board or tray on top of the mold, invert each stone onto the board, and carefully remove the saucer.  Cover with plastic for 24 hours, then gently round the edges of the stone with a file.  Cover the tones again in plastic to keep moist for at least five days to cure.  The longer the drying time, the stronger the concrete, so always keep concrete out of direct sun while it's curing.
Awesome ! I never knew staining cement was this easy. I will be doing this soon.
This is so cool, thanks for posting! My wife and I would love to do some <a href="http://www.imagineconcrete.com" rel="nofollow">stamped concrete in Rochester, ny</a> for our new place. This will be a fun family project.
Thank you so much for posting this information on how you make decorative concrete. <a href="http://www.oldworlddecorativeconcrete.com" rel="nofollow">Decorative concrete is very popular in katy tx</a>. I see it everywhere I go. Are there other ways of doing this? Where can I find more information on this topic? Thank you for your help!
Can premixed concrete be used? If there is such a thing? I think there is--
Love the idea.thx4sharing.
How do you do it if you're using premade stepping stones? Do you make a mold around them or just use thick concrete that doesn't run?
If you mix the concrete so it is not too runny, you can just add it to the top of the pre-made stone. You can then shape rounded edges and a smooth surface. When you press the can into the soft cement, it will stop at the pre-made stone, so you have a consistent depth for your circles.
These are so pretty! Love the colors.

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Bio: I am the monthly DIY/crafts writer for the Santa Cruz Sentinel. You can access an archive of all my columns at tinabaine.blogspot.com.
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