In this project I am going to go through a quick walk through with what I did to create large Art Deco panels. You can do this on what ever scale you want. For my purposes this was an installation piece for the grand hallway into a building.
You want to start with a design. In this first picture you can see my design next to the MDF that we milled out. For our purposes we had everything milled but you can carve, sculpt, or what ever your hearts desire to get your depth. Just beware of undercuts.
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Step 1: Test Your Pieces
This is a test to make sure all the pieces fit together. If you milled your piece you may find that you might need to sand some spots to make sure they all fit together perfects and make adjustments accordingly.
Step 2: Placement
This was one last test to make sure the piece would fit down onto the base.
Step 3: Priming and Sealing
We used a paint sprayer to coat down each piece with primer. If you have high points you can take the lowest grit sandpaper you have and hit those high points.
The second part to these is sealing them. You don't want anything to get into and under the paint. If it does it will saturate the MDF and puff it out and ruin all your hard work. Make sure you let each piece have proper drying time between steps and it never hurts to apply a second coat.
Don't forget about your base as well. Make sure you prime and coat that too.
Step 4: Framing
The next step we took was framed the base and built a box around it the correct height we needed it to be. We realized how big this mold was going to be and then decided we will need something to help us pull out our negative. We drilled a hole in the top and stuck a bar in there and we would use that to help us separate the negative from the positive.
Don't forget the mold release. This is the step you will need to make sure you coat your project int it before you start the next step.
Step 5: Fill Your Box
This part we used our Urethane rubber and filled the box. This was a slow going process but we pre-measured out our batches and begun pouring them in after we mixed it. You can use any mold material (silicone, Urethane, alginate for those quick casts) you would want to use but we found out that Urethane rubber holds up a lot better when casting concrete. We then left these pieces over night to dry. If you find that they are not curing fast enough you can put them in a warmer room or a warm box and it will help with a faster cure time.
Step 6: Cleaning Your Mold
Afterwards you will want to clean out your negative and get all the crud out of it. These Urethane molds do well with some soap and water but make sure you get all of the soap off.
Step 7: Pouring Your Concrete In.
In this step you will make sure you put in more mold release. Then you are ready to add your concrete. Make sure you wear gloves because you want to make sure you get all that concrete down in those crevices. You do not want air bubbles. You can use a vibrating table to help you get the air out. Once you fill your piece to the top you can make sure its in a level place to cure. This picture is the final piece pulled out right after it was finished curing.
The next step is all up to you. You can frame your piece. Mount brackets on the back and hang it. Sit it outside as a yard piece and your own imagination is the limit to the things you can do with it.
Thank you for checking out my tutorial. If you have any questions feel free to ask and I will try to explain them better and edit this piece as needed.
Participated in the
Concrete & Casting Contest