Concrete stairs are stamped to make it look better and it also provides traction. Stamped concrete is nothing but simple concrete impregnated with various color or small pieces of stone or wood. This makes the concrete look much more interesting and you can also make patterns and design with it. Using the correct tools and material this is easy to do and can be completed with a little effort.
Step 1 - Plan the Design
Choose a proper stamping design and make sure the patterns are not very large. Large patterns cause unwanted unevenness in the ground and thus increases the risk of someone tumbling on the stairs. The larger patterns and imprints are not long lasting and water gets trapped in them. If you are choosing such a pattern that has straight lines on it, then these lines must be aligned with the direction of the drainage of the stair.
Step 2 - Color and Stamping
A wide range of color agents are available in the market. Choose the one you like and then it is added to the concrete along with hardener and release powder. For adding the color, follow the instruction provided by the manufacturer. Add the color and stamping to wet concrete. Pour the concrete and flatten it. Let the concrete dry for a certain time so that there is no moisture in it. After the concrete is dry apply the color mixed with hardener over the concrete and spread it with a trowel over the surface.
Step 3 - Add Concrete Release Powder
The surface of the concrete must be now covered with concrete release powder. This powder adds color and prevents the stamps from sticking with the concrete.
Step 4 - Stamp the Stairs
Once the concrete is poured, start stamping the concrete from the top step and proceed downwards. Place the stamp on one side of the stair and use a rubber mallet to tap the top surface of the stamp. Make sure you are not tapping it too hard otherwise the surface will become uneven. Once this is done remove the stamp and place it on the next section aligning it properly with the first stamp impression. Continue this process and cover the entire staircase. Allow the stamped concrete to dry for at least 24 hours.
Step 5 - Finish
Once the concrete is stamped properly use a blower to remove the excess amount of concrete release powder from the surface of the concrete. You can also use a spray bottle of water for doing this. You can add layers of color mixed with hardener on the surface for a better finished look. Make sure the layers are thin, and if you are adding more than one layer, make sure you dry the layer first before adding another over it. After drying the concrete for about 72 hours apply two to three layers of concrete sealer over the surface.