DIY Heart Valentine's Day Stepping Stone With Embedded Colored Cement
Here is an overview of the project. First, make a colored cement shape by adding latex paint to the cement batch and shape the cement as if it is clay. Then plop the colored shape in an oiled round cake pan, and shape it a bit more. Finally, fill in the rest of the mold with uncolored cement. The fill cement can be colored if you want, but I left mine uncolored. I have made many colored cement projects (see project gallery at http://diyfurniturestudio.com/gallery/), but this is the first using this technique.
For cement colored with latex paint use the following recipe: 8 parts anchoring cement (Quikrete, Cement All, or similar), one part water, and 1/2 to one part latex paint. Most interior wall paints are latex paint. I use leftover paint from my house painting projects, the little sample jars of wall paint, or even smaller acrylic latex paints available at the craft stores . ( These craft paints are labeled as "acrylic" but are latex paint with an acrylic binder, so they can be used as cement colorants.) Mix your ingredients in a mixing bowl.
Keep in mind that once you put the ingredients together, the cement starts hardening. It will stay clay-like for only about 5-10 minutes, so have your colored cement design figured out and your cake pan greased up and ready to go before you start mixing. With gloved hands, mix the colored cement into a ball.
Partially flatten the cement and place the colored cement in the cake pan. Once in the cake pan you can shape it more. The key here is to get a good "seal" between the colored cement and the pan mold, so once you put the cement in the pan mold, shape it fairly quickly, then don't move it. Press it thoroughly against the pan. After this, remove any stray bits of cement with a paper towel, being careful to not move the shape. Go to the link below for more detailed information about mixing and forming.
Then make a batch of fill cement. This can be colored or uncolored. Pour the fill cement into the mold.
After about 2 hours, I removed the stepping stone from the mold. I waited a day, then sealed the concrete stepping stone with Rain Guard . I made this heart stepping stone to go with a Valentine's Day theme gift. It lasts a long time and it's cheaper than diamonds!
I made other designs, too. Go to the link below for more styles of colored stepping stones and the detailed tutorial. You can make a design similar to one of mine or make your own design. This is definitely a technique that I'll be working with more. I also want to mention that I started a Concrete and Cement Furniture/Decor/Garden Community Board on Pinterest. I'd love it if you joined in the fun!
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