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How to Install a Skim Coat for a Concrete Floor

Adding a skim coat is important because it will strengthen the floor, and when colored, acts as a primer coat for the second hand-trowelled coat of finish.

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  • Time

    Two Days

  • Price Range

    $500 - $1,000

  • Difficulty

    Moderate to Hard

Highlights:

Step 1: Mix the Thin Finish

Mix the Thin Finish with your paint mixer (Image 1). This is a thinner mixture than the Texture Pave below and will be approximately one-eighth of an inch thick. 6.5 quarts of water were added to each 55 pound bag of Thin Finish. Integral color can be added to create a base coat of color for the acid stain (Image 2). The amount of color added to the mix depends on the desired color and product, so check with the manufacturer for more specific instructions. The color and water should be mixed first and then the Thin Finish added.

Step 2: Dampen the Floor

Before spreading the Thin Finish on the floor, dampen the floor with water using the two gallon pump sprayer. Wetting the floor will allow the Thin Finish to bond to the Texture Pave below. Spray the floor a section at a time. The floor should always be damp before the Thin Finish is applied. If you are applying with two people, have one person dampen the floor and one person apply the Thin Finish.

wetting floor will allow Thin Finish to bond

Step 3: Apply the First Layer of Thin Finish

Pour small portions of the Thin Finish on the floor at a time. Spread it on the floor with the squeegee using a smooth back and forth movement. The Thin Finish should spread smoothly and evenly. Apply the Thin Finish with a paint brush in corners or areas where the squeegee can’t reach. Allow the finish to dry.

spread thin finish on floor with squeegee

Step 4: Mix the Second Layer

Add 5.5 quarts of water for each 55-pound bag of Thin Finish. Mix the concrete in clean five gallon buckets using the paint mixer. Adding color during this step will provide a base color for the next acid stain step. The amount of color depends on the depth wanted, so check with the manufacturer for directions specific to your application.

Step 5: Premoisten the Floor

Pre-moisten the floor with water using your two gallon pump sprayer.

Step 6: Apply the Second Layer

Use hand trowels to spread the Thin Finish. Pour out some of the Thin Finish and spread it to a depth of an eighth of an inch with sweeping motions. Experiment with how to use the trowel so that it creates a desirable texture. If the mixture is too wet, move the mixture around using the trowel until it's stiffer and easier to work with. Allow this Thin Finish coat to dry overnight before using the acid stain.

use hand trowels to spread Thin Finish

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