Logo in black
In this issue...
Skim Coats - Staines - Dyes
DCI West - "Skim Coats-Stains-Dyes & Modello Designs"
Tool of the Week
About Us
News from
The Decorative Concrete Institute

Oct 2007
Dear Bob,

Are you looking to break into the decorative concrete world? Or, perhaps, are you a seasoned
veteran of the business looking for new ideas and to sharpen your skills? We have training opportunities available for everyone! We've just added several new classes.

Be sure to
check out the training available on our website:
Decorative Concrete Institute

Bob Harris

Well, with summer officially being over, we hope you didn't get too overheated and even possibly had some good family time off.  Let's get busy and bring you up to speed with what happened around this place during the month of September. 


Skim Coats - Stains - Dyes
September 10-11-12

Our full Skim Coats class proved to be an exciting one.  The students were able to learn about ColorMaker's complete product line focusing on the skim coats Sgraffino and Pentimento.  Not only did the entire class take place in some pretty complex design layout techniques, they learned some very interesting coloring techniques which included fading and shadowing with the cup gun sprayer as well as the use of dry pigments for obtaining interesting coloring effects. This class also really enjoyed a new edition to our classes which is the round table discussions.  Good job students and good luck on all of your skim coating, staining and dyeing.

September 13-14

Bob and Lee Ann were fortunate to have received an invitation to the Prosoco plant located in Kansas City, KS.  With all of the work Decorative Concrete Institute has recently done with Prosoco in using their quality products and consulting with this firm, David Boyer, President figured it would be a wonderful opportunity for us to pay them a visit and learn more about their organization and what their company has to offer.  We were able to tour their plan and meet most of their staff.  I have got to tell you that we were so impressed with the entire group and what a positive attitude everyone had.  During this visit, Bob was asked to give a 2-1/2 hour presentation on a general overview of the decorative concrete industry.  Thanks to everyone for a warm welcome and we look forward to working with you in the near future.

DCI-West "Skim Coats-Stains-Dyes & Modello Designs"
September 19-20-21

After a very short weekend, on Monday, September 18, Bob and Lee Ann catch an early am flight headed West to hook up with our friend / DCI-West affiliate, Mark Haen.  We were greeted at the Phoenix, Sky Harbor airport with an unusual limousine which happens to be Mark's wife's (Debbie) personal Denali pulling an open trailer filled with shop vacs, buffing machines, job boxes filled with Engrave-A-Crete and Saw Tech high performance tools and supplies.  As they say (whomever "they" is) . . .  "so they loaded up the truck and moved to Beverly . . .Hills that is, black gold and Texas tea. . ."  Well sorry, we didn't quite make it to Beverly Hills, however we did make it to Modello Design Studios in San Diego at an average speed of 85 mph pulling the trailer.  (Hey Mark, our eyes are still watering after the little restaurant and jalapeno peppers!) 

This was an unusually special class held at Melanie Royal's new studio in which we actually installed a finished 650 sq. ft. skim coat job.  The interesting aspect of this class was that the students were able to see the mechanics of how an actual high-end, in-place project is installed as opposed as only working on small sample boards.  We started off by addressing the existing contraction joints by filling in with a semi-rigid epoxy filler.  Once this had sufficient dry time, we then primed and skimmed the floor with Sgraffino.  The reason that we did this was because we did not want the existing joints to mirror back through our finished floor.  Once dry, we primed again and installed Pentimento, combined with Colorfast.  The next day acid stain was applied at the ratio of 8 parts water to 1 part stain, and boy did we get some "funkified" results.  After reviewing what the potential problem was, we determined that the mix ratios were not maintained, not only with the color, but with the amount of liquid, therefore dramatically influencing how the stain took.  In addition, the new floor was curing very slowly thus making it very absorbent.  The end result was that we needed to sand the floor and apply diluted acid stain once again.Fortunately the affect was very nice.  Reality "bites" sometimes!  Once we overcame this hurdle the floor really started to come to light with the addition of over 30 Modello Designs ranging in size.  Three techniques were used on the Modellos, which included:  gelled acid, air brushed dyes and colored skim coats to create the relief and I have to tell you what a beautiful floor this ended up being.

This class was able to see that things don't always go as planned out on the job site in this real-world setting.  The students were also able to use all of the products that were installed on the actual floor on their own sample boards for practice. 


Thanks Melanie and Eric for this joint effort and your great recommendations on good local restaurants.  Maybe we'll see you in wine country one of these days!


Bob, Lee Ann and Mark would like to pay a special thanks to John Sellers for all of his help.  Kudos to you John. . .You're the Best!

September 24-25

After an intense week, we head up to the Calabassas area of Los Angeles to spend time at the Texston Studio.  We were fortunate to work with Ofer and his staff learning more about some incredible wall finishes with the use of a variety of different plasters.  (Stay tuned for more on Venetian Plaster classes at DCI.)  A special thanks to Ofer and Nurit (Ofer's wife) for your hospitality and allowing us to work in your studio.  We look forward to the future. 

While in this area we were able to celebrate a birthday with close friend, Guerrin Swing and his wife Taye of Faux Finishes out of the Hollywood area for some great sushi and quality time.  Thanks Guerrin for letting us visit your unbelievable project at your high-end client's house.  It was cool!

Look forward to next year's cross country scooter ride guys!

Also, check out the new video library section on the Concrete Network for Bob's Tool of the Week. Fun stuff!

 For those of you that plan on attending World of Concrete, we look forward to seeing you throughout the week.

 Happy concreting and we will talk to you next week.

About Us

The Decorative Concrete Institute continues to provide consulting, education, installation and training to marketplaces across the United States and Internationally. DCI places its focus on Architects, Artists, Concrete Finishers, Faux Finishers, General Contractors, Interior Designers, Ready Mix Producers, etc. to bring them knowledge and offer advice on the demands of Interior and Exterior Architectural Design.

DCI has worked with and continues to work with a diverse range of industry professionals catering to the individual needs of each project focusing on products and designs that are conducive to the particular environment they are working in. DCI consults with on-the-job applications and installations and provides the technical expertise to complete jobs successfully.

phone: 770-562-1441