As decorative artists we all have paint products and textural treatments that we love working with and creating with. Products we look forward to using again and again, and we maybe even seek out projects that can utilize our favored mediums. Maybe we love the color palette, the ease of use, or the creative possibilities that a certain medium offers us. For me, one of those favorite products is SkimStone®-an integrally colored, trowel-able, Portland cement-based medium for resurfacing concrete and other hard surfaces.
When I first started creating our one-time-use, adhesive vinyl masking stencils, Modello Designs® back in 2003, I was looking for new mediums and new surfaces that would really benefit from the addition of ornamental pattern. Decorative concrete was an obvious choice. At the time, very little was being done with pattern and design in decorative concrete, other than stamping and scoring. I began exploring ways to use our Modello® masking stencils with concrete stains, dyes, acid etching, and overlays.
Coming from a decorative painting background though, SkimStone® was the product that I could most relate to. It offered me the most opportunities to be creative with the techniques that were very familiar: stencil embossing, embedded pattern, color layering and blending, using toning layers, and even incorporating metallic glazes.
The product felt familiar in my hands too, as it is applied with a trowel and manipulated in a way that reminds me of a Venetian or metallic plaster finish. It just clicked with me!
As we began building our extensive library of Modello® masking stencils, I was drawn to the concept of creating designs specifically for decorative concrete and SkimStone-which is applied mainly to interior and exterior floor surfaces. And so, our Concrete Carpet™ collection was born. Concrete Carpets™ are a series of designs that replicate the look of patterned areas rugs, and they range for simple to complex, small to large, and come in many different design styles. These designs have been quite popular and used extensively with SkimStone on patios and porches, and are ideal for many rooms around the house.
I have taught many hands-on workshops using SkimStone and Modello patterns, and when it came time to create another Virtual Workshop (online video training and support) this dynamic duo was an obvious choice!
So, last year I teamed up with Katrina Johnson, SkimStone’s national sales and technical director, to shoot an extensive video series that begins from the basics and takes student through a wide variety of decorative techniques, and on through a start-to-finish floor project that includes the intricate Malaga Concrete Carpet pattern, along with a beautiful faux Saltillo Tile pattern.
We have just released a series of 5 free introductory videos that lay the foundation for you. Here is the first!
The complete how-to video series is available on our website and YouTube channel, and provides a taste of just how versatile and easy-to-use SkimStone really is. The complete Virtual Workshop: Mastering Modello Patterns and SkimStone Surfaces will be available to purchase and watch in the coming weeks. In the mean time, we are offering 5 free passes to the entire Virtual Workshop series, with a random drawing to be held April 21. Enter now to win on any of our how to SkimStone/Modello video pages.
SkimStone was initially formulated to work directly over clean, sound, unsealed and unpainted concrete surfaces, and that is my favorite way to work with it. For concrete floors and other hard surfaces such as formica and tile countertops that don’t meet that criteria, you can simply start your project with a trowel layer of Bonding Primer-a sand-base product that bonds to almost any surface and provides the necessary tooth for SkimStone to create a superior bond and durability.
As a product that has been out in the market for over 20 years, I like that SkimStone has a proven track record for durability, longevity, and company support. Decorative artists who are looking for alternative creative medium with the added value peace of mind for successful floor and countertop installations have been using SkimStone with our Modello masking stencils for years on porches, interior floors, counters and tabletops for many years.
We’ve curated a collection of projects that have been done in-house and by our customers over the years into a Modello Designs & SkimStone Gallery. I hope you enjoy it and investigate our free how-to video series and upcoming Virtual Workshop: Mastering Modello Patterns and SkimStone Surfaces.