If a Hacksaw Saw a Sheet of Any Polymer
Facing the basement of the house, facade and interior walls with stone is becoming more and more popular. And this is not surprising, since such a design not only protects the surface from mechanical damage and pollution, but also becomes a spectacular decorative decoration. But the trouble is that natural stone has a considerable mass, and creates significant additional loads on wall structures. In addition, working with him is quite difficult, and the cost of such finishes often becomes a reason to abandon this approach.
How to make an artificial stone with your own hands at home
There is a way out. To use artificial stone for such purposes. It is lighter in weight and easy to process, so it is not so difficult to work with it, fixing it on surfaces. Artificial stone is an excellent substitute for natural stone, and it can be used not only for wall decoration, but also for cladding flower beds and fountains, as well as for laying out garden paths.
It is also important that this finishing material has a very affordable price. But in order to achieve even more significant savings, many owners with a creative “vein” are asking a fair question about how to make an artificial stone with their own hands at home. Such a possibility exists, and it is not so difficult to produce this material if you prepare everything that is required to prepare the solution, as well as to create forms with the desired relief of the future “stone”.
What is artificial stone?
Before you begin to describe the manufacturing techniques of this finishing material, you should understand what it is and what it consists of.
Artificial stone can be made of various materials, which are selected depending on which of the walls it will be decorated with. Facade or interior.
Different types of artificial stones
So, for interior decoration the stone is often made on the basis of gypsum, and for the exterior. From cement mortar with various additives. The list of such additives includes materials that give the finished stone a relief pattern. It can be fine gravel, sand, stone chips and other components. In addition, to give the artificial stone the right shades, coloring dry or diluted pigments are prepared. If there will be several of them, it is important to choose them so that they harmoniously combine with each other.
In order for the finishing stone to turn out to be of high quality, it is necessary to prepare a good shape for it. Having made the appropriate purchase or having made it yourself once, it will be possible to produce the necessary amount of stone, which will be used to transform the house or garden plot.
Do not buy a cheap plastic mold, as it can break after the first batch of stones made. The best option would be a matrix made of silicone, as it will last a long time and help produce as much finishing material as needed.
Making molds for artificial stone
The condition for successful work is a quality-made form matrix.
Monte artificial stone prices
Artificial stone Monte
As a “source” for the manufacture of the matrix does not have to be used stone or tile. Often, wood with a beautiful textured pattern is taken for this, which is pre-deepened.
You can make a matrix even to simulate the texture of wood
Forms can be single or complex. The former are much easier to make than the latter, since they will not require too large formwork and the use of a large amount of silicone. However, it should be noted right away that in the future it will become easier and faster to make artificial stone with the complex version of the matrix, because the output will produce several finished products at once.
Single silicone molds
In any case, for formwork, you will have to find a ready-made or made-up box of plywood or a box of cardboard on your own. This element should have dimensions 10 ÷ 15 mm wider and 25 ÷ 30 mm above the original sample, according to which the mold will be made. If the stone should have very small dimensions, then even a regular juice box cut from one of the wide sides is suitable for formwork. It has sufficient rigidity to withstand silicone casting.
You can act differently by connecting several boxes of juice between each other, keeping a distance of 10 ÷ 12 mm between them. But at the same time. This gap should be hermetically closed, as it will become the walls between future forms.
Further, we can proceed to the preparation of the initial sample and casting material. As it can be used silicone sealant, polyurethane or a compound specifically designed for such purposes, consisting of two components.
Silicone sealant is sold in tubes or buckets, and you need to purchase the volume of material that is necessary for the manufacture of the mold.
Silicone in various packaging
- When the formwork is ready, any grease is applied to its internal walls. It can even be a regular solid oil.
- Further, the initial element is laid at the bottom of the formwork. It can be a natural stone, a tile with smooth surfaces, a finished version of an artificial stone, a board or other object on which the form will be made.
- Then, the object laid in the formwork is also lubricated with a fatty substance. This must be done so that the silicone can be easily removed after it hardens.
An important point should be noted here. If a ready-made artificial stone made of gypsum is used as the initial sample, then it is pre-coated with two or three layers of varnish or drying oil, each of which must be well dried.
- The next step is to prepare a soap solution, which is necessary for wetting the brush and spatula used in laying out and distributing the silicone inside the formwork.
Silicone Matrix Production Sequence
- If the silicone is purchased in a tube, then it is squeezed into the formwork completely, and then, dipping the brush in a soap solution, it is distributed inside the box. In this case, it is very important to ensure that the silicone fits tightly, without the formation of air sinuses, to the sample of stone that is laid at the bottom of the formwork. To do this, the laid out composition is not just smoothed with a brush, but tamped.
Silicone Matrix Production Sequence. Continued
- Filling the formwork to the desired level, the silicone surface is leveled with a spatula, which is also wetted in a soap solution.
- After the work is completed, the formwork with silicone is left for polymerization.
You should not hurry with removing the mold. The longer it stays untouched, the better the matrix will turn out, the more cycles of manufacturing an artificial stone it will withstand. The polymerization goes from the outer surfaces deep into the silicone, and for a guideline its speed can be taken as 2 mm of thickness per day. So the process of complete solidification of the molds can take from several days or even up to several weeks, depending on the depth and thickness of the fill. Therefore, if it is decided to start manufacturing artificial stone at a certain time, for example, in the summer months, then the preparation of matrices for this should be taken care of in advance.
After the estimated period, the formwork is removed from the structure. The resulting form is carefully removed and washed from the grease, and only after that it will be ready for further use.
The presented table shows the main technical characteristics of silicone sealant, which must be taken into account when manufacturing a matrix for artificial stone from it:
Factory packaging of the two-component compound Silagerm 5035
This polyurethane compound, consisting of two components, is designed specifically for the manufacture of molds. Over, when using such specialized compositions, matrices are obtained with excellent physical characteristics and a large operational resource.
Silagerm 5035 can be used not only in the manufacture of molds for artificial stone, but also for the manufacture of dies designed for casting sculptures or architectural details from plaster and other building materials.
The molding polyurethane compound “Silagerm 5035” is available in beige color and has different hardness parameters. 40 and 30 units. According to the table of Shore.
The main physical and technical characteristics of Silagerm 5035 are given in the table:
The time for complete hardening of the finished mixture is only 24 hours.
In order for the form to last as long as possible, it is recommended to lubricate its inner surface with a special release agent “Tiprom 90” before filling it with a solution of gypsum or cement.
The Silagerm 5035 compound goes on sale in buckets of 1,5 and 7,5 kg.
Fabrication of the matrix using a special compound “Poly 74-29“
“Poly 74-29»- this compound of the German manufacturer is available in several versions, which are determined by a digital marking code. The last digits of this designation indicate such a parameter as the hardness of the material after solidification of the form.
For interested readers, the table below will provide step-by-step instructions for manufacturing a matrix from this compound.
Video: an example of manufacturing a mold for artificial stone from silicone-polyurethane compound
Artificial Stone Making
As mentioned above, artificial stone can be made of different materials, but in this section we will consider the production of two options, one of which is used for interior decoration, and the second. For decorating the facade.
Gypsum-based artificial stone
Artificial stone made of gypsum is most often used for finishing internal walls, but with proper treatment and impregnation, it is suitable for some facade surfaces.
It should be said that gypsum is more popular for creating artificial stone than cement. This material is easier to give the desired shade, after hardening it is slightly lighter than products made of cement composition, and has better adhesion to wall surfaces.
For the manufacture of gypsum artificial stone, the following materials and tools will be required:
- Matrix made of elastic material.
- Electric drill with mixer nozzle.
- Container for mixing ingredients. It can be an ordinary plastic bucket.
- Tile drying tray.
- White gypsum.
- Washed river sand.
- Citric acid and PVA glue.
- Composition of wax and turpentine.
- Water at room temperature.
- Dry coloring pigment of the desired shade.
To carry out the work, it is necessary to prepare a small working area equipped with a workbench, the surface of which is aligned horizontally with the help of a level, otherwise a tile having a different thickness can be obtained.
If a large amount of finishing material will be made immediately, then racks will be needed for the final drying of the products, which should take place over several days.
White Hills Artificial Stone Prices
Artificial stone White Hills
Well, of course, you need a free place where the mixing of the solution will take place.
The preparation of gypsum molding solution requires compliance with certain rules
When preparing a gypsum molding sand, a number of important nuances should be taken into account:
- Gypsum is added to the water, and not vice versa, otherwise the mass will turn out to be heterogeneous, with lumps and splashes.
- It is important to remember that gypsum sets very quickly, literally within 5-7 minutes. Therefore, if there is a need to extend the solidification period, citric acid is added to the solution based on 1 kg of gypsum 0.6-0.8 g of crystalline composition. By adding this ingredient to the mass, you can extend the liquid state of the gypsum mortar to one and a half hours. Citric acid is diluted in warm water, then, with kneading, added to the solution.
- If a single form will be poured with a solution, then the mass must be prepared in a small amount.
- Sand is added to the solution for the strength of the finished product. The size of its fraction (from 0.01 to 1 mm) will depend on which model of artificial stone will be selected.
- After mixing, the mixture should have a consistency of thick, but flowing sour cream.
- The composition is collected in different proportions, but usually 100 grams of sand is added per 1 kg of gypsum.
- As a plasticizer, PVA glue is added to the mixture. Incidentally, it, like citric acid, is able to slightly extend the setting time of the mixture.
- Gypsum with water is taken in a ratio of 1.5: 1, and this water also includes that water in which citric acid is diluted.
- The right amount of water is poured into a clean bucket. Further, if dry coloring pigment is added to the solution, it is immediately added to water and mixed well.
- The next step, a measured amount of gypsum is poured into the water and again the solution is mixed with a mixer.
- Then, sand is added to the solution and mixed again.
Before kneading the molding solution, it is necessary to prepare the matrix. If it is made of silicone or plastic, then it must be lubricated with a special compound consisting of turpentine and wax (or a special release agent). If the form is made of polyurethane, then it does not require special preparation, although the lubricant will still not be superfluous.
Next, the option of manufacturing products imitating natural stone from a gypsum-sand mixture will be gradually considered.
This finish. An imitation of masonry made of rocky rocks, is very popular among homeowners
“Skala” is one of the popular types of artificial stone, used both for facing facade walls and socles, and for interior decoration. Such an imitation finish the entire surface completely or only certain sections of the walls. Such an artificial stone is well suited for many interior styles, so such a cladding practically does not go out of fashion.
Find out several options for how to make an artificial stone countertop with your own hands from a new article on our portal.
If the matrix form is made independently or acquired, then, having prepared the desktop, you can proceed to the process of creating artificial stone.
In addition, the color can be applied to ready-made “stones”. In this case, staining is carried out using brushes of different widths, and it is not necessary to display smooth, neat strokes, since the more chaotic they are, the more picturesque and more natural the color of stone imitation will turn out.
The final stage painted “stones” can be coated with a special matte varnish for external work. It is not worth using a varnish with a gloss effect, since such a finish will look unnatural. If the facing tile will be used in a dry room, then covering it with a protective varnish is an optional condition.
Finishing material made of gypsum-sand mixture has a fairly high popularity and is widely used for decorating interiors and facades. Such tiles are not used for laying out paths, as well as fountains and fireplaces. To design these elements, an artificial stone made of cement-based mass is more suitable. About this. In the next section of the publication.
Video: an example of casting artificial stone on a gypsum basis
The composition based on cement opens up wider possibilities, since the artificial stone made from it can be used in any area of the design of a suburban area, including for laying out garden paths or building an alpine hill.
To make an artificial stone from concrete, the tools will be required the same as for gypsum mortar, and the following materials should be prepared from materials:
- Cement gray M200 ÷ M400 or Portland cement.
- Washed river sand.
- Pva glue as a plasticizer, but you can do without it.
- Coloring pigments.
The workplace, as well as in the first case, should be equipped with a level table with a horizontal surface. Having prepared everything you need, you can proceed to the manufacture of finishing material.
It should be noted that artificial stone from cement mortar can be made in different ways. For example, if stones will imitate cobblestones on an alpine hill or in a flower garden, then they dispense with the silicone form altogether. Further, in the publication, both manufacturing methods will be considered, but the composition for both variants is approximately the same.
Cement slurry preparation
The molding solution is made up of sand and cement in proportions of 3: 1. The components are mixed in dry form, and then water is added to the mixture in small portions, and the composition is again mixed using a mixer. This continues until the solution becomes the desired consistency and uniformity. If you want to make the solution more plastic, PVA glue is added to it. It is necessary to take about 50 grams per liter of cement-sand mixture.
During the kneading process, a coloring pigment is added to the mixture if it is intended to change the color of the cement or to introduce any tinted blotches into it. The amount of pigment can only be determined empirically, that is, adding it a little and mixing, achieving the desired shade of the entire solution or its interlayers.
The first option is an artificial stone for paving paths or for wall decoration
To begin with, we will consider the process of making stone for the design of garden paths. However, in the same way they make material for wall decoration, just for tracks usually make blocks with a flat surface or with a small relief in depth.
Such a matrix helps to produce whole blocks of artificial stones, perfect for paving garden paths.
- The prepared solution fills the prepared form, which must be shaken periodically, moving forward and backward, so that the mixture completely fills the entire relief. When the matrix is filled, a medium-width or wide spatula is drawn along its surface, collecting excess solution and cleaning the upper sides of the partitions between the individual matrices, if the filling is carried out in a common form. In this case, the walls will serve as a kind of beacons for leveling the filled solution.
- If large-sized artificial stones are made, that is, a single deep matrix is poured, then at first only half of its depth is filled with the solution. Then, a reinforcing mesh or rods are placed on top of the filled mixture, and only then the form is filled with the mixture to the top, and the mass is aligned at the upper edge.
- When the cement mixture sets, but still retains ductility, a grid in the form of a lattice is applied on its surface with a nail. It is necessary for better adhesion of artificial stone to the surface of the walls during cladding.
Production of single large-format “stones”
- The initial solidification of the solution is given from 12 hours to a day. Then the resulting “stones” are removed from the mold and left on the shelves for the final maturation of concrete and a set of strength for at least two weeks.
It is necessary to take out products from forms very carefully so that they do not break into pieces.
- If the next portion of the solution should be poured into the matrix, then before that it must be washed with a soap solution.
- After the stone is completely ready, it is cleaned of dust and dried up small fragments, and if necessary, covered with one or more paints of the selected shades. The created “stone” can be painted during the pouring of the solution into the matrix, as shown in the table above, or after it solidifies. However, it should be noted that the second variant of staining will be much more difficult, since it is necessary to withstand harmonious shades on all stones made in this batch.Finishing may include coating the surface with a durable atmospheric varnish.
The second option is artificial cobblestone
Making imitation of stones with beautiful shapes, for many becomes a kind of hobby. This is especially true for those owners who want to have a corner in their area close to natural conditions, which they want to decorate in a special way. This trend in landscape design has received a specific name. “Art Concrete.”
In appearance. No different from a natural boulder
Artificial stones, qualitatively made in this technique, is almost impossible to distinguish from natural boulders. The advantage of such a manufacturing method is that you do not have to look for the exact option that you would like to see in your area, but you can take it and make it yourself. Over, to make such a “stone” is quite simple.
For work, in addition to the cement mortar already considered, the following materials will be required:
- Styrofoam. It can be of any thickness, but it is better that it is 100 ÷ 150 mm, since it will be much easier to cut the necessary shapes from such a material.
- Reinforcing fiberglass mesh.
- A plastic bag or foam sponge to give relief or, conversely, to smooth surfaces.
- Adhesive for foam. For this, cement-based tile adhesive, polymer adhesive, or even foam assembly can be used.
- Sandpaper with coarse and medium abrasive grain.
- Acrylic paints and persistent atmospheric varnish for decorating the resulting “stone”.
Having prepared everything you need, you can begin to work.