beater or pounder– A tool used to tamp stamps into plastic concrete to create an impression.

hand stamp– A small, hand-held blade tool made from cast aluminum or plas­tic, used to create a pattern in places too small for stamps to fit.

mat A flexible plastic tool used to pro­vide texture and low-profile patterning. The mats can be as large as 5x5 feet.

release– A powder or liquid material used to achieve a clean separation between stamps or texture mats and fresh concrete. Additional color high­lighting can be produced by adding color to release agents.

skin– A small piece of textured plastic skin, even more flexible than a mat for providing texture in small areas that can't be reached with stamps.

stamp– A platform tool, usually made of urethane plastic, for making impressions and patterns in fresh concrete. Stamps are approximately 2x2 feet in size. Stamps should be firm enough to sup­port a worker's weight on fresh con­crete, and there should be enough of them to reach across the width of a placement.

texturing– The process of providing a texture to the surface of concrete with­out a pattern.


adhesive stencil– Adheres to concrete and doesn't allow decorative material to get under the stencil

mylar or clear acetate stencil– Used to transfer patterns. Materials can easily get under the stencil.

negative weed– Removal of the nega­tive field. Therefore, the design itself is masked. Decorative treatments occur around the design.

paper or cardboard stencil– One-time, one-use stencil material

positive weed– Removal of the positive field. The design receives the decorative treatment as a result.

weed– What is removed from a cut stencil.


blast media– The material used for blasting—made from sand or slag prod­ucts.

negative field– The parts of a pattern or design that are blasted into the concrete.

positive field– The embossed area where blast material is not allowed to touch the concrete.

resist, buttercut. or adhesive tem­plate– A plastic, adhesive material 1/16 to 1/8 inch thick that has a pattern cut into it. When the pattern is adhered to the concrete surface, the exposed parts of the pattern allow blast material to etch the concrete.

stencil– A template constructed from adhesive template material, wood, metal, or plastic. Patterns and designs are cut into the stencil for sand-blast transfer to the concrete surface. Patterns can be cut by hand or by computer graphic pro­grams and plotters.

wicking The process whereby blast material tears concrete from underneath the edge of a stencil.


hopper gun– An air-driven spray gun with a hopper located close to the spray tip, for holding polymer cement material. Cement is sprayed in a splatter pattern onto the concrete surface.

imbed– The process of impressing the stencil into the concrete so that the top surface of the stencil matches the top surface of the concrete.

knock-down– The process of lightly trow­eling and flattening the spatter marks left by the hopper gun. The resulting fin­ish offers both good traction and a pleasing pattern

stencil– Plastic-coated paper, cut with stone, tile, or brick patterns. Workers place stencils on fresh concrete and broadcast color hardeners on top Colored patterns can be combined with natural concrete color to create the appearance of mortar joints. Stencils can also be placed on existing concrete slabs and sprayed with polymer cement, using hopper guns.

stencil roller– A tool similar to a paint roller, used to imbed stencil material into fresh concrete. There are small plastic spikes on the roller.

texture roller– A cylindrical tool with a raised texture. It is rolled over both the stencil and the fresh concrete to impart a texture on exposed surfaces of the concrete.