Do-it-Yourselfers Save up to 90% on Custom Stone Home and Garden Projects This Summer

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According to John McKenzie Panagos, Founder of Olde World Stone & Tile Molds, Inc., “almost anyone can learn to cast natural-looking stone for pennies each in less than 15 minutes. Armed with company-provided instructions, readily available concrete molds, a few bags of pre-mixed concrete, and items found in most garages, professional-looking stone, tile, and veneer can be made for fifty-five cents a square foot or less. The cost depends on the stone thickness desired." Mr. Panagos adds, “There is no need to pay $6.00 or more at retail for manufactured stone ever again as almost anyone can learn to cast natural-looking stone and tile and save 90% off retail prices."

According to John McKenzie Panagos, Founder of Olde World Stone & Tile Molds, Inc., “almost anyone can learn to cast natural-looking stone for pennies each in less than 15 minutes. Armed with company-provided instructions, readily available concrete molds, a few bags of pre-mixed concrete, and items found in most garages, professional-looking stone, tile, and veneer can be made for fifty-five cents a square foot or less, with the cost depending on the stone thickness desired." Mr. Panagos adds, “There is no need to pay $6.00 or more at retail for manufactured stone ever again. And it can be made in any color or combination of colors in a garage, basement, shed, or backyard.” The many project photos illustrated on the Product Catalogue and Customer Project Contest website completed by customers is confirmation of that fact. "And most of our customers have never worked with concrete or molds before. No special skills are required when the step-by-step instructions provided are followed," adds Mr. Panagos.

Items Needed include concrete molds, a wheel barrow or concrete mixing tub, bags of premix concrete, cement colorant, water, shovel, plastic wrap or sheet, light vegetable oil for use as a mold release, plastic or rubber gloves, eye protection, and desire.

Making Manufactured Stone - Concrete castings can be made almost anywhere. Depending on temperatures, they can be made almost any time. The main requirement is to stay above freezing temperatures during the concrete mixing and curing process. Once concrete is cured, temperature is not a factor. The cast stone can be stored outside with no problems. Mr. Panagos adds, “Though concrete sets up and cures at almost any temperature, cooler or cold temperatures will retard the setting and prolong the ability to demold your casting in a timely manner.”

Concrete Mold Preparation - First, would be the application of a mold release to the molds. The use of a commercially prepared release or a light vegetable oil from the kitchen is fine. The release can be sprayed from an inexpensive plant-misting sprayer directly into the mold. Any excess oil needs to be wiped out with a fine sponge or cotton cloth. To get a natural random shading effect, sprinkling or dusting powdered concrete colorant into the oiled mold is done. Shaking the mold from side to side will distribute the colors randomly. According to the instructions provided, the most natural looking results are obtained with a random spreading and dusting of a couple of colors.

Mixing Premix Bags of Concrete - Basic step-by-step instructions come on bags of premix concrete and sand mixes for completing smaller projects. For large projects, or when a standard concrete mix using Portland cement is desired, concrete mix formulas are available on Google as well as on TheMoldStore Instructions website. To color the body of the stone, powdered colorant is blended into the dry concrete first. If a liquid colorant is used, it should be added to batch water first, and then mixed into the concrete.

Pouring Concrete into Molds - When concrete is mixed and colored, the molds should be filled halfway. The molds should then be bounced up and down to compact the concrete mixture and break up any air pockets. The molds are then filled the rest of the way to the desired thickness. Filled molds should be placed on a level surface away from direct sunlight and air flow, and covered with plastic. For best results, the concrete needs to be kept as wet as possible for as long as possible. The hydration process is what helps cure and strengthen the stone. The filled molds should be left alone for about 24 hours, as the concrete will get stronger the longer it is left in the mold curing.

Demolding Manufactured Stone - Normally, the stone can be de-molded after 24 hours. It may take longer if making stone in a colder temperature environment. Mr. Panagos adds, “Remember, warmer temperatures speed up the setting and the curing. Colder temperatures retard the process.” To demold the stone,molds are placed flat with the face of the mold up. The mold is then lifted off from the corners, and will normally come off of the stone easily. If it sticks, pressing the center and each mold corner lightly will help loosen it.

Curing Manufactured Stone - Cast stones and tiles need to be put in a protected area and covered with plastic again to keep the moisture in. They should cure for a week or two before applying a sealer. If the stone is for an exterior application, penetrating sealer may be applied to protect it and help prevent staining. If it's an interior wall application, sealing is not needed unless a shine is desired. A topical acrylic stone sealer can be used for floors if a gloss is desired. Sealers, color, and molds are described on TheMoldStore product catalogue website. Stone can normally be installed a week after demolding if necessary, but full curing and hardening takes about thirty days.

For additional information about Olde World Stone and Tile Molds, Inc. products, visit TheMoldStore.com or contact John McKenzie Panagos directly at info(at)oldeworld(dot)com.

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