Issue 32
December 6, 2005

Dear newsletter readers: We just wrapped up our November Seminar. Thank you to all of those who attended, and my best wishes as you move forward in staining. We will let everyone know when the next seminar will be in the next few months. Until then, here is a little wisdom I gained from a fellow stainer.

Combating Tile Shadow
by Gaye Goodman

I’ve always said that the best way to combat tile shadow is to distract the eye from it by applying a strong natural-looking design over it.  As an example, I would like to show you a faux flagstone floor done by Jeff Donius of Premier Veneers in the Chicago metro area (tel. 708-224-7776).  Jeff does staining and overlayments for both residential and commercial applications.

I love to boast about the work of my seminar students but, unfortunately, I can take no credit for this great piece of work, since Jeff did this floor before coming to my advanced seminar.

Jeff’s client wanted her basement floor transformed and money was not an obstacle, so he bid it on a time and materials basis. The customer had a photo she was trying to copy and requested that he make many color adjustments, so the T & M bid saved Jeff financially.

The first thing he had to do was to remove a great deal of black mastic. He used an odorless liquid mastic remover from Quest Safety (Attack 2000) and a squeegee to get most of it up. Then he went over it with a walk-behind floor grinder (with hose/water attachment) to get rid of more of the yellow staining and mastic left in the pores. His last scrub was with a side-to-side floor buffer fitted with black pad using detergent and degreaser. The first photo shows how the floor looked after cleaning.

This basement had a moisture problem which made the tile shadow even worse. The perimeter areas of each tile (where grout had been for years) remained much more porous than the interior squares and held so much water that it affected his stain colors, so he had to pause for several days, set up dehumidifiers in the basement, and have the owner empty them repeatedly.  Jeff has found that sometimes the changes to concrete caused by being under tile for years are so extreme that the slick centers of the old tile spaces cannot take stain (they have cured and hardened too much), while the grout areas are still soft and porous and take stain too darkly. When he finds a job where this is the case, he has to apply an overlayment after cleaning.

When the floor was as clean and dry as possible, Jeff drew flagstone and grout lines on it using a piece of soapstone. This makes a cleaner line than chalk and disappears later. You can see that he varied the size of the “flagstones” a great deal and gave them a nice variety of shape as well. When you sketch a design freehand you don’t have the problem which stampers or stencilers have of false-looking pattern repetitions and joins. Each rock and pebble can be unique to the space. The next photo shows the drawing stage

In the areas between the faux flagstones Jeff painted Mason’s Select water-based acrylic stain, mixing a gray and brown/sandstone to get the shade used on this floor, and then sealed only these areas. The sealer was from Chem-Coat Industries ( It was a water-based acrylic primer followed by two coats of their urethane-acrylic emulsion. This cured completely and created a network into which Jeff could begin acid-staining the rocks. If a little stain slopped over onto the “grout” lines it could be easily wiped off with a sponge. The third photo shows each rock being stained individually

Jeff describes his staining process, using six L. M. Scofield colors, as follows:

"I learned that on old concrete, layering colors gives you new colors, whereas on newer concrete and overlays you continue to see the same colors next to one another. For example, I remember using Copper Patina over Black to get gray. I also remember using Black over Padre Brown to get a more natural, duller red. I was basically able to change the tones of all of Scofield’s colors any way I liked, until the customer liked all the colors and until they seemed to blend together well. Initially, the Padre Brown was too red, the copper blue too blue and bronze too green...I didn’t have to alter Black and Dark Walnut as much..."

After cleaning and sealing the whole floor with Chem-Coat sealers and letting them cure, Jeff added two coats of final finish (EcoLab’s Phazer Monostar high-solids finish). He says that if he did the whole job again he would have to charge about $15 per square foot to make it worthwhile. Overall the job took almost 3 weeks and covered 650 square feet.

You can see that some tile shadow is still visible within the rock shapes, but the overlying pattern is so strong that no one walking into the room for the first time would perceive it. In fact, the flaws in the original concrete add something which makes the flagstones more realistic.

Those of you who use my stainer’s forum at will recognize the insightful research of JefD’s postings. He knows more about floor sealers than any other stainer I have met. We all thank you again, Jeff, and best wishes for a prosperous new season.


  • Jeff Donius' company, Premier Veneers, can be found at The site is currently under construction but hopefully it will be back up soon so that you can see some of his beautiful concrete work. He can also be reached at 708-224-7776 in Chicago.

This section is for guest writers and features from other stainers from across the country and abroad. To be considered for this section please send a request to

Our affiliate program is up and running! Not sure what an Affiliate Program is? An internet affiliate program is a relationship between two businesses where you help advertise for your affiliate by putting an ad for their business on your website. By doing this you usually receive a percentage of any sales that come to them through your website, but you don't have to pay them for this service. So, it is a great opportunity to earn some extra money for your business without having to pay anything.

The way ours is set up is that you can request to become an affiliate by sending an email to or fill out the request form on our website. Once you are signed up you can choose from a selection of icons to be placed on your own website. When anyone orders from us by going through your website we track it and you receive 33% of that sale. Once it is set up there is nothing you have to do. We do all the monitoring for you.

2005 December

Floor Maintenance Video: We have a new product for those of you who are interestd in maintaining your concrete floors, as well as helping your clients maintain theirs. Gaye and her staff have put together a new maintenance video for your personal use and for handing out to your clients whose floors you have stained. These videos will sell for $24.95, or for significant discounts when ordered in bulk to hand out to your clients.

Stained Concrete Resource Website

Come connect with other stainers across the US and the World. This will be the go to place for all your staining needs. The site will house the forum, gallery, and Concrete stainers links. We will send out an invitation when the site is up and running, which should be by the end of the month.

Global Stainer's Gallery
Does your website have an artistic gallery to showcase your best floors? We have thousands of subscribers to this newsletter and we are developing a Global Stainer's Gallery. Please contact us at:

Copyright © 2005
Bridgeworks, Inc

In This Issue
Feature Article
Combating Tile Shadow
by Gaye Goodman


This section will feature different stainers throughout the US and abroad. If you or your company would like to be featured here with a photo of your work, please send a request to:

Interested in joining our affiliate program? Please send an email to or fill out a request form on our website.

  • 2006 Maintenance Video. We put this together for stainers themselves, as well as to be handed out to your clients that you stain for.
    Click here for more info
  • Stained Concrete Resource Website. We are creating a gathering place for all you stainers! The gallery mentioned below will be located on this site, as well as the forum. You will be able to list your company and be able to come to the site for all your concrete needs. The site should be up and running by the end of the month.
  • Stainer's Gallery
    Does your website have an artistic gallery to showcase your best floors? We have thousands of subscribers to this newsletter and we are developing a Global Stainers Gallery
    . Please contact us at: