Matching aging natural stone

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by Caterkillar, Jun 6, 2010.

  1. Caterkillar

    Caterkillar LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 995

    Any ideas on matching tennesse stack fieldstone that has been sitting under trees for 10 years? It has a black coating on it. What is the best way to match it? Clean all existing stone about (5 pallets worth)? What do you clean it with? Or is there a way to get the mildew(or whatever it is) to grow on new stone with some type chemical?
     
  2. STL Ponds and Waterfalls

    STL Ponds and Waterfalls LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,177

    Try a powerwasher. But it's going to be hard to match it exactly due to variation in the stones age and different area's of it being quarried.
     
  3. 2low4NH

    2low4NH LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NH
    Posts: 1,891

    Basicly pressure wash and mix pallets. Most of the stone in the middle of the pallet will look like new. the black is just decay of leaves acorns and such. Thing like muratic acid and CLR will help remove but pressure wash with heat is best.
     
  4. spray_man

    spray_man LawnSite Member
    Posts: 176

    This worked for me: I pressure washed both surfaces as best as I could. I then painted the rock that did not match, with colors to match the other. After finishing, I used a water sealer on both. The trick is to paint the base color firs, and add detail with the other colors. If you are not good at matching colors, you may need to consult or hire an artist. I used acrylic water colors. I also used a gallon sprayer, because I had large areas to cover. You can do detail work with a brush, sponge, or a spray bottle. Is sounds harder than it is.
     
  5. 2low4NH

    2low4NH LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NH
    Posts: 1,891

    Do NOT use paint
     
  6. StoneFaced

    StoneFaced LawnSite Member
    Posts: 201

    The black that you are referring to is more than likely algae that has died and decomposed. It tends to be flaky and should clean up easily w/ a good pressure wash of about 2500 psi, or better. Don't know what type of application it is your planning on using the stone...but if you are using it in bed areas w/ irrigation, try to keep the stone watered as well. That is if you want moss to grow. You can speed up the process by transplanting some in the joints, where the stone is stacked. If you want to take it to another level...there are moss farms (do a google search), where you can get into some unique types of moss to plant, that will add some enhancement pending the characteristics of how you want it to look...colors, textures, etc.

    As for painting rocks...I can't appreciate why anyone would ever want to do that, but to each his own.
     
  7. spray_man

    spray_man LawnSite Member
    Posts: 176

    I watch people paint faux stone/concrete from time to time. It is an art form. I can do it too, but I do not do it for a living (although I should - it pays very well). StoneFaced was looking for ideas. Why mock me, if you don't understand the process? Plus water colors are derived from nature, with water added.
     
  8. 2low4NH

    2low4NH LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NH
    Posts: 1,891

    you dont paint real stone to match real stone. If it was faux stone sure no problem but not real stone.
     
  9. 4Russl5

    4Russl5 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 160

    Painting stone? Really? Don't waste your time. Give the stone to someone who can use it and get a concrete product that is stained if you want that look. Blend it with new, and or pressure wash it. Over time the clients stone will blend together. Think sustainably here, and there, and everywhere!
     
  10. StoneFaced

    StoneFaced LawnSite Member
    Posts: 201

    The discussion was/is about field stone, not faux stone/concrete. I understand the process of colored concrete and staining concrete, to simulate the look of natural stone. We utilize those methods in some projects that we build. Typically done through color releases, added to the concrete. An intrical base color is added on the mixer truck, highlight colors are broadcast and hand troweled into the concrete, where then a sealer is applied after a final wash and concrete is cured. Paint would not ever be used in these types of applications, one reason being that it would not hold up to a pressure washing, should the client decide to clean it. We work w/ many different types of stone, including faux veneer stone, which again wasn't the product in question. We (like some) like to use the right stone for the right application, pending the look of what we want the finished product to be. I could be wrong, but I have never seen a product (simulated) where it was an option to paint, as that process has already been handled by the manufacturer. Aside from all that, I didn't get the impression that he was trying to preserve the look of the fungal matter on the stone. If he was trying to save "that look", he probably wouldn't have raised the question about cleaning it...eventually, if nothing were done to it at all, the look would still change once moved to another location. Especially if exposed to more sunlight. Paint and what is natural (fungus, mold, algae) are not going to age and change at the same rate, especially when exposed to UV light. Therefore, in a year or two...the project would not hold the look of where it started, and sealer isn't going to help that idea work any better either.
     

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