For best results, do not add water until you have read all mixing & safety instructions
A. Refer to 'How much to I need?' page (linked below) to determine DiamondCRETE quantity required for your stepping stone project. Place mold on a level surface where it can be left undisturbed for one hour. Gather dust masks, mixing gloves, safety glasses, measuring and mixing containers and other needed items before beginning.
B. Wearing safety equipment, pre-measure in separate containers DiamondCRETE sufficient for the project, and two ounces of water for each dry cup of DiamondCRETE measured. Set aside a small amount of dry DiamondCRETE for grouting after the stone is removed from the mold.
C. Pour 2/3 of the pre-measured water into a mixing container and slowly (to avoid splashing) pour all the pre-measured DiamondCRETE into the water. Begin mixing VIGOROUSLY adding some of the additional water a few drops at a time to bring the mixture to a thick milkshake/batter consistency.
IMPORTANT: Do not use all of the pre-measured water - see notes about water below.
The strength of the final piece relies on vigorous mixing. Hand mixing is generally acceptable for small batches, however, larger batches should be mixed with a hand held mixer or drill with mixing attachment to insure proper strength. Total working time is approximately five minutes.
D. When properly mixed, gently pour into the mold and immediately begin tapping on the edge of the mold for 30 seconds to assist in removing air bubbles.
E. Allow filled mold to set undisturbed for at least one hour.
F. Once stone has hardened invert the mold and gently push on the back of the mold to release the stone. Mix some of the DiamondCRETE reserved for grouting to a very thick paste and fill any small air holes left in the surface of the stone.
G. Elevate the stone on pencils or dowels to maximize air circulation around all sides of the stone and allow 28 days for the stone to fully cure indoors at room temperature.
H. To reduce staining and protect the stone, seal the top, bottom, and sides of your stone with DiamondSEAL before placing outdoors. Stones should be checked annually and resealed as needed.
Notes about water...
* Using too much water will weaken or cause cracking in your stone. The DiamondCRETE slurry will thin with vigorous mixing so use caution when adding additional water. Use only enough water to achieve a thick milkshake/batter consistency. If the mixture is too thin, add additional dry DiamondCRETE to the mix to achieve the proper consistency before pouring.
* The amount of water needed will vary with each mix due to humidity, the color of DiamondCRETE used, and the mixing method. Less water is required in humid weather, when using lighter colors, or when mixing by mechanical methods.
* Water purity is important. The use of distilled water may be beneficial in reducing efflorescence - the white mineral deposits found on newly poured pieces.
* Water should be room temperature. Warmer water will significantly reduce working time.