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"Made in Panama" - A concrete skim project in the Republic of Panama

 
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Our next concrete skim project was located way down south, even further south of the border than Mexico; it was all the way down in the Republic of Panama. Apart from the obvious logistical problems in getting material and manpower down there, we had the very real issue in that this was a flooring project in a restaurant located right next to a coastline. Sea, salt, and people had worked to wear out the original concrete floor, and the owner (a friend of mine) asked me what we could do about it.

Of course, he couldn't close the restaurant, and as this was the only entrance, we took a nap during the day and began around 10 pm that evening. Our first surprise was just how dirty the floor was; it literally took three passes to power wash all the grime that had accumulated on it. Once cleaned, we went with two different looks, one that we got by applying the concrete skim coat material and the other being a stamped overlay.

The stamped overlay uses the same material but it goes on thicker. We then apply a stone textured rubber stamp to its surface while it is drying, transferring the pattern into the material. We did this for a small portion of the area, mostly towards the back. In the front, we went with the concrete skim process, putting it down in two thin coats. Since it's very humid in Panama, dry times were an issue. We had to speed it up using blowers, cover it all up to protect it since we still had work to do, and then wait until the next night to complete the job.

Once the sun went down, we got to work. It was kind of the party part of town, and let me tell you, there were some interesting characters walking around in the wee morning hours, but that's another story. We first enhanced the concrete skim material by scoring (cutting) a random stone pattern in it, with some stones being larger than others. Next we applied a water stain to the entire floor, then came back over the concrete skim part of it with additional stain applied in a random manner. Some stones were stained a beige color; others green, black, and even reddish tones. The plus with using the water stains is that they dry fairly quickly, allowing us to seal the floor and wrap up the job.

We were dog tired; it had been a long night, but as we kicked back letting the sealer dry and watching the last of the partygoers head off (and this was at 8 am in the morning on a Sunday), we knew that my buddy was going to love what we had done. It looked awesome!

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