How Do I Use a Concrete Mold?
Whether you're creating decorative pieces for your home or garden, or producing larger quantities of products, having a basic understanding of how to use the molds is key. Below, we'll take you through the process of how to use our molds step by step, so you can produce consistent, high-quality results every time.
Materials and Tools Needed
Let's begin by grabbing the following items:
- Concrete mix
- Mold Release Agent: Cooking Spray or Dedicated Release Agent
- Mold (if you need a few, check these baddies out)
- Mixing Vessel (such as a wheelbarrow or bucket)
- Stirring Stick or Whip
- Spray Bottle Loaded With Water
- Safety glasses
- Choice of Beverage
Preparing the Mold
Your molds need to be as clean as possible. After a few uses, molds tend to harbor residue from past uses and can become crusty. One way we avoid this is to use a release agent prior to each cast. This can be a cooking spray from the kitchen or a fancy concrete specific release agent.
- Coat the clean mold with a release agent. (like a greased cooking pan)
- Level the mold on a solid surface or in a bed of sand to ensure level curing.
Mixing the Concrete
Once your mold is prepared, it's time to mix the concrete. The specific instructions for mixing concrete will vary depending on the type of concrete mix you're using, so be sure to follow the manufacturer's guidelines on the bag or online suggestion. Here's a general guide to mixing concrete:
- In your mixing container, mix the dry concrete mix and water according to the manufacturer's instructions.
- Do NOT over water the mix. It needs to be wet but not soupy.
- Stir the mixture with your preferred stirring tool until it's well blended.
- Set aside.
Pouring the Concrete
It's time to pour into the mold. Let it rip:
- Double check that the mold is on a flat, level surface.
- Slowly pour 1/2 of mold up with concrete, making sure to fill all corners and crevices.
- Tap the sides of the mold gently to remove any air bubbles.
- Add the last 1/2 of the concrete to fully load the mold to your desired thickness.
- Tap and rattle the mold to get a naturally smooth surface of the concrete.
- Walk away and take a sip of that beverage! Allow the concrete to set for the recommended time, usually 24-48 hours.
Removing the Casting
After the concrete has set, it's time to remove the casting from the mold. Here's how to do it:
- Gravity is your best friend. Flip the mold over and lay it on a flat surface.
- Carefully and gently give the mold a tap to see if the casting just needed a boost to fall out of the mold.
- Is it out yet? If not, flex the molds sides and continue to tap the largest surfaces of the mold to encourage the casting to come out. (don't pound on the mold)
- Still not coming out? Allow the upside down mold to set in the warm sun. Sometimes moisture is trapped within the molds and this will help the ABS mold flex a bit too.
- It's out, let the casting sit for a few days. The concrete needs to fully cure to maximum strength.
Tips for Success
Here are a few extra goodies to help you get the best results when using concrete molds:
- Use the best molds in the business...you guessed it, these are ours.
- Make sure the mold material is clean and free of debris before using. Duh!
- More release is NOT always better. Just treat the molds as you would if you were making a pan of delicious brownies.
- Use high-quality concrete mix for best results. (like this)
- Work patiently, that's why we suggested a rewarding beverage.