What do cats, concrete, and Elvis Presley have in common? It's rumored that they have multiple lives. In the case of concrete, at least, there's indisputable evidence that this rumor is actually fact.

For the past six years, Tim Lindberg, the founder of San Diego-based Capstone Concrete, has made it his business to breathe new life into existing concrete, relying primarily on engraving and acid staining as his revival methods. "I was attracted to this type of work because I saw a need and much room for improvement in the field of concrete restoration," he says. "I knew I could provide a more authentic-looking and lasting finished product."

The two projects shown here exemplify how Capstone can rejuvenate worn out, lackluster concrete. One is a walkway for a homeowner in Fallbrook, Calif., that Lindberg engraved with an Appian stone pattern and enhanced with acid stain in Rustique, one of a variety of custom color blends that Capstone offers. "The owner wanted to transform his expansive bare-gray concrete sidewalk into something that would bring more warmth and charm to his property," says Lindberg.

This plain-gray concrete sidewalk is transformed by engraving and acid staining. The Appian stone pattern and reddish-brown stain complement the brickwork of the home's exterior.

The other project involved restoring five cul-de-sacs and two entryways for a gated community in the city of San Diego. The 20-year-old stamped concrete pavements had faded and were marred by non-matching patches from roadwork over the years. Lindberg restored the color and disguised the patchwork by applying an acid stain in an Olive Branch color blend. "The acid stain we use has never peeled or flaked off concrete, so I know those cul-de-sacs will permanently stand up to heavy garbage truck and vehicular traffic," he says. Some of the products Capstone uses are commercial-grade acid stains from L.M. Scofield and Kemiko Concrete Stains.

A faded 20-year-old stamped concrete pavement is brought back to life with an olive-toned stain.

"Acid stain color is not achieved by low-grade pigments, but by an oxidation process similar to the process that colors real stone in the natural environment. The fading is minimal, even in extreme exterior applications," Lindberg explains.

Adding to the realism of natural stone are the unique engraving patterns Lindberg uses. He says the patterns are inspired by paving stones and home styles he has seen on his travels everywhere from the California coast and colonial New England to the country sides of Italy. The permanence of engraving is another advantage of the technique, Lindberg notes. Depending on the look to be achieved, he engraves and profiles the concrete surface with methods such as acid etching, diamond blades, pneumatic tools, sandblasting and high-pressure water.

"Time and again property owners become unsatisfied with the peeling and flaking of coatings and overlays. Engraving is as durable as the original concrete because the textured pattern is engraved in. There is nothing on top to flake off," Lindberg says.

For more information about engraving, see Concrete Engraving Transforms Existing Concrete.

Capstone Concrete
San Diego, CA 92127-2870

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