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  • For this beautiful 1,200-square-foot patio and outdoor entertaining area, travertine stamps and stone-textured form liners were used to replicate real stone, creating a high-end look for a reasonable cost.
  • A view of the barbecue area, which includes a stone-textured concrete countertop for food preparation
  • The patio’s circular fire pit was created using travertine-textured form liners to match the travertine pattern of the stamped concrete patio.
  • A closeup view of the fire pit, showing the stone-textured edge detailing of the cantilevered ledge.
  • The same edge detailing was used for the concrete countertop.

This new residential stamped-concrete patio, outdoor kitchen and entertaining area in San Diego beautifully demonstrates the versatility of concrete to recreate the look of natural stone -- and in many cases, at a lower cost. Allen Ortiz, owner of Allen Decorative Concrete, used travertine stamps and stone-textured form liners for the entire project, including the concrete countertop and circular fire pit, completing the job for around $15,000, much less than you’d typically pay to achieve the same look using real quarried stone.

For the patio, Ortiz used an ashlar travertine stamp for the surface and a hammered-edge form liner to impart a stone-like texture along the edges. He created the realistic coloring using a buff-toned dry-shake hardener accented with a combination of sandstone, charcoal and sandalwood water-based stains. A walnut antiquing wash was added to give the surface a weathered effect. The final touch was applying a clear, high-gloss sealer to enhance the color.

Ortiz duplicated the same stone-like textures and coloring effects in the fire pit and concrete countertop. “The fire pit was made by using three travertine ashlar form liners, which perfectly fit a 3-foot Sonotube form. An 8-inch cantilever off the top creates a ledge, which was also textured on both the inside and outside with a form liner,” he says. Ortiz used the same edge treatment for the concrete countertop, coloring all the edges with a midnight-gray antiquing stain.

Much of Ortiz’s skill at producing such beautiful decorative stamped concrete was inspired by the work of his father. “I started in the business helping him right out of high school. He was one of the first concrete contractors to install stamped concrete using aluminum stamping tools,” says Ortiz.

In 1993, Ortiz started his own decorative concrete company specializing in stamping, staining and restoration. Thanks to the advent of today’s more sophisticated concrete stamping tools and materials, Ortiz’s father would truly be amazed by his son’s accomplishments.

Concrete contractor Allen Ortiz
Allen Decorative Concrete, Escondido, Calif.

Materials used Stamping tools: Ashlar Lorenzo Travertine stamp and Denali edge liner, from Proline Decorative Concrete Systems
Color hardener: Dura-Color, in Arizona Buff
Accent stains: Dura-Color EZ-Accent water-based stain in Sandstone, Charcoal and Sandalwood
Antiquing wash: EZ-Tique water-based antiquing wash in Walnut and Midnight Gray
Concrete sealer: DuraSeal HG

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