Metallic Fusion Coatings
Do you love the look of acid staining but could do without its unpredictable outcome and predictable mess? Would you like to pour floors that exquisitely mirror objects without any polishing? Finally, do you wish you had a way to achieve a consistent three-dimensional look with the same colour (or colours) time after time?
If you answered yes to any or all of the above, you may find metallics attractive. More and more contractors, business owners and consumers across the nation are discovering the variegated beauty, dazzling shine and depth of coatings made possible with metallic and metallic-like pigments.
Today’s metallic-looking coatings vary in composition. Some don’t contain metal and are largely mica or synthetic mica particles coated with colors. Others contain aluminum pigments, various metals and liquid colorants. Some boast a complex combination of the aforementioned ingredients. But they all have one thing in common. They all provide drift and sparkle in different ways depending on how light hits them and on the angle of viewing.
Metallic coatings are being used all over the country and throughout the world, perhaps more in metropolitan areas with larger populations. The coatings can be found everywhere from nightclubs, restaurants and car dealerships to doctors’ offices, hair salons and high-end retail stores where durable surfaces are needed and a contemporary look is desired.
Interest Is Growing
Ask the manufacturers and distributors of metallic coatings if the use of their products is on the rise and you’ll get an emphatic “yes.”
The reasons are many, including the fact they are so easy to use and the color palette is so broad. These days, higher-grade metallics are dispersing better and creating a deeper 3-D look. Epoxies flow more proficiently, many self-level, and they don’t have nearly as many bubbles as in years past. They are also clearer and are less likely to amber. The pot life has been extended and the drying time is faster without compromising the integrity of the coating. There’s a quicker turnaround time for the installer than in years past, with less labor involved. And metallic coatings can be a less-expensive and viable alternative to overlays and stains for floors in bad shape.
Application Is Simple
Although the effects produced by metallic coatings look advanced, installation is quite simple. Most manufacturers suggest you profile and prep the floor with a primer of some sort, with some recommending a light sanding once the primer dries. Next, you spread the self-leveling metallic coating with a trowel, roller or squeegee in a random back-and-forth motion so as not to create lines. At this point, you could be done … or you could put on spiked shoes, go onto the floor and trowel, squeegee, roll, spritz with a solvent or even blow the epoxy around the floor to redistribute the pigments that create the metallic look.
Our Metallic Concrete Finish Tests
There are dozens of metallic-type products on the market today you can use to add color to clear epoxies, polyaspartics, polyurethanes and even acrylic sealers. Most of the products are primarily designed to be used with epoxies.
Below we have unfinished examples of our own preliminary tests. There's an unlimited amount of potential in terms of colour mixing, depth, suspension, and looks we can achieve with these metallics.
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