By now you have opened your kit(s) and have at least read the first paragraph of the instructions that came with the kit(s). Stop for a moment and save the phone numbers and email address below.
These are the ways you will be able to get hold of us if anything you read is not clear to you either in the instruction sheet or here.
The instructions listed some cursory preparation instructions for various surfaces. Because of space constraints in the instructions a more detailed version of each type of preparation.
Ultimately the surface area needs to be abraded so that the surface coating will be applied to as close to 60-grit sandpaper as it can be. This does not mean it will be entirely possible to get the surface to that condition, but it is a goal for you to have in mind.
Our videos page covers a lot of methods for preparing the surface and we suggest that you take a look at them as well. They can be found here:
Once the surface has been prepared, the next step depends on what the surface is made of. Concrete and other fixed stone or brick/block types acid etching is essential. No matter if the surface is new or old, acid etching will clean the surface. Most people think acid etching is performed to make the surface more rough. That is not true. Acid etching cleans the surface pores of any residual calcium that may be lodged within and as a by-product, the surface may feel slightly rougher.
Treated metal surfaces like galvanized metals need to also be washed with white vinegar before a self-etching primer is applied. This simple process will make the galvanization more susceptible to the bond of the primer and coating later.
Non treated metal surfaces should be primed with a self-etching primer, if possible. While Pond Shield is a standalone product, it can be combined with a primer in this instance for an ultimately better bond.
Polished stonework, unglazed tile, and marble absolutely have to be roughed up. If they are not, there is no surface tension for the coating to hang on to and can likely pop off later.
Glazed tile typically has a surface that closely resembles glass. Just like polished stonework and marble, these tiles need to be abraded or there is a high risk of the coating not staying attached over time. Take a look at the videos page in the link above. The video titled Smoothing Rough Concrete has a variety of methods that can be used for this purpose as well.
Plastics like ABS and PVC are very susceptible to bonding with Pond Shield. Each of these plastics simply need to be sanded with 60-grit and wiped clean. Then apply a small amount of PVC primer a couple of minutes prior to applying Pond Shield.
When preparing wood, the prep method used will largely depend on the grade of wood that is being used. Either way though, abrading the wood is also essential to both smooth any rough areas and rough up and smooth areas. 60-grit sandpaper works best for this. Vacuum up and dust prior to coating.
The easiest way to prepare a waterfall is to first take a picture of the waterfall running, if possible. This picture can later be used as a guide for coating exactly to the water line and slightly past. We recommended that the coating be applied to at least ¾ inch outside of the water line. Use grinders or a wire wheel on a drill to get into tight areas where abrading is necessary. Clean all nook and crannies and blow them out to remove residual moisture.
Additional Coating Tips
It cannot be stressed enough that one should always start with the smallest recipe. Outside temperature, humidity, the surface being worked on and your personal skillset will play a large part in how easy or difficult it is to apply the coating. Once the smallest batch size has been applied, the determination of how much material can safely be mixed at a time will be discovered. It is at this time that you can choose to double or triple the recipe as you see fit.
The pot is usually between 20 and 30 minutes, but higher temperatures and mishandling of the material will result in shorter time frames. Never be in a hurry to mix more than you may be able to handle.
It should also be stressed that proper handling of the coating is the easiest way to make sure the pot life is as long as it can be. Leaving mixed material in a mix cup and mixing too much material are classic examples of mishandling.