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Achieving a High Gloss Finish on Cement Planters or Jars: Tips and Techniques

Updated: Feb 28

As you embark on the journey of casting cement, embracing the craft's fundamental principles is like unlocking the door to a world of creative possibilities. Imagine standing in a workshop, surrounded by various potential moulds and tools, ready to experiment with different shapes and textures. Each tool and technique is a companion on this path of discovery.

In cement casting, understanding the basics isn't just about following instructions but learning to 'dance' with the materials. Each mixture you prepare, and every mould you fill tells a story of transformation – from a powdery grey substance to a solid, enduring form. It's a process that marries the ruggedness of construction with the elegance of art.

Achieving a High Gloss Finish on Cement Planters or Jars: Tips and Techniques
Achieving a High Gloss Finish on Cement Planters or Jars: Tips and Techniques

If you want to achieve a high-gloss finish on cement planters or jars, follow the tips below. With each tip, you'll gain insights into achieving a shiny, smooth exterior – a testament to the skill and care you put into your craft.

10 Tips To Achieving a High Gloss Finish on Cement Planters or Jars

  1. Choose the Right Cement Mix: Use a high-quality cement mix for a smooth and shiny finish. Some mixes are specifically designed for fine detail and smooth finishes.

  2. Use a Smooth Mould: Your mould's surface directly affects your cement's finish. Use a mould with a smooth, glossy interior surface. Materials like melamine, polished metal, or smooth plastic are good choices.

  3. Mix Cement Properly: Ensure the cement mix is lump-free and has a thick batter consistency. Overly thick or lumpy mixes can lead to a rough surface.

  4. Mould Release Agent: Use a quality mould release agent in your mould before pouring the concrete. This not only helps in demolding but can also contribute to a smoother surface on your finished piece.

  5. Vibrate to Remove Air Bubbles: Gently vibrate the mould after pouring the cement into the mould. This helps to bring air bubbles to the surface and can be done by tapping the sides of the mould or using a specialized vibrating table.

  6. Cure the Cement Properly: Follow the curing time recommended for your specific cement mix. Rushing this process can lead to a weaker structure and a less smooth surface.

  7. Sand the Surface: Once the cement is fully cured and removed from the mould, you can sand it to achieve a smoother, shinier surface. Start with a coarse grit sandpaper and gradually move to a finer grit.

  8. Apply a Sealer: Clean the dust surface and apply a concrete sealer after sanding. Sealers give a glossy finish and protect the surface from stains and weathering. Many types of sealers are available, including high-gloss options.

  9. Polishing: To achieve an extra shiny surface, polish the cement with a polishing compound and a buffer.

  10. Waxing: Applying a layer of concrete wax over the sealer can further increase the glossiness. Concrete waxes are available in liquid and paste forms and can be applied with a soft cloth.


What safety precautions should be taken when applying high gloss finishes to cement planters or jars?

When applying high gloss finishes, wear protective gloves and a mask to avoid skin irritation and inhalation of fumes. Work in a well-ventilated area to ensure safety.

Can these high gloss finishing techniques be applied to outdoor cement planters, and if so, how do they withstand various weather conditions?

Are there any eco-friendly alternatives to traditional high gloss finishes that can still achieve a similar aesthetic result on cement planters or jars?

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