This is a common question at Brickform training. On the surface, the products seem fairly similar. They are both surface-applied coloring agents. They both create opaque color. They both come with the complete Brickform Standard Color Selection. There are a few significant differences that dictate when, where, and how both Cem-Coat and Freestyle Pro are used. Find your application below to see which is better and why.

I’m coloring textured concrete:

Workers apply FreestylePRO to a stamped concrete streetscape at an amusement park. This application will periodically be recolored with FreestylePRO.

Workers apply FreestylePRO to a stamped concrete streetscape at an amusement park. This application will periodically be recolored with FreestylePRO.

FreestylePRO is probably your best bet, especially if there’s a heavy texture or stamp pattern. FreestylePRO has a thinner build that makes for a more even, consistent application over texture. This means the pigment can get deep into the grooves, depressions, and details of the texture without filling in, clumping, or pooling. FreestylePRO can also be applied dozens of times without any appreciable buildup.

I’m coloring flatwork or mildly textured concrete:

Cem-Coat is being applied to restore a blotchy driveway and sidewalk combination.

Cem-Coat is being applied to restore a blotchy driveway and sidewalk combination.

Cem-Coat is a thicker build product with cementitious materials included. This means it is a more durable material that can better withstand wear and abuse. This thick build, however, can be problematic with heavy textures and patterns, leading to weak spots.  Cem-Coat excels at creating durable, opaque color that looks just like a new concrete slab.

I’m using a stain or dye later:

Cem-Coat applied over a texture skin and antiqued.

Cem-Coat applied over a texture skin and antiqued.

Cem-Coat accepts stains and dyes just like a regular slab. FreestylePRO does not. Cem-Coat is the better product if you plan on staining later on because it will accept the stain just as the underlying slab would. FreestylePRO, on the other hand, is self-sealing. It will not accept stains or dyes. Consider Cem-Coat to be a fresh surface that can be treated just as the original.

I need a quick fix with minimal upkeep:

A porch quickly recolored with FreestylePRO and antiqued with Freestyle PRO Highlighter.

A porch quickly recolored with FreestylePRO and antiqued with Freestyle PRO Highlighter.

FreestylePRO is quick to apply, and relatively fast drying. It can be ready for foot traffic in 2 hours and vehicle traffic in 48 hours. What really makes FreestylePRO attractive for fast-track restoration work is the ability to easily reapply with minimal preparation. FreestylePRO bonds to itself very well and is self-sealing. If you do not apply an additional sealer, you can apply the recoat right over the first coat of FreestylePRO. 

I want to color a wall:

Cem-Coat can be spray applied, which means it is good for vertical surfaces. You can apply Cem-Coat to any cementitious surface, which includes cast concrete, vertical mix overlays, and concrete block. Make sure to thoroughly strain the Cem-Coat before use. Apply using an airless sprayer. Using a sprayer, you may actually slightly increase your coverage rate. FreestylePRO, on other hand, must be brushed applied.

Brickform Cem-Coat and FreestylePro have their advantages and limitations. Each has a long list of best applications. The one thing they both have in common? Cem-Coat and FreestylePro are both valuable tools for concrete restoration and repair professionals.

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