Eric Holme Construction; Chapin, S.C.
Eric Holme, owner of Eric Holme Construction, and his employees love to take on the tough jobs. And sometimes that tough job comes in the form of unique projects. "It makes it easy to get up in the morning and go to work the next day because you know the jobs you?re doing are so different and creative," he says. A year ago, Holme took on one of those unique projects. His task was to create and stain an outdoor concrete countertop as well as stain a portion of the outdoor patio.
The 30-foot-long countertop required the most prep work, Holme says. The first step was to create the concrete wall the countertop would sit on. Holme says the concrete was 8 inches wide and around 36 inches high. The next step was building forms for the countertop. Holme says the trick to creating a good concrete countertop is to fit the forms properly. Rebar was used to reinforce the concrete in the wall and the 4-inch-thick countertop. Holme says they then poured the countertop and let it cure for 14 days. Then it was ready to be stained.
Holme used Chrome-Etch acid stain from Specialty Concrete Products. Using squirt bottles, Holme squirted Rust Brown and Kahlua stains onto the countertop. "We blend colors. We'll take two different squirt bottles and we squirt kind of like you're throwing paint against a wall. A little bit here, a little bit there," he says. "That way you get a really nice mottled look and you get three or four variations of color going through it because it mottles real well." He says the squirt bottles are good to use on smaller areas that are being stained because you can get more precise with them.
Once stained, the countertop had to be cleaned to dilute away the acid. Then it was sealed using a 30 percent solid seal from Specialty Concrete Products. Three coats of sealer were applied, Holme says.
Holme and his crew then moved on to create the bottle wall the countertop would sit on. When the outdoor counter was completed, Holme moved on to the patio, which was mostly stone. However, there was a 12 foot by 12 foot area of concrete in the middle of the patio where Holme created and stained a sunburst pattern, he says. A garden sprayer was used to apply stain to the sunburst pattern on the patio. Two colors - Rust Brown and Kahlua - were used for the patio, he says.
Just like the countertop, the stained area of the patio had to be cleaned and sealed. But Holme says he needed to be extra careful when diluting the patio stain. "When you need to dilute it back off you have to be careful not to wash it over the mortar joints of the brick because, even though it is a day after you sprayed the acid, there's still some liquid form. If you wash it off it will stain the gray mortar joints," he says. After the patio had been carefully cleaned, three coats of the same sealer were also applied to the sunburst pattern on the patio.
The entire project took Holme three months to complete and was done in phases, he says. And like much of the other work Holme has done, he enjoyed every minute of the project.
"It's so fun because there are so many neat things you can do with the acid stain on concrete countertops and patios. We get into designing things that are really different."
Unique Concrete Systems; Miami, Fla.
Unique Concrete Systems may be a small company of four employees, but that doesn't stop them from sharing their staining work all over the world. In 2006, Unique Concrete Systems traveled overseas to work on a staining project at Ideapark, a shopping mall in Tampere, Finland, says Vice President William Gonzalez.
It took Gonzalez and his father, Jesus, president of Unique Concrete Systems, four months to complete the approximately 250,000-square-foot job, according to Gonzalez. It was the largest project Unique Concrete Systems had ever done.
The staining was done in all the common areas such as hallways and bathrooms as well as some restaurants and shops. A total of about 3,000 gallons of SuperStone acid stain - shipped over from Miami - was used on the project.