Grant used a chalkline and a pencil to lay out the random block design. Then the design was cut into the floor and the floor was cleaned to prepare it for the stain. Finally, Grant says he used a Quikrete mix to fill in any holes and divots in the floor, which had already been poured.
For the smaller squares stained with black or Fern Green a chip brush was used to apply the stain, Grant says. The Padre Brown stain was applied with a plastic pump sprayer over the entire floor, including the already stained blocks. The result was a richer black and a muted Fern Green.
Possibly the most important step for Floor Seasons in the staining process is the color verification, Grant says. After the stain was applied but before it was sealed Floor Seasons brought the client in to see the project. "We already put the color down, and now we've residued it, and then we mop it for them so they can look at it wet because the way it looks wet is pretty much the way it is going to look sealed," he says. The color verification step is usually done the morning after staining, Grant says.
After staining the floor, Grant used a combination of baking soda and water to neutralize the stain. The floor was then flushed with water, which was then sucked up with a wet vac, and left to dry. It is important to let the floor dry thoroughly before sealing, especially the joints, so no water is trapped under the sealer. If that happens, the water trying to evaporate through the sealer turns the sealer white on the edges of the joints and can crust off, according to Grant. Once dry, Grant applied two coats of an acid-tone-based sealer, grouted the floor and applied four coats of wax to complete the project.
Grant says this was one of those jobs that went perfectly from start to finish, and he credits the concrete contractor for taking good care of the concrete and keeping it clean. That allowed Floor Seasons smooth sailing throughout its part of the project. Both Grant and the client are very pleased with the final result. "Concrete staining has its ups and downs. And we want to make sure what we think looks beautiful is what our clients think looks beautiful," Grant says.
Classic Art Design; Bremerton, Wash.
Laurie Smith and her partner Chris Coryell love nature, and they love to incorporate it into their projects. Smith, owner of Classic Art Design, started the company two months ago, and Smith and Coryell share the work of both collaborating and designing.
After only two months of being in business, Smith and Coryell took on a job that was a first for both of them. The project was a mural for an indoor soccer center in Bremerton, Wash. What made the project unique, as well as a challenge, was the fact that it was a vertical piece, Smith says.
The 25-foot-long, 40-inch-tall mural took Smith and Coryell two weeks to complete. The final result was a carved mountain range boasting eight different colors totaling one gallon of L&M Industries' stain, Smith says. "The stain is true to color. It is a lot like a watercolor - starting with a light shade and being able to manipulate that color into the shade we need for depth," she says. Those aspects made it a good product for this project.
The mural started as one panel of plywood backing. Smith and Coryell then troweled on a gray, glass-reinforced, lightweight concrete mix. "Putting it on the vertical was the hardest," both Smith and Coryell agree. "You had to be able to apply it vertically with pressure with it not falling off. This is where Chris being a mason for 15 years definitely was an advantage," Smith says.
Next, they applied a mist coat of concrete which was used to carve in the mountain range. In sticking with their love for nature, Smith says cedar branches were embedded in the concrete and pulled out the next day. This is their way of "fossilizing nature," she says.
The foreground, mountain range and peaks were carved into the gray concrete. Then a layer of white concrete was troweled on for the sky area so they could get true colors, Smith says. A geode was embedded in one of the mountain peaks to create a backlit sun. Once the scene was carved and set, Smith and Coryell applied the stain.