Learn as you go (a guaranteeed Uh-Oh :o)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Well, it's [almost] done out there; the floor of the visitor area. My friend Lori came up and helped, as staining large areas of concrete is definitely a two man (er, woman ;o) job. I really liked the mottled, rustic look of the semi- transparent stain, and wanted the additional durability (I definitely don't want to have to do this annually). For anyone interested in tackling such a task on their own concreted area, and it can be indoors or out, here are the things we used:
1. Quikrete semi-transparent stain in Vaquero Brown (the 2 gallons I bought was not enough);
2. A 2 gallon sprayer (to mix both cans together for consistency);
3. Garden hose with an adjustable spray nozzle (the stain must be applied to a wet surface for proper absorption);
4. A push broom to eliminate any large areas of standing water;
5. Masking tape and a bunch of Walmart bags (or any other cheesy bag you have in large quantities) to put around the bottoms of each post (even though it's brown on brown, it still shows and you don't want your posts to be all messy looking if there are any splatters); 
6. A large kitchen garbage bag to cover the bottom half of the door; and,
7. A ginormous bowl of ice cream for when you're done, because it's a million and a half degrees out there and who cares if it's still breakfast time; it's dairy (so I can count it as milk - Ha).
One of the more important lessons I learned, is that we definitely should have done this in the early evening hours as opposed to early morning. Why? Because the sun would not have been so obnoxiously strong (a lot of unwanted speckling resulted because we just couldn't keep the concrete wet enough to absorb the stain properly). Mottled yes, spotted no. This means I'll have to go back over it again in those places; it'll have to be next paycheck though, as I've killed this one dead *grin*. If you look at the bottom of the wooden posts, you can see how much splattering there was; good thing we covered them:
Of course I'll also have to repair the damage from the rain too. Can you believe it? We are in the midst of a drought, there was NO chance of rain when we did it - zero, zilch, zippo, nada - and we get a sudden downpour out of the blue (not that I'm complaining because we needed the rain desperately). Where the patio roof joins the house, there is a small gap in two places. DH bought some flashing to put up there; unfortunately, it only made it as far as the "to do list" (nuts). Funny the way the water puddled up, ran off, then puddled up again, ran off again...Kinda looks like a pair of futuristic cat lady shades, doesn't it? It's like our own special slant on crop circles or something (well, maybe *laugh*). Huh. Weird.

Here's a photo of what it is [mostly] supposed to look like although there is some speckling in the upper left-hand corner:
Live and learn, right? Other than the speckles and freckles (which I'll fix later) I think it looks much better in a nice earthy brown than that super-sized slab of generic gray. Bear in mind that the concrete was still wet in the "before" photo, so it dried to a considerably lighter gray (that often hurt the eyes a lot more than the brown when the sun hit it). It was also evening in the before, so it was pretty much shaded. What do you think?
For some reason, Cinnamon was quite put out by my plans to "fix" those dotty spots *laugh*. He seemed to think it was absolutely perfect as is, and the speckled areas were the very best part (and I probably should have done the whole thing that way anyway). I can't imagine why he's so adamant about it, can you? Silly boy. If I had not taken the photo myself, I would have sworn it was Cinnamon's coat. That's actually the concrete below on the left; talk about bizarre. You know, I'm thinking that might be even weirder than the shades...

Want a sneak peek at next week? It's a *whispering* potty post. And you'll see what I'm doing with (to?) some rusty-musty-dusty old folding chairs that were donated to the farm. Tilly's [the tractor] former owners gave us a dozen of 'em - Woo! Color me amazed not only to have chosen the subject for the next post, but I've already started writing. Holy cow! I can't believe I'm actually getting ahead of the game on posting (and having said that out loud - like a ninny - I'll probably wind up behind again just because I couldn't keep my mouth shut). It's okay though, as long as I get there in the end, right?
Have a blessed week everyone!


  1. I like the brown, it looks great. Maybe my husband would want to do our basement floor something like that. (Notice I said "HE" might want to )
    I can see how Cinnamon might have been offended. Spotty dotty isn't so bad looking

  2. I love the color! Even the crop circle/cat eyes!! :)

    Good ness you are doing a lot of work. It will be so nice when it is all done.

    Isn't that just the luck that it hasn't rained for so long but it decides to rain when you are trying to get work done.

    Have a super week Jen!
    xo Catherine

  3. Ann: Thank you; I sure am glad I like it too (I'd be in deep doo-doo if I didn't, right? *laugh*). They had some great blues and greens as well, but I liked the more rustic looking brown for the patio (betcha those other colors would be terrific someplace inside though, like say maybe a... basement perhaps? ;o)
    Catherine: I actually thought about leaving them there, just because it was both weird and cool. I appreciate the "lot of work" comment, as I feel perpetually frustrated at my lack of energy; seems to run out awfully quick these days *grin*.
    I think I'm old ;o)

  4. Your floor looks wonderful! Hmmmm...we're going to get a new parking area, maybe I should consider dressing it up a bit!
    Thanks for sharing and for the tips!

  5. Dreaming: Thank you so much. They had photos on the Quikrete website of a house with a stained driveway; it looked really neat. Of course I look at ours (which is over 200' long) and just laugh. Oh my, I don't think so ;o)

  6. Coolio! I laughed at the photo with Cinnamon. It is looking really good now, you must be so happy :)

Your comments really brighten my day!

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