Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Staining

When I was in about eighth or ninth grade, I babysat for a family who lived in a house built in the 80s. The first thing that I noticed when I walked into the house was the flooring. I thought that I'd died and gone to heaven. They were the most rich, luxurious thing that I've ever seen. I later learned that they had stained and scored the concrete to achieve this splendid result. And thus, my love affair with stained concrete began. Since that time 13 years ago, I've never fallen out of love with this fabulous mix of industrial, yet warm flooring.

So, I figured that it wouldn't hurt for me to try my hand at achieving something similar. Do your remember our courtyard? See?
This was the first night that our completed courtyard existed, and we've been consistently enjoying it since that night.

After 3 long days of working on the concrete, it now looks like this:

Obviously, these pictures were taken at very different times of the day. The stained pictures were taken at around 7:30 in the morning, so the lighting is much different. What do you think? Was it worth the effort and time? Honestly, what do you think? When I started this project, I thought that it would be a great afternoon-filler. Later, I learned that it would take 3 days before it was all complete. 3 days in which my patio furniture would occupy my living room. 3 days in which a teeny tiny raindrop could ruin my efforts. So, it wasn't hard, but it was definitely a pain to have it dragging on for 72 hours. Clean it with a special cleaner. Wait 24 hours. Stain it. Wait 24 hours. Seal it. Wait 24 hours. And, I really would like to put another coat of sealer on it, too. But, we had friends coming over for dinner, so I just didn't have the time.

Now, I'm curious to know how some houses get the super dark, almost black concrete. I've heard that it comes from the factory already dyed that color. Is that true?

You definitely learn a lot when you do any home improvement project for the first time. I'll definitely totally revamp my methodology if I ever do this again. It was fun, though.


21 comments:

katie beth said...

I think it looks great! I have only seen stained concrete in restaurants. Love the idea of doing it at home.

The Cates Fam said...

LOVE it!! My parents house has stained concrete floors and we plan to do the same in our next house. Looks great.

Emma-leigh said...

Looks great!! I have never seen this before but it looks amazing

Anonymous said...

I honestly really like it and I think looks worth 3 days effort! I am not sure how you get the almost black look, however I made a concrete counter top a few years ago and bought a dye at Home Depot- it was a powder I mixed in with the concrete when we poured the concrete. It turned out very black (we also put gravel in the concrete mix and sanded it down so it would have a speckled effect).
Anyway, love the patio! Looks great.

k_stin said...

I would have no idea how to do something like that, but it looks great! Definitely very warm. How did you do the actual staining--on hands and knees or with rollers?

Rosemary said...

It looks great! I first saw this done at Pioneer Woman. It's amazing how pretty you can make concrete look.

Romi said...

It looks beautiful! You did a great job!

The Skaggs said...

Love it!! Impressed!

April said...

That looks fantastic!! Totally worth the effort.

Painting 4 Him said...

I love it! So warm and cozy. Your little patio looks like a wonderful place to welcome friends and family. What a nice place to hang out.

So glad to read your wonderful news of your health. God is so good! What a breath to be able to breathe-His life blood flowing deep into you.

Blessings, Vic

Camille said...

I think it is gorgeous. I've never seen stained concrete and it definitely dresses up your patio.

Anonymous said...

That is awesome! You did a great job!! It is so much more elegant. Definitely worth your time and effort!! Be worth it to put an extra coat on also.
Yes, you can buy concrete color (in powder) to add to the mixture before pouring. But this staining, in my opinion, is so much more pretty. The only time I like color concrete better is if it is going to be stamped in a design.
I work for a concrete construction and redi-mix company. So I deal with this everyday. I see this type of thing all the time, and you did a very wonderful job! You should be very proud of how it turned out!!
Tressa

Rachel said...

Love it! I love stained concrete. We thought about doing it in our house, but since it was new concrete we would have had to let it cure for 30 days before we did.

Sweet Simplicity said...

It looks FANTASTIC! It makes everything looks so put together.

daviscourtneyg said...

First of all your courtyard looks wonderful. You did a great job. My parents have stained their floors in their last two houses. In the house they are currently in they found a darker stain at a speciality store in San Antonio. It is a very dark stain (almost black), and they had to put on a couple of coats before the sealed it. They didn't mix anything in with concrete when it was poured, although I know you can. They also didn't score their floors this time, because they (my mom in particular) found herself continually vacuuming stuff out of the lines in the floor.

Amber said...

Looks fantastic! Def something to be proud of! Good job!

Lori Cooper said...

I adore it and think you did a GREAT job! We were going to do this to our house when we moved in (I was pregnant then) and decided that newborns and concrete floors just don't mix. But I do love the look. My apt. in Austin had scored concrete floors! Your courtyard looks like a WONDERFUL place to relax...now you just need one of those industrial fans that they use at Day Camp and you are set! hahaha

Julie-CA said...

Looks great and is more inviting to walk on all rich in color. Good job!

Julie-CA said...

I haven't been on here in a little bit, and I just got done catching up on your posts and reading htem from the past couple weeks... I'm regretting not having been checking up on here more because I would have loved to rejoice with you when you first got those test results and all. I was teary as I read that post and am so happy to see that wonderfully positive "NEGATIVE"! =)

Alexia said...

LOVE! Makes me want to rip out my carpet and stain the floors in my whole house! Maybe not.

Suzanne Moore said...

I love stained concrete. We did that in our old 1950's garage that had tile on it. Let me rephrase that we had it done, we didn't do it. The tile had been down since the house was built and and left the imprint of the squares. The guy who did it cut diamonds in the concrete and the imprint of those squares gave it more of a design. That garage got a total makeover as I was going through my total makeover. God provided in a way that only He could do! We had termite damage and our termite company sent a contractor out to check it out. I believe he was an angel because he was determained to redo the whole garage, not just patch it up. He called to schedule the work on the Friday before my bilateral surgery. This is funny as i look back because he called and I was so exhausted from all the pre-op tests, scans and just blurted out "Ya'll can come when you want, I have breast cancer and I will be in the hospital next week".....silence, he didn't know what to say. I guess at that point I was just throwing it out there!!1 Anyway, they started work the day I got home from the hospital and our garage is like a room. My children enjoy doing their arwork and crafts out there, my husbands tools and my laundry room are all out there and I park my car in there as well. the one thing I want to do is make a "wrap center" for me. We ended up getting a wonderful room from the termite damage. I praise God that he has given us both a new "spiritual house with many rooms" since our cancer damage. We are forces to be reckoned with because Jesus IS LORD AND HE IS IN CHARGE!! I praise Him that you have felt well to do the things that you are passionate about. God will open doors that no man can shut (this is in revelation). Bless you as we move forward!!!! Much love, you are inspiration! Blessings, Suzanne Moore