First off I would like to thank Ms. Court for having me on as a guest blogger. I am completely flattered!
As I mentioned above my hubbie and I have been renovating our midcentury South Florida home for the past year and seven months. Yes, one year and seven months. AHHH!! Ok, I'm back.
I have to be completely honest, we are not diy'ing most of the work. Hence the title, Taking DIY to the Next Level. What we have done is strive to make this place OURS. So when it came to the floors and the countertops, major design elements in a home, we didn't want to do the typical beige travertine tile floor and granite or marble countertop. After some research we decided to do decorative concrete floors and countertops. Anyone that has looked into concrete floors and countertops knows that prices are kind of out of control. Countertops range from $65-$80 a square ft. Insane. So here's the confession. We hired subcontractors to pour the concrete floor. Not DIY. We saved money by using a regular concrete mix instead of a self leveller which can drive up the cost quite a bit. The hubbie and bother in law have a shell construction company, so our guys made the concrete countertops. Not DIY.
I know you're probably thinking, I thought this was a post on DIY. Well, it is, now. Anyone into interiors knows that it's all about the color or lack of color in the case of black and white. Color is my thang. So, I was the one to acid stain the concrete floors and countertops. Without me coloring with acid there wouldn't have been concrete floors or counters because it was completely out of our budget to hire someone to do the entire job. That's the point here. If you combine DIY with some professional work you can take your project to the next level.
How did I learn about acid staining concrete, you ask? Well the first resource was actually a book. I know, that ancient thing that has printed pages bound between two thicker pages otherwise known as a cover. See, I knew so little about staining concrete I couldn't even get decent internet search results. But after skimming the book and searching the internet I found that youTube is an amazing resource. This is by far the best video.
So after watching just about every youTube video on acid staining concrete I worked up the nerve to sample some colors. After selecting the colors I just followed the directions from the best youTube videos and went at it. If you would like step by step instructions just submit a request in the comments and I'll post them.
I will admit, it was scary. The floor looked like this right after staining.
Here's what the floor looked like dry after neutralizing.
There are other options when coloring concrete. Apparently water based stain offers a more reliable color because it's an actual pigment instead of a pigment with a chemical reaction as with acid stain. Another option is pigment that is mixed in with the concrete. Soycrete, a soy based stain, is yet another way to color concrete.
I know not everyone is ready for concrete floors or counters but there are ways to play around with staining concrete. Vases and stepping stones are great options. There is another product called DecoPoz which is a cementitious product that can be applied in a thin layer, say on plywood which can be stained and hung as wall art. So, there are affordable DIY options to add stained concrete to your decor.
For more info check out the Decorative Concrete category of my blog here or ask questions in the comments. Thanks for reading and don't be afraid to take DIY to the next level!