The first month that the Hacker and I moved in the yellow bungalow we had cable. If you didn't know this about us, we don't ever have cable, not since 2008. We watch all of our entertainment on Hulu or Netflix, etc. So there is no need to spend the additional $70 on cable.
However when we first moved in, the Hacker realized it was better to pay for cable for one month, then to install internet all by itself.
Oh boy, I am really off topic. Moving on....we'll get there people, I promise.
During our first month in the yellow bungalow, we watched all of the DIY, home improvement shows we could. I gained a crush for the Yard Crasher Ahmed Hassan
(probably because the hacker and ahmed share a couple of items from the same waredrobe).
I knew exactly what our first DIY project was going to be.
Our pale pink patio. It may not look pink in the photo, but trust me, there was a '90's pink tint to the concrete.
The patio cover was great, we love it. It is well built, gives great shelter, and isn't so bad on the eyes. However, the concrete was bland and plain.
So, I did my research on how to stain concrete. It seemed like a cheap project with a dramatic result. However, there was one scary fact I found. Everything I was reading said that once you mess up, you're done. There's no going back.
After doing tons and tons of research, we knew that we either wanted to two-tone stain or dye the concrete.
These were my inspiration pics:
We ended up buying Behr's Concrete Dye Kit from Home Depot. It had in it an instructional DVD, that we watched twice before we started, and again before continuing on to the next step.
We rented a pressure washer from Home Depot, and washed the concrete.
Wow! That thing is L-O-U-D!
We learned that if you concentrate too much on one small area, you can actually take off the first layer of concrete. Lesson learned, moving on. We washed that floor twice making sure there wasn't an ounce of dust on it.
We waited a day for it to dry completely, and then sprayed the first layer/color of the dye. The key to spraying is the continually move the sprayer around in a circle. We couldn't stop or make a straight line. We were going for a random, rust look. Anything that was too uniform or patterned wouldn't work.
We practiced in the side yard, and as you can tell, it looked as though a giant cheeto and dorrito had been wrestling on our concrete.
The only problem we had with the sprayer was that it would sometimes leave drops of stain on the concrete. The Hacker and I finally worked out a system where I would spray, and he would follow up behind me with a rag to blot any drops left in my wake.
The key to the second coat, it to make seemingly random blotches throughout the surface.
Wherever we thought there wasn't enough of the second color, we would go back and swish and swoosh some more.
(excuse the shadows, it was late afternoon when we finished and took the pictures)
The last step was the sealer. Because the temperature outside was about 90 degrees when we applied it, the sealer was sticky for an additional day. It made us a little nervous, but after waiting the two days, it was smooth, and no longer left sticky footprint when we walked on it.
It was time consuming, and took many steps to complete, but the end result was worth it. We love the richness it adds to the patio's complete look.
here is the before pic again:
and now the after:
I hate to toot my own horn, but purty good right?
We love the way it changes the feel of the concrete from industrial to natural/earth toned.
Thanks for reading,
*Post Update:* I had some readers ask me what the project cost. I can't believe I didn't included the price in the post! When all was said and done the we spent $350. This includes renting the power washer, the dye kits, and other supplies like tape, plastic liner, etc.
Product Update II: To see the duribility results of the dye kit a year later click here in our latest patio stain update.