Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Concrete Staining part 3

After the floor is cleaned, and taped off in the desired design the fun begins.

I want a light border tile followed by a darker inner border tile and the center to be earthy and brown but lighter that the border.

The first step is to sponge and dry brush on a semi opaque light color. I used a clear concrete stain and added white acrylic to make the color. go around in a random and unplanned manner dabbing and sponging your tiles. We wanted light and dark spots so I purposely add more stain to some places and less to others. Just stay on one side of the tape and keep a wet towel handy to scrub off any paint that gets away from you.

When the white drys the second color is added. I want to tie in my main color throughout all three different tiles I plan to paint. So I started with the brown stain I will be using for the center and main floor. To that I added a bit of yellow ochre tint-all as well as a bad of burnt sienna tint-all. Tint-all is a pigment that can be used in small quantities to color your paint, it is available in the paint dept of hardware stores, I got our at Home Depot.
Using a couple of bluebird tail feathers ( thank you my lovely cats) I began the rock veins, I followed behind and sponged them here and there to soften the look. To really add a natural look and depth to the stone, I went around a finial time with the brown but darkened it up with the yellow and a bit of tint-all grey. experiment and play, rocks in nature are not perfectly colored so neither should yours be. I used a fan shaped paintbrush to create the finial cracks and veins on my white border.

Inner Border, I mixed two batches of stain, the fist the brown stain from the main center, plus burnt sienna and yellow and a tiny bit of grey, the second a very saturated mix of the same three colors, but added a lot of grey until the mix was near gunmetal colored.

With the lighter of the two I went around filling the border with random darker and lighter spots taking care to fill my entire space, no grey concrete showing, and cleaning up any paint I got onto existing areas where it did not belong.

Go around with the darker stain but use a lighter hand so the light and the dark both show, but because I want this part dark I made certain the darker stain was more prominent.

Steve went around for the third layer with a clear stain with only yellow ochre and dry brushed here and there sparsely to add the rich depth we wanted.

The central tiles, here I mixed brown stain with a fawn colored opaque acrylic and my yellow and sienna tints, dab and blot it here and there until the surface is covered. Layer two for the center tiles was a white mix similar to the boarder but a bit more translucent. I just slothed it randomly and thickly here and there leaving some grey concrete exposed covering parts of the fawn stain, a very random and not planned pattern. Let it dry.

After it dried we taped off our borders with painters paper, the next step can be messy and splatter your other hard work so plan accordingly.

This was a two person job if your surface is large.
I took a weed sprayer the kind you pump, filled it with the brown stain and pumped it up until I could pump it no more. The stain is thick and if you do not pump it well you get big ugly splotches as opposed to a fine spray.
I sprayed the floor heavier in some spots lighter in others and Steve went behind with a roller feathering it out and smoothing the color.
We went around after the first coat and added some more color to places we missed or places that needed a little more color ( such as the glue line we did not completely remove and the spray painted J.A. that was on the slab.)

Let it dry... then remove all your tape and see the fruits of your labor.
After you have rested, sweep the area very very well, remove all the beasts from the house so they don't run through like our cat did. And seal the floor with a concrete sealer. Steve put down two layers, and we used a wet look, shiny sealer.
We are done, isn't it a beauty?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Concrete Staining part 2

We ripped up the carpets then we set forth to clean, and scrape off the glue and white residue that is on concrete. We rented a big rotary polisher/scrubber thingy, put our rubber boots on and scrubbed some more. It took a full day to get the concrete clean enough for our intents and purposes.

I did my measuring and computing for the faux tile design I am going to stain. then we had to tape it off in the proper grids.

After all the cleaning and scraping, sanding, scouring and so forth there are still many bits of residue and discoloration in the concrete. My back is sore and I also think that because I am using Behr concrete stain (which soaks into the concrete and residue) instead of an acid stain ( which would react with the chemicals in the concrete) the residue and white stuff will blend and add character. So we are done with the scrubbing.

After all the cleaning let it dry then use some sort of concrete repair or thin set concrete to fill any holes or gouges, large cracks etc. Allow that to dry then sand smooth. Vacuum, use a damp cloth to pick up any extra dust allow to dry again...

Then you can tape off your design. Or use stencils, etch with a dremel whatever you desire. after that is over make certain there is no particles etc and begin the staining.

I wanted to point out a problem we have to deal with on our floor.... the spray painted J.A. you can see it above in the photo. I am hoping it disappears with the many coats of stain that we are going to

put down.

I will post more later after I actually stain the concrete.

I think this can save you a huge chunk of change on changing your flooring, *but* it is labor intensive and you need to stay focused and complete all the steps if you want a nice looking finished product.

Stay tuned... see If I stay focused and end up with a nice looking finished product.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Goodbye nasty carpets.

Here we go, removing the nasty carpets from the front room. Carpet removal is easier than I thought... its those damn little tack strips that are nailed into the concrete that are difficult to remove.
The plan is to scour the concrete, make faux grout lines in a complex yet do-able design, stain with 3 colors, and seal this floor by tomorrow.
So I better get off this computer and get my rear end back to work :)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

My first fabric design

This is my first fabric design, it is subtle and monochromatic but I have only just begun!

It took a few days to figure out how to draw in inkscape and create designs from my drawings.

Here is the sketch I made, I tried to keep it simple and still very "Cytel" I needed to be able to trace it in Inkscape.

I took the leaf and manipulated it in various ways until I got the green swatch above. So I am going to order a swatch of fabric and see how the colors and design actually look in a fabric.

This is another plan coming together, the orange flower with the green vines. I need to play and tweak it more I want the background to be colorized. I'm not to certain of the color combo, but I still have learning to do in regards to coloring in inkscape.
This whole design reminds me of Cinderella's pumpkin carriage. Hmmmmm

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Spoonflower, and the home textile designer.

I discovered Spoonflower a while back and the possibilities were really astounding. As anyone that knows me can tell you I am a crafty momma and I LOVE fabric and art... so this site combines these two loves and lets the home textile designer create and print high quality fabrics from their imagination and get it custom made.
I'm smitten, I have many ideas in my head but the real challenge is not drawing it on paper but in a program. I did some sketching last night, but this is not really my intended design just ideas. I want a provincial motif with a border in bright colors.
As for getting it into a program I have many hours of learning ahead of me, but I found Inkscape and Gimp both are free programs that are like Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. I would post my progress but I have not figured out how to format the file into a .jpeg.
So check back and see if I figure out this fabric designing, beautiful creations could come of this.