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Outdoor entertainment areas add usable living space to your home and hours of summer fun for your family. Susan and her husband were getting a new pool put in, and they wanted a poolside countertop bar area. Instead of paying somebody else to do it, they decided to do it themselves.
Together, they created two fantastic concrete acid stain projects: a swim-up pool bar, and a poolside banana countertop.
Susan wrote to us to tell us how they did it. Here’s her story:
“My husband and I had a pool installed in 2008. We knew we wanted a poolside countertop included in the design, so we had the pool company leave a portion of the pool coping off the pool. This area would later be where we would set our concrete swim-up bar top. We also planned to install a concrete countertop under a roof area for entertaining. For each countertop, my husband created the mold, we poured the concrete together, and I acid stained them.
“After researching acid stains on the web, I found Direct Colors. Being a novice at acid staining, Frank Turner, a technician with Direct Colors, was very helpful and offered advice on how to get the mottled look I was trying to achieve for the swim-up pool bar.
“To complete the fish bar, I used 1311 Sunray colored concrete pigment for gray-based concrete. I found that I didn’t use enough of the concrete pigment to get the color I wanted, so I then followed up with Malayan Buff acid stain.
“Once I had achieved the concrete color I wanted, I then started to work on the fish with the Deco Gel Acid Stains. I used a small paintbrush, normally used for painting with acrylics, when I applied the Deco Gel Stains. First, I outlined the fish with Coffee Brown. I then shaded the fish spikes and markings with Cola and Coffee Brown. Thirdly, I completed the inside of the fish body with Cola.
“When I poured the concrete for the banana bar, I used enough of the 1311 Sunray colored concrete pigment to get the color I wanted. I then used a small spray bottle and applied an even coat of English Red acid stain over the entire countertop. I then used a foam brush to apply the Deco Gel Stains for the banana leaves. I used Cola and Coffee Brown and a bit of water to shade and fill in the banana leaves.
After completing the fish, I used English Red acid stain in a small spray bottle around the outside of the fish. To obtain a mottled look around the outside of the fish, I dropped clumps of sand on the countertop and sprayed the English Red Acid Stain directly onto the sand and the areas without the sand. I protected the fish with old towels from the spray as I did not want the English Red to touch the fish. I then neutralized the countertop and applied a several light coats of Krystal Kote Water Based sealer.”
“I mixed the Deco Gel Stains with a little water when needed to aid in shading process.
“When applying the Cola stain to the body of the fish, I used a swirling motion with the paint brush to produce a fish scale effect.”
For the final step, I used the Black Deco Gel Stain mixed with a small amount of English Red acid stain to outline the banana leaves and to accentuate the stem.I then neutralized the countertop and applied a several light coats of Krystal Kote Water Based sealer.”
“Having never worked with acid stains prior to these two poolside countertop projects, I was a bit unsure as to the outcome. Overall, the process was simple and the Deco Gel Stains were quite easy to work with. I am pleased with the final appearance of the projects and look forward to many years of enjoyment using the concrete countertops.”
-Susan T., Maryland
Susan’s Shopping List:
English Red Acid Stain – 1 Quart
Krystal Kote Concrete Sealer – 1 Quart
Integral Color – 1311 – 5 Lbs.
Deco Gel Custom Sample Kit (Cola-2, English Red – 1, Coffee Brown-4)
English Red Acid Stain – 1 Quart
Krystal Kote Concrete Sealer – 1 Quart (Water-Based)
Integral Color – 1311 – 10 Lbs.
4oz. Sample of Black Deco Gel