You’re listening to Direct Colors podcast Episode 33:  Bathroom Remodeling is a Snap with Decorative Concrete.  If this is your first time listening, then thanks for listening.  I’m Tommy Carter, Sales Manager and Technician with Direct Colors.

Tommy:  If you’re thinking of starting a home remodeling project but are overwhelmed by the idea of tackling your whole house, why not begin in the bathroom? Bathrooms are an ideal size for a first time project and our General Manager, Shawna Turner, is here to discuss why and tell us how to get started. Welcome Shawna.

ST:  Thanks, Tommy.

Tommy: So why is a bathroom remodel such a good introductory project for homeowners?

ST: As you mentioned before, it is often the smallest room in the house so refinishing the floors or bathroom vanity doesn’t seem like such a daunting task. We had a customer a few years ago with a particularly challenging bathroom remodeling project. He had basically gutted the room and was starting from scratch. The floor was heavily stained and in such terrible condition that after some discussion, Mr. Thomas decided to use a concrete overlay to create a brand new floor surface.  A wise decision in this case. The floor was less than 50 square feet so he only needed one box for the project and after watching our videos and reading over the how to application guide, he felt ready to proceed. I think the results speak for themselves.

Bathroom Floor Remodel

DCI White Concrete Overlay with Diluted Coffee Brown Acid Stain

Tommy:  How would you say decorative concrete compares to other interior design options?

ST:  It’s true that there are a lot of options out there. I know Mr. Thomas appreciated the ways in which he could customize his overall design outcome. For example, he chose our white DCI Concrete Overlay and followed with various dilutions of Coffee Brown Acid Stain. Though we offer white in both our overlay and countertop mix, white concrete can be difficult to find locally. Mr. Thomas selected that option because it provided the color contrast that complemented the other elements of the bathroom well. Here’s the review he later posted on Direct Colors Facebook page:

“I had what I called, “a botched job” at an attempt to stain my floor. I panicked and contemplated vinyl flooring. I called your toll free number and you recommended that I start over with a concrete overlay and apply diluted acid stain in various ratios based on my intended design. I really appreciate your patience. The floor came out far better than I could have ever imagined. My wife and I owe it all to the great advice from Justin and Shawna of Direct Colors Inc.”

I also think that people like to be creative and have something beautiful in their homes that they actually did themselves. Acid staining in particular offers our customers a one of a kind finish and that’s very appealing.


Poured Bathroom Vanity Countertop

Poured Bathroom Vanity Countertop with Black Acid Stain Designs

Tommy: What about countertops? Remodeling existing countertops or adding a new poured concrete top in a bathroom also seems like a manageable project for homeowners.

ST:  That’s absolutely true.  We offer products for both options and concrete countertops offer endless customization options for any bathroom design. In fact, I think refinishing bathroom vanities is one of our most popular projects at the moment. Vanities are typically smaller than kitchen countertops and require less time as well as money to remodel. Our concrete overlay does a wonderful job of putting a brand new finish on a properly prepared surface that allows our customers to start over in the bathroom with any look they wish – affordably.  It’s important to point out that remodeling doesn’t have to break the bank and using decorative concrete products is definitely working smart for bathroom floors and countertops.

Tommy:  What’s the top selling Direct Colors product for refinishing bathroom vanities?

ST:  Without question, it’s the metallic epoxy. If it is a bathroom vanity project, the countertop refinishing kit is perfect because each kit covers up to 50 square feet and that’s about the size of your average bathroom countertop.  If you’re really thinking about using a metallic epoxy for a countertop project, I recommend watching Ken Lazenby with Ken’s Custom Design on our website, or on YouTube. He has several excellent how-to videos that do a great job of demonstrating the process step-by-step.

Metallic Epoxy Countertop Products

DCI Metallic Epoxy Countertop Refinishing Kit

Tommy:  Any final thoughts for our listeners about taking on a bathroom remodeling project with our products?

ST:  I’d say plan everything out carefully before you begin. Direct Colors has hundreds of project photos categorized by product or project in the case of concrete countertops. Make a note of what pictures appeal to you. Use the search bar on the website. Type in bathroom, remodeling or countertop to see all the relevant blog posts, featured projects and products that might be of interest to you. All of our product how-to guides and videos are available online so read up on the application details to help decide is this is the right direction for you. Lastly, call us  to speak to a technician directly or send in a free online design consultation by email if you prefer to discuss the specifics of your project. We’re here to help and are happy to do so.


Tommy: Thanks, Shawna. That’s sound advice and if you’re a homeowner with a remodeling project call me, Tommy, at 877-255-2656 and we’ll determine the best products and technique for your needs.  If you’d prefer to send us an email, visit and we’ll get back to you within 24-48 hours.

Direct Colors DIY Home Improvement podcasts are produced twice monthly for your enjoyment and show notes can be found at Feel free to add the podcast to your favorite RSS feed.  You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ , YouTube and Instagram. I’m Tommy Carter and thanks again for joining us!



You’re listening to Direct Colors podcast Episode 32: Remodel and Flip Houses for Less with Decorative Concrete.  If this is your first time listening, then thanks for listening.  I’m Tommy Carter, Sales Manager and Technician with Direct Colors.

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We recently had the opportunity to provide product to a local tattoo shop project. Isaac Bruno of Mad Tatter Tattoo Shop is with us today to chat about how he created this epic red and white checkerboard floor created with DCI Concrete Dye!

“My name is Isaac Bruno. I just opened up the Mad Tatter Tattoo Shop in Shawnee, Oklahoma. I was inspired by Alice in Wonderland. I really enjoyed all of the textures, all of the colors and just the imagination of everything: green trees, red trees and talking animals. It’s always intrigued me and I wanted to do something totally different so this is what I did.

We used a lot of different colors of the DCI Concrete Dyes: reds, olives, bright greens that we were working with as well. It turned out really nice. A lot of the colors we tried to use worked out really well and I really enjoyed using them. I used to airbrush t-shirts and cars and things like that, and this product worked similarly to that. It went on really quick and flashed really fast and it was really simple once we figured it out.

We did the red and white here in the lobby with this crazy checkerboard floor, then I ran it down the hallway with a little pink path and grass and weeds going up the walls. I also added a grass pattern to my room and did a little stone walkway around the chair.

I wanted to do something that messed with your mind, to make it as three dimensional as possible. The regular red and white checkerboard floor has been done before. There are a lot of places that have them. I wanted to add a little motion to the room so we made this floor.

Don’t use a masking tape or anything with a high adhesive. We had to use a low tack tape and we couldn’t leave the tape on there for very long.

One thing I had a problem with is I had to keep shaking the product so I went to the store and purchased a whisk, removed the handle and attached it to my drill. I could easily mix the product and continue my project.”

Thanks Isaac! Your floor looks amazing!

Try some of our DCI Concrete Dye for your next project. For more about this project and DCI Concrete Dye, watch the complete video on our How-to Videos and Guides page.


Prepping concrete for acid staining before getting started is critical to success but how this is done can make or break a project. Here to discuss how to and how not to prepare concrete for acid staining is Shawna Turner, General Manager for Direct Colors.

Amie Nolen:  It seems like surface preparation is the most important step of the process. Can this be a big problem for customers if they don’t do it right?

Shawna Turner:  Absolutely.  Not all concrete can be acid stained but most can if the concrete is properly profiled using the correct product or method before staining. Determining which method or product is best can be the biggest challenge.

AN: Could you explain what it means to profile the concrete?

ST:  Sure. Profiling the concrete simply means to change the surface texture to allow for better acid stain penetration. Profiling can be accomplished by either a chemical or mechanical means. Chemical profiling using an acid stain approved etcher such as our DCI Hard Trowel Floor Prep will open the pores without interfering with the later acid staining process. Mechanical profiling would involve a concrete sander or grinder which might be used on extremely smooth or heavily contaminated floors. For example, floors with glue, paint and drywall mud over most of the concrete should probably be mechanically profiled using a grinder because the cost of a chemical strip would be greater than the cost of renting the machine.

AN:  What products should not be used to profile concrete?

ST:  That’s a pretty easy question to answer. If the etcher is intended for use with anything other than acid stain, don’t use it. That would include water based stains, sealers, epoxy coats, paint and anything else not specifically called acid stain. Acid based cleaners and etchers used in conjunction with other coatings actually dissolve the minerals in the surface of the concrete necessary to support the reaction between an acid stain and the concrete. Without those minerals, the acid stain will sit on the surface and be washed away later in the cleaning process. So if you have previously cleaned your concrete using a muriatic acid and water solution, the slab will either not stain at all or stain very unpredictably depending on how the solution was originally applied and how strong it was. I really can’t emphasize enough that you’ve bought a concrete etching product from a local big box store, don’t use it if you want to acid stain later. Really that’s the bottom line.

AN:  Ok. That is straight to the point. How would a customer know aside from obvious surface contaminants that their concrete needs profiling in the first place?

ST:   Most indoor concrete and some outdoor poured in the last 10-15 years was likely finished using a machine trowel. We discuss this in some detail on the first page of our How to Guide for Applying Acid Stain. A simple water test will often reveal whether water will readily absorb into the concrete or bead on top. If beading does occur, the surface needs to etched using our DCI Hard Trowel Floor Prep before acid staining. Basement and garage floors are generally the smoothest floors in the house and will more likely than not require etching prior to staining.

AN:  So what happens next for customers that have used an acid based etching or cleaning product on their concrete?

ST: I would recommend either Tinted Concrete Sealer or a Tinted Concrete Sealer and DCI Concrete Dye combination to create more color variation and movement on the floor similar to an acid stain finish. If you’re working with outdoor concrete, I suggest our Liquid Colored Antique and Sprayable Satin Finish Sealer. We have a wide color selection and it is extremely easy to apply. I’ve used this product at home on my walkways and patio and have been very happy with it.

If you are in some doubt as to whether your concrete will stain or not, try an acid stain sample bottle and make sure. It’s always a good idea to test the quality of your concrete regardless and it never hurts to try. You’ll find acid stain samples and samples of all our products on our website at

AN: Thank you, Shawna, for setting us straight on prepping concrete for acid staining. No doubt this will help a number of homeowners avoid a costly DIY mistake. For more information on acid staining floors and outdoor concrete, visit the blog and featured projects pages of our website, includes podcasts on many decorative concrete topics so visit our podcast library and check back frequently to see what’s new in the world of DIY decorative concrete! Thank you for listening.

This step-by-step video on acid staining outdoor concrete offers step-by-step instructions for evaluating, cleaning, staining and sealing outdoor concrete. Everything you need to know to get the job done right the first time. For more…