DIY Podcasts for Decorative Concrete Enthusiasts...

You’re listening to LISTEN.DIRECTCOLORS.COM podcast episode 30, Advantages of Decorative Concrete Floors after Flooding or Water Damage.  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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Many homeowners would like to convert their existing outdoor slabs into sun-rooms and enclosed patios but there are a few things to keep in mind about the concrete once the outdoor becomes indoor living space. Shawna Turner, General Manager at Direct Colors, is here with us today to talk more about patio conversions and what to look out for.

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Metallic epoxy finishes are new to Direct Colors. There are so many color and technique possibilities with metallics we wanted to discuss the technical details of the product to help our customers better understand how to use metallic epoxy for their own countertops. Here’s Direct Colors Design Technician, Justin Richardson, to talk about applying Metallic Epoxy Countertop Sealer for indoor countertop projects.

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We sat down with Ken Lazenby with Ken’s Custom Designs based in Krebs, OK to talk about how he creates marble effects on concrete countertops. Learn how he makes builds and creates his concrete countertops.

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Learn how to use the Concrete Pigment Project Calculators for calculating pigment colors at for any concrete project.

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Join us as we chat with Direct Colors General Manager, Shawna Turner, about guidelines for using blue and green concrete acid stains on outdoor projects.

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You are listening to LISTEN.DIRECTCOLORS.COM podcast: episode 2. Today we’re talking about Tips for Acid Stain and Sealer Coverage on Outdoor Projects. So let’s get started.

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You’re listening to LISTEN.DIRECTCOLORS.COM podcast episode number 28, How Do I Get Brilliant White Concrete?  If this is your first time listening, then thanks for listening.  I’m Tommy Carter, Sales Manager and Technician with Direct Colors. We receive a lot of requests for white concrete countertops. White is a popular color for kitchen tops as well as bathroom vanities but it’s not always easy find the materials you need to make a truly white countertop. Direct Color’s General Manager talks about how to get the most brilliant white color for your indoor and outdoor concrete projects! Thanks for joining us today, Shawna.

ST:  Thank you.

TC:  So, why is it so difficult to get a white concrete color?

ST:  In order to get a brilliant white color, you’ll need to begin with either a white concrete countertop mix or concrete overlay. Unfortunately, white concrete mixes are often hard if not impossible to find locally. Often, gray Portland concrete mixes are all customers can find in their area. At best, gray concrete mixes will yield an ashen gray or light gray color even when a white concrete pigment has been added.

Direct Colors does offer both a white countertop mix and concrete overlay if you’re refinishing an existing countertop. We do recommend adding our TiO2 White Concrete Pigment to the mix for the most brilliant white finish possible.

TC:  Just to be clear, can a customer use a gray countertop mix and get a white color?

ST:  No, a truly white color can only be achieved using a concrete mix containing white Portland cement. As I mentioned, white concrete pigment can be added to gray concrete mix to create an ashen color (Ash TiO2-5lb.) but not a white (Pearl TiO2-5lb). Our TiO2 White Concrete Pigment is a powdered pigment and should be mixed into the either the countertop mix or overlay prior to applying.

White Concrete Pigment Colors

White Concrete Pigment Colors

TC:  What options do our customers have for making an existing countertop white?

ST:  Well, they have quite a few options for both indoor and outdoor projects. For an existing gray concrete countertop, for example, I’d recommend trying our white tinted concrete sealer. If they prefer a more solid look, this might be the fastest and least expensive option. Once the tinted sealer has been applied, topcoat the countertop with either a polyurethane or epoxy finish for best results. Keep in mind that epoxy would not be an option for an outdoor project.

Now, if they’re interested in a little metallic shimmer, they consider adding a Pearl metallic pigment in the epoxy countertop sealer for an extra a touch of class. It’s our most popular color on bathroom vanities. We offer complete kits for countertops including each of the products mentioned as well.

TC: Sounds great. We have several photos of countertops finished with a metallic epoxy on our website, don’t we?

ST: That’s correct. In the Direct Colors Concrete Countertop Photo Gallery.

TC:  What about refinishing a Formica countertop?

ST:  That’s by far the easiest and most affordable way to get a white kitchen countertop if you are starting with Formica. Direct Colors offers a white concrete overlay. TiO2 white concrete pigment color packs can also be added to overlay for a brilliant white finish. For our DIY customer, we have several how-to videos available for preparing, overlaying and sealing countertops that demonstrate the technique and products.

TC: Finally, what about sealers. What’s the best sealer for white concrete countertops?

We encourage customers with white countertops to apply a polyurethane sealer for greater durability, chemical and stain resistance. Direct Colors offers High GlossGlossy and Matte polyurethane sealer options for indoor or outdoor countertops. If using an epoxy, keep in mind that the sealer will yellow over time when exposed to direct sunlight. Epoxy countertop sealers should never be used outdoors but should be used with caution on indoor white countertops where direct sunlight might be an issue.

TC: Thanks for all that information. We hope this podcast will help customers find the products they need for white countertops and other concrete projects. LISTEN.DIRECTCOLORS.COM DIY Home Improvement podcasts are produced twice monthly for your enjoyment and show notes can be found at LISTEN.DIRECTCOLORS.COM. Feel free to add the podcast to your favorite RSS feed.  You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Instagram. I’m Tommy Carter and thanks again for joining us!

Tommy C: You’re listening to LISTEN.DIRECTCOLORS.COM podcast episode number 27, How-to Successfully Acid Stain Side by Side Concrete Slabs Poured at Different Times. If this is your first time listening, then thanks for listening.  I’m Tommy Carter, Sales Manager and Technician with Direct Colors. It may sound odd that concrete poured at different times would not acid stain the same but if you’ve added on to your patio, interior floors or driveway, this podcast is worth the time spent listening! Here to tell you more about why and how to get the best results from your next DIY project is Shawna Turner, General Manager with Direct Colors. Welcome to the podcast, Shawna.

Shawna T:  Thank you.

TC:  Let’s get started. So why does it matter if side by side concrete slabs are poured at different times if you’re planning to acid stain?

ST: Acid Stain is a chemically-reactive stain not just a topical colorant. The stain relies on the minerals available in the concrete surface to react properly and develop the variable, rich color acid stain is known for. Concrete is not mixed exactly the same way every time and the mineral content can vary substantially from one batch to another.  Concrete finishing, especially if a machine trowel is involved, can alter acid staining results dramatically from one floor section to another as well. Keep in mind that exposure to the elements can impact color development on older outdoor concrete slabs. In addition, concrete patches will also stain differently from the surrounding concrete and should be given special consideration before beginning a project. More to this subject than you thought, I suspect.

TC:  For sure!  What recommendations would you make for indoor floors poured separately or patched due to plumbing problems or for carpet tack holes for example?

ST: For indoor floors, making sure the profile is the same across the slab is important. Whether you choose to mechanically profile the floor using a sander or chemically profile with our Hard Troweled Floor Prep, do the same thing everywhere. I recommend reading over page one of our How to Acid Stain Concrete Guide to determine what process will yield the best results for your concrete before beginning. As for concrete patches, they can be tricky particularly if they are in a conspicuous area of the floor. Patches should be sanded flush with the floor before staining. For best results, I would stain and neutralize the rest of the floor first leaving the patch to be stained afterwards so it can be more easily color matched by carefully controlling the stain’s activation time.  Once the patch achieves the same color as the floor, neutralize the stain and move on to the cleaning step. Spray both the patch and the floor with water from a handheld spray bottle to determine when the matching color has been achieved prior to neutralizing.  Keep in mind that we offer topical stains, such as DCI Concrete Dye and Liquid Colored Antique Concrete Stain, to touch up or further accent any difficult areas so don’t worry, there’s more than one path to a beautiful floor.

TC:  That’s good news. What about outdoor concrete?

Many homes have patio and driveway slabs poured at different times. If you want the concrete to be as close to the same color as possible, I suggest applying the stain to the older slab first and leaving it to process for up to 10 hours for maximum color development. The longer concrete is exposed to the elements, the more surface mineral erosion occurs. For this reason, older concrete needs more processing time to achieve optimal color results than a newer slab. After the processing time is complete, neutralize the concrete and rinse so you can get a good look at the color. At this point, apply the stain to the newer slab and leave to process for 2-3 hours.  Using a spray bottle of water, dampen a small area of the old and new concrete and compare.  If it looks like a good match when wet, great. Neutralize and clean the entire slab in preparation for sealing. If not, let the new concrete process for another hour and repeat the test until a color match is achieved. Remember to look at the concrete only when it’s wet not dry. Dry, acid stained concrete does very little to reveal the final color as it will appear when sealed.

TC:  What happens if a color match can’t be achieved with the acid stain? What else can be done?

ST:  As I mentioned before, we have several topical stain options for indoor and outdoor use. I most frequently recommend our Liquid Colored Antique Concrete Stain for patios, driveways and other outdoor concrete. It can be used as a stand-alone concrete stain and often is or as an accent for acid stained concrete. If a satisfactory color match isn’t achievable, Liquid Colored Antique can be applied to blend the colors and create a more uniform final result. Customers often use this to color match on existing stained outdoor slabs where repairs have been made. It’s really an excellent, easy to use product that can renew color, fix problem areas and save customers a great deal of money by avoiding unnecessary tear-outs and refinishing.

TC:  That’s great to hear. Everyone likes to save time and money on home improvement and want to successfully acid stain concrete slabs. Thanks, Shawna, for the helpful tips on how to get the best results when acid staining interior floors and outdoor concrete. I’m sure this will useful information for many of our customers.

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