Friday, April 17, 2015

Making Things Concrete

This is a post I should really be consulting with Nick on, but if I wait till he's ready to do this it could be a while. Needless to say he's got some things going on.
We decided that we wanted to try to do our own concrete countertops. Let me rephrase that: we decided that Nick will make our concrete countertops. With some online research and savvy shopping we came up with the plan and Nick executed it beautifully.
This is the concrete mix we chose. There is a concrete countertop mix, but the price is more than double the price of this stuff, which is about $6 a bag. This has the strengthening fibers in it that the countertop mix has, and is, as the bag says, crack resistant. And we definitely don't want cracks.
We decided to pour the concrete upside down, so Nick built forms out of melamine to give it a smooth surface.
Once the form is built, you have to caulk the cracks to keep from having too sharp of an edge.
Time to pour the concrete! Now I'm not familiar with all the details that go along with this process, but maybe someday Nick will comment or edit this post to help anyone out. I do know that he used some metal mesh to help give it strength but I'm not sure when in the process he added it.
As you can see, the color is different from regular gray concrete. That's because we added a brown dye to the mix. They have a few colors, but that's the color we chose. Also, Nick wanted to undermount our sinks, so he found a really smooth bucket the right circumference and cut it the height he needed, about 2 inches I believe. If you need to have a sink cut out, you need to make the form accordingly. If you don't do an undermount sink, you can use foam insulation as your sink form. Also you have to have the form cut outs for the sink pipe.
Time to dry. We let ours dry a little over a week.
This is what the bottom side looks like in the form. Time to open them up!
Cool! It looks like a real countertop!
We added an acid stain to give it more depth of color. We used a color called "red cayenne" and I think looks great against the brown rock. That stain is steep, but it makes a difference and goes a long way.
We ended up having a lot of little air pockets, but it gave it a real cool look.
These suckers are heavy! Time to seal them up.
Bam! Three coats of epoxy and they are smooth as glass!
( A little dusty, but beautiful!)
This is the guest bathroom.
A close up of our master bath. Gorgeous coloring.
The kids' bathroom. Thankfully the epoxy filled most of the air pockets so they are so smooth.
This was a bit a of a process, but Nick did an amazing job of getting these countertops smooth and beautiful!

Punching It Out - Working Toward The Big Move

Okay I might have exaggerated the near-ness of our move, but we are getting tantalizingly close to being in! My lack of updates has not been for lack of progress, just so many things have been worked on that it was hard to choose when to actually do an update. But looking at my last post I can see now that there is a lot to show.
Here's Dad and I working on painting the door trim and baseboards.
-Proof that I have been out there working not just taking pictures!
We had a really cool system down, and lots and lots of boards to paint.
That's a pile of boards.
Lookin' good!
Finally got the doors and door jams painted and they are installed and working!
Window seats are in and painted.
Nick uncovered the beams.
They need some sanding and poly but they're going to look fabulous!
Love them!
Closet shelves are in, needing poly. Oooo it's a nice closet!
Cabinets!!!! We now have a kitchen! Sort of. At least it looks like one.
Lazy susans all the way up in the corner cabinets.
Cabinet doors!
I love the color on the drawers fronts.
Everything is going to be clear coated. That is one of the biggest jobs ahead.
Here's a sneak peek at the backsplash tiles.
We also have the bathroom countertops completed but I wanted to do a separate post on that.
We're working on getting in, trying very hard to be in before Nick's job picks up too much more. We've still got a few things to do, but it won't be too long before we're making out way back to home.