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Monday, November 7, 2016

Patio Project

The last of the major yard projects are finished! Our outdoor living space is complete and we are excited to be able to be outside for meals and relaxation. The last major project was to dye the concrete on the patio. Doug investigated the technique and product and we are thrilled with how it turned out. It was a lot of hard work and grit but totally worth it.
We have a large backyard patio. Here in beautiful California, your patio can double the size of your living space because you can be outside for so much of the year. I anticipate that our main dining area will now be on the patio. So we really wanted to make it nice. Here is what the patio looked like before we started. 

We really liked the tile enhancements but the concrete itself looked shoddy. We chose a dual color stain that would give us a terracotta type of finished look. But before we began anything with the color, the patio had to be power washed and then washed again with an acid wash and etcher so that the stain would penetrate the concrete. Then the real fun began. We had to tape over the stripes of tile and all around the edge of the house and pillars. 

This was back breaking, painstaking work! It was like doing squats for 3 straight hours. Getting tape to stick to concrete is not easy! We made a good team though. But wow, they aren't kidding when they say the hardest of part of painting is the prep work!
 With all of the surfaces covered, Doug was ready to start with the base coat.
Using the sprayer that we purchased along with the stain, he employed the technique that he had learned about on youtube. What did we do before youtube? Lots of trial and error, I suppose, but with stain, error is not good!

Initially, I was unsure about the color as it was kind of peachy. But then I remembered that it was just the base coat. This had to dry over night.

Once we were satisfied with the coverage of the base coat, it was time to put on the top coat. We were both super pleased with the color. It is this beautiful, rich, lovely desert appropriate color and it went on really nicely. 


Then that layer had to dry! Next step was to remove the plastic and touch up the spots that had bled into the concrete stripes. Also painstaking work. Harder for Doug than me as I simply poured the paint thinner into the groves and he did the hard scrubbing with a wire brush. 
 Finally, Doug took a cloth and ran the stain along the edges to give the stripes a distinctive and finished look. It looks amazing!
The last step was to apply the sealer and we went with a wet look.

It looks absolutely beautiful! The sealer had to set for 72 hours before we could walk on it so finally yesterday afternoon we were able to put the furniture back. We had purchased one more sitting area and a fire pit in addition to the dining table and loungers we already had. It was so lovely watching it all come together. 
 We sat out in the late afternoon as the sun was going down and enjoyed the cool of the evening. We ate dinner on the patio and enjoyed some time after dinner looking at the stars and marveling at the beauty that surrounds us. We took a little ride in our golf cart to take in the beautiful sunset and gave thanks to God for the wonderful blessings that we feel so humbled to enjoy.
We were both saying that sometimes we can't believe that we own this home, that this is our place for as long as we want it to be. We spoke of my parents and how much they would've loved what we are doing and how we long to share it with them. Doug's mom and sister are coming for Thanksgiving and we other friends coming around Christmas and New Year and we are so excited to share all of this with them.