DIY – Functional Art Projects

Oh boy, this is getting complicated… I’m just starting up my plans to revamp the interior of my home. On the chopping block are the floors, counters (kitchen/bath), and associated paints, etc.


Flooring Options:

I have many amazing options for the flooring, including normal consumer options. Since my house is built on concrete, really all options will work, but here’s the two that absolutely fascinate me:

Acid-Stained Concrete:

My current understanding of the process is that the acid in the stain reacts with the limestone in the concrete, creating a unique effect. No two floors would have the same patterns or precise colors. The sample picture below was probably two or three different colored dyes with an acrylic sealant added.

Of these two options, this one is the easiest. If you’re unfamiliar with this, take a look at the video (4:16).

Here is a pic of the color scheme I want to attempt:

IMG_4648

Random Online Gallery #1: One, Two, Three, Four, Five


Epoxy Coating:

Fraught with potential for error, this one can yield amazing results. As I understand it, epoxy resin is clear by default. You add dyes, flecks, rocks, etc., to get the appearance you want. In my part of the country, this is very common for an automobile garage, but far less so for the interior of the house. Here’s a video of that process (5:39):

The idea of a slightly metallic-looking floor is intriguing. I’m thinking copper veins with a brown palette similar to the acid stained floor above. The major way it differs from the acid stain is the amount of control you have. Since the epoxy is clear, you are basically 100% responsible for additives, etc. Totally custom. It would require far more experimentation, because getting it wrong is not an option. Removing this stuff is not something I want to attempt.

Random Online Gallery #2: One, Two, Three, Four, Five

Considerations for both: Can I do these myself? Absolutely. I’ve got the skills and the know-how. Also, even better, both of these options appear to be less expensive than engineered wood, tile, and certainly hardwood flooring. Both options would require me to essentially vacate the house for maybe 72 hours. That’s not a big concern, though dog-juggling can be fun. The acid-stain procedure is the easiest, but I have less control than with epoxy. Of the two, epoxy is the more expensive option.


Countertops:

Guess what? The same techniques above can be used for my countertops!

If you’ve ever had yours replaced, you know how expensive it can be. Laminate is inexpensive, but the cost can soar as you move to stone, then to solid surface. I’d rather not spend $3,000 USD when I can spend $500. I’m sure you’d agree with that sentiment.

Acid staining concrete counter tops is exactly the same as above. That said, there are two methods of construction: in place pouring and separate molding.

Concrete In Place (1:13):

Concrete Separate Molding (11:00):

(In you can’t watch it, you make the pieces in the garage and set them like any other type of counter.)

Once the counters are in and finish work is done, you just apply the acid stain and seal it.  Presto! Hypothetically, you could also seal it with an epoxy coating to combine both worlds.

Random Online Gallery #3: One, Two, Three, Four, Five


Here’s where it gets trippy:

Epoxy Coated Counters:

In the back of my mind, I knew this was a thing. It wasn’t until I did some research that I understood just how amazing and flexible this is. I’ll give you a picture first (link):

Epoxy-Countertop-For-Kitchen-New-Gallery-And-Countertops-Picture

Wow. That’s epoxy resin, dyes, and wood. Take the substrate, MDF or plywood, and coat it. Edges can be made from Bondo (automobile repair compound) to achieve something like this (link):

chizzled-edge-epoxy-countertop-diamond-coat

It’s just goop on goop on wood. Here’s how to do it:

This cute kid and his dad combine epoxy and concrete.

Can you imagine the possibilities? Endless… which makes it very hard for someone like me to decide. In any case, I’m liking the epoxy on concrete method. If I stained the concrete first, I would have an excellent canvas for the epoxy. Remember that it’s clear. That grants actual and apparent surface depth. When you add to it, you can get all manner of awesome results.

I’ll keep you posted on how it all goes. As a thank you for reading, take a look at this amazing epoxy-based functional artwork from Positive Couple:



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