Everything sublime is as difficult as it is rare. Baruch Spinoza

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A Concrete Solution

We are having very temperate weather for April in Minnesota, which is wonderful if you have lots of outdoor projects to complete. It is too early to plant, so I'm taking advantage of the mild temperatures to get some big projects done.

We have a gravel driveway, but there is a concrete apron, which has an area in front of the third stall that is badly cracked. I am going to mix quick setting cement and fix it today, as well as repairing the cracks in the sidewalk with a handy, self-leveling product I found in the building department of Home Depot.

When all is dry I will use a concrete stain to finish my little repair project off. Some of you may remember I had developed an addiction to HGTV. Well this project is a direct result of my habit. Who knew you could stain concrete?

In the next week I plan to paint the garage. The front is peeling badly and it looks terrible. I usually paint in the fall, but our gift of a real spring this year will allow me to do this now. I am, as you can see, the handy person in the family. It's not that Mark can't do, he won't do. He really should live in a condo. I will set him to fence repair and listen to a long litany of complaints about the horses. As long as he fixes the fence, he can complain all he wants.

I love projects so I live in the right place. The long suffering husband does his best to stay out of the line of vision and avoid the dreaded words "I need this fixed."

It's a great day, I hope you all enjoy yours.


Cyndi and Stumpy said...

I thought you were going to tell me were raking or you had your hands in the dirt and you were turnng soil or something fun!

if you need me I will be hiding out with Mark somewhere out of sight!

Enjoy the nice weather and early spring.

I knew cement could be stained! I used a lovely terra cotta colored stain on my walk, back east. It looked so good next to the freshly mulched gardens!

Sandra said...

My hubby likes to complain about house and around the house work, too, and actually wants to move so he doesn't have to mow the lawn (which is miniature really) but he has to do the job anyway:)

Ganeida said...

lol I'm not handy. Good for holding the hammer but only a fool would ask me to actually use it! ☺

We are having a very temperate autumn. Dearest is worried because it means the cyclone season isn't over yet.

Enjoy your weather. I'm enjoying mine gardening.

Sandra said...

gsc, I've been cleaning up the flower best here and there, but we can't plant anything in April because our weather is too unpredictable. If you hide with Mark, I'll find you both! I guess I never gave concrete much thought until my HGTV obsession. : )

Sandra, the husband does not mow, but I sit on a lawn tractor to do it, so not so bad. He will do the trim work for me though. And he does laundry. I think that's it. Besides working. I guess that's important!

Ganeida, hammer holders are very important. : ) I was raised as my dad's son, so I know how to do all sorts of things. I find it good that I can do stuff. Gardening is around the corner for me.

I got the apron patched and it worked well. I used the skid loader to edge the sidewalk and remove enough turf to plant nasturtiums along one side. If I have the time I will work on the sidewalk tomorrow. I also got some paint scraping done on the garage. It peels off so easily it is a piece of cake to remove. I think I will be on a ladder most of next week. I have more than one ladder and lots of paint brushes!

Deb said...

I see you've caught Spring Fever! Very ambitious projects you're tackling up there. It does feel good to be outside again doesn't it! I'm going for a walk with my mom this am. The sun is shining, the wind has calmed down,Yea!

Memories Of Mine said...

Spring has defiantly sprung and there is spring in your step too.
I hope you get all your DYI projects complete.

A.Smith said...

None of my business but here is my opinion about cement stain: this is the best, Mason's Select. It won't peel or crack, and my suggestion would be to start with a light color since you could do two coats and make it look like slate if you want to.

Years ago I took a class in San Francisco at the Isabel O'Neil Day Studio which is no longer there I believe, but the one in NY still alive and well, because of my fascination with pigments, but I digress. One thing I learned among many others was that cement needs to be completely dry before you apply anything to it be it acid or stain. Just remember that part.

Raining again. Construction in the back will start again tomorrow. My reservations at the mental institution are for Tuesday.
I wonder if I can take my laptop?

Cyndi and Stumpy said...

nastursiums! I want nasturtiams growing in my yard and spicing up my salads!

Ashley Dumas said...

Hi Sandra,

I have enjoyed catching up on your goings on this evening. I am glad that Spring seems to have sprung a little early this year. Our summer has calmed down quite a bit too. Your renovation ambition amazes me.
Don't work to hard with that cement that sounds like a pretty tough job to me. Oh and sorry about the bad shoulder! My aunt had a bad shoulder for a couple of years and it was really hard for her. Hope it mends soon! Hugs, your long lost blogging buddy, Ash

Sandra said...

Deb & Liss, spring has arrived. We need rain badly though. The entire spring has been without moisture.

Allegra, Thanks for the tips. I bought a semi-transparent stain in a slate color. I don't want it to appear painted. You certainly have layers of the most amazing interests and experience. Who would have guess you know about concrete!

gsc, I nearly cleared out the store's stock of nasturtium seeds!

Ashley, Hello! I haven't been to your blog for awhile. I am lazy and click on my blog roll and your blog being private, well it doesn't show on the roll, so I don't get there like I want to. I'm glad to hear from you. My shoulder feels better after the shot, but I know it is a band-aide fix.

A.Smith said...

Yes, never under any circumstances one should use anything but transparent or semi-transparent stain unless you want to spend most of your time after a season or two cursing the fates that allow the blistering that is bound to happen and other annoyances to ruin your day, week, whatever. Paint and cement are not good friends. Beside it does look...painted.

The suggestion to add a couple of coats was because if you add the second coat not uniformly but only in certain areas the dark part appears to have some depth if you feathered the edges a bit and it truly looks like slate. I did that on some very irregular concrete step stones in the old house and it was amazing how much they did look like slate. It wasn't my idea, something from the IO'NDS that they showed during the classes.

I said this before and maybe I need to repeat it here, I am a walking encyclopedia of worthless information but I always beat my opponents when I play Scrabble ;)

Sandra said...

I will take your advise and do a second coat, randomly placed. We have had rain, so I am on hold with this project for a few days - more in the forecast. Thanks so much for the help, I have not done this before so having your expertise is a real blessing.