How To Stain Your Concrete For Less Than 50 Dollars


So you might remember me sharing my excitement on “Time…You Are Such A Sneaky Thing” about how Kent and I were getting our concrete patio poured earlier in the year. We had originally wanted to get our concrete stamped with a beautiful stone pattern and then stain it so it wasn’t a stark bright concrete color.

But do you know how expensive it is to get someone to stamp your concrete?! Kent and I were completely shocked that the price to get it stamped was twice the amount of just getting the concrete poured. If we wanted it stained it would have cost just as much as getting it stamped!!

Holy Moly! We couldn’t believe it. Obviously we opted out of those options and just got the basic patio package.

Well, after sharing our excitement and showing off pictures of our new patio to all of our coworkers, someone Kent works with mentioned that he stained the concrete floors in his barn man cave for very cheap. He had our attention at cheap!

He told us that he stained his concrete floors with fertilizer. Yep fertilizer! I do not know the science behind how or why this happens but trust me it does!

We went to take a look at Kent’s coworker’s floors one more time before we made the plunge ourselves. And we really loved what we saw and thought it would look great for our patio.

Ok, so a few months ago we were able to get the ball rolling on staining our patio, but let me tell you we made some mistakes. We had to stain our patio twice because the first time the mixture wasn’t correct.

Now, let me walk you through our process of staining our concrete patio for less than 50 dollars.

WHAT YOU NEED:

5 gallon bucket & trowel
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Sprayer (something to spray the stain on the concrete with)
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Water & Fertilizer
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Coffee (if you choose to go this route)
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Cardboard to protect the brick on your house
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DIRECTIONS:

  1. First things first you need to clear everything off your patio.
  2. Then you need to wash or power-wash your patio to get all the dirt, leaves etc. out of your way. (We power-washed ours because dirt, dust, and leaves had settled all over the place from a windy haboob that hit us the week prior)
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  3. Make your mixture. This is where we messed up the first round. Kent had read online that to get a darker more brown colored stain you can add coffee grinds. Well we added WAY too much which made the stain not take correctly. Here is what our process was for our first try and then I will share with you our process for our second try that took correctly and gave us the color you see in pictures.

The WRONG mixture

3 pounds coffee grinds
3 pounds fertilizer
Fill the bucket up with water the rest of the way

 

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES^^This is the WRONG color and WRONG mixture for your stain^^

Our first try at staining our concrete patio with the wrong mixture was a HUGE pain in the ass! We had to sift the coffee grinds out of the water mixture so it wouldn’t clog the sprayer. It took FOREVER!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSee it does not look fun! And it got way messy after this picture!

 

So our second try we decided to be smarter than the patio stain and brewed some coffee instead of using the coffee grinds. MUCH BETTER!

The RIGHT mixture

3 cups already brewed coffee (NOT coffee grinds)
3+ pounds fertilizer
Fill the bucket up with water the rest of the way

With the wrong mixture it was a dark brown color and with the RIGHT mixture it was a green color. You want it to be the green color…trust me!!

  1. After you make the mixture, let it sit for about 30 minutes to an hour
  2. At that point you are ready to start spraying your concrete.
  3. Use the cardboard to protect your house and go to town.
  4. You want to spray evenly and saturate the concrete.
  5. Once you have sprayed your entire concrete patio you are ready for a glass of wine or a beer because you have earned it! Plus the next step doesn’t happen until the next day 🙂
  6. When you look at your patio the next day you may freak out because it has a white chalky layer on it…but don’t worry!
  7. You will then wash the patio off to get any of the extra stain off.
  8. Then if you choose to do so…once it is dry you can put a sealant on it to protect and make it last longer. If you choose not to do that then you are done and your concrete patio is now stained for less than $50!

BEFORE:

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AFTER:

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It’s amazing right??!! Who would have thought fertilizer could make stark white concrete look SO beautiful?!

Now you will have places on your concrete where the stain takes on a different color. I hated it at first but I have grown to love the imperfections. And as with any concrete there are always small and sometimes large cracks, don’t be afraid to stain it. The cracks may take the stain more and stand out but that is the beauty of it…nothing is perfect and it looks like  it has been loved just as much as the house. So don’t be afraid of it!!

This has certainly been one of our biggest and best projects on our house. And we are extremely proud of it!

If you have any questions about our process or if something doesn’t make sense…please let me know!! We love telling everyone how to do this themselves and would love to help you out too!!

What have been some of your favorite home/DIY projects?

 

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Time…You Are Such A Sneaky Thing


I can honestly say that I have NO CLUE where the time has gone. I feel like life is a swirling vortex of happenings lately. From family, work, and trying to have a social life I have barely found the time to sit here and even write this blog post.

So what has happened in the past month since my last blog post?

First off, Kent and I celebrated our one year wedding anniversary on March 2. Again I ask…where has the time gone? It does not feel like we have been married for a year already, but man what a wonderful year it has been.

The last week of February, the week before our anniversary, we decided it was time to put a patio in our backyard! We have an awesome tree in our backyard, but it keeps the grass from growing in a very large portion of our yard, so it was mostly dirt. And with both of our dogs chasing each other in the backyard and rolling around in it, a mini haboob seemed to always be created in our backyard. So we decided that it was time for us to do something about it. Below are some before and after pictures.

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Before the work began

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The Outline

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The new patio has Fagen’s approval

photo 3 (2)The end result

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Layla loves the new patio

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Layla really loves the new patio

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Layla hanging in the shade with me on the lounge chair

It makes such a HUGE difference and we are so in love with it. We love nothing more than sitting back there while our dogs run around while listening to music, playing cards, sipping on a glass of wine, and eating some good food.

For our first anniversary we decided not to follow the traditional anniversary gift idea of paper. Instead, Kent bought me this GORGEOUS necklace!! It has the stone of March in the middle to symbolize the month we got married in. He is so good!

Once he finds a smoker that he likes and wants, my anniversary gift to Kent will be a new smoker so he will have something new to enjoy on our patio. So anniversary weekend was a success!

photo 3 (3)My GORGEOUS necklace from my sweetie!

Secondly, for the weekend after our anniversary, we had ANOTHER anniversary outing planned. We had heard about it through friends and finally decided to sign up to do it ourselves. We went to the small town of Post, Texas to The Garza Hotel and participated in their Murder Mystery night! It was SO much fun!!

It was called the Murder at the Four Deuces and took place in the 20’s.

So the way it works is, you sign up for the murder mystery night, and about 2 weeks before the date you get an email with your character and your characters role. Along with some other information that may be useful for you to know before the event. BUT you cannot share any of your characters information with anyone else who is participating. Do you know how hard it was for me to not cheat and look at Kent’s character??! I was tempted SO many times but I resisted.

Anyway, it is a one night event, dinner and breakfast are provided, there is a champagne toast, game prizes, and you get a night stay in the hotel. PLUS you get to dress up in costume which was probably my most favorite part.

We met some other wonderful young couples and just had an absolute blast. We will certainly do it again!

photo 5Inspector Neville and Baroness Ravioli

photo 1 (2)Getting into character 🙂

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My homemade head piece

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Friends from work helped me make this

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Baroness Ravioli & Inspector Neville

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Our characters had a secret love affair

Thirdly, work has been really picking up and keeping me busy. From my work as an academic advisor at the Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech to teaching my Public Speaking class at Texas Tech on Monday evenings after work. I find myself just completely exhausted some days. It’s embarrassing how exhausted I have been lately. My Friday nights have consisted of me getting home, pouring a glass of wine, snuggling with my doggies and husband and passing out on the couch at 8pm. PATHETIC!!

On top of all of this there are SO many weddings and trips happening between now and the end of the year. Lots of planning, saving and packing to take place for each of the trips and social events going on.

Woooo….are you exhausted yet? Cause I am, just talking about all of it!

Needless to say, with so much that has been going on, with the weather being so hit or miss, and me just being flat out exhausted, the running has definitely taken a back seat on my list of things to do (insert sad face, embarrassed face, and crying face here).

I am determined though to start doing something again whether it is running or something else to get me moving and my heart rate up. I don’t know what it will be yet, so I am open to suggestions. But I am definitely ready to get back in the saddle again.

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