wabisabi

Metallic Epoxy – A Discussion

Introduction

I’m sitting here over the weekend with what little free time I have and I stumbled upon a Facebook post discussing metallic floor installations between other contractors.

Now I hate Facebook, it’s a necessary evil for me with the business and I’m sure there’s lots of good content on there, but it’s just not my thing getting involved in conversations there.

There’s a contractor whom posted a project that he had completed, I think it looked fantastic. Unsure of the exact process of course, I can see smooth transition of the main colour into the base colour creating a nice, blended two tone appearance.

This was one of his early attempts with metallic epoxy, and although he said he was happy with the appearance, he stated he was unhappy with having foreign objects lodge themselves in the final result beyond his control, along with a few small other imperfections. He also wasn’t sure whether he was confident providing this line of work to client who would be expecting perfection.

I stepped in at this stage. As I said before, I hate having conversations over Facebook, but a few things needed to be made clear about metallic epoxy, of which I’ll go into in detail during this post.

Credit: Mark Fautley

Cloudy

I haven’t asked permission to use this image Mark, if you wish it removed, I will do so immediately.

The Right Frame of Mind

Metallic epoxy is artwork. Artwork that is hand crafted by a human being. Human being’s have flaws and faults, we are not perfect no matter how hard we strive to be. These faults come to the forefront through creation of anything that is not perfected with robotics….frig, even then things have little faults in them.

It is in those flaws and imperfections that true beauty is created.

Without being pretentious, I challenge you to look upon the Mona Lisa and tell me there isn’t at least a flaw or two within the brush strokes of that wonderful man Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece.

Don’t get me wrong, in no way am I comparing any of our work to anything near the masterpiece’s da Vinci created, it’s just a theory of thought of course.

When installing a custom metallic epoxy floor, we, as the installers (or more to the point artists), are creating something that we are seeing within ourselves and our mind’s eye of which we see matches and blends with the area / surroundings with which we have to work with.

Things like a little a fly that fell into our 100sqm fully customised floor we just installed, or a few small air bubbles caused by the chemical reaction of the products we’re working with, these things only create more beauty to the masterpiece.

They tell the onlookers that this was created by human hands, with love and passion and the installer has given his or her all to express their feelings and emotions into something so special, that you will never see two of the same floors anywhere in the world.

Example Of Thought

For me, this was my latest creation, at my own home for example.

https://walkerconcreting.com.au/2019/03/01/passion-in-depth/

Is it the most perfect work I’ve ever done? Absolutely not.

Is it the perfect colouring matching each tone of the inspiration I acquired to complete this floor? Not even close.

Is there a little bit of foreign matter in the finish and a few spots where blistered occurred and things could have been done better? Hell yes there, I’m HUMAN!

But I put my heart and soul into re-creating a feeling that I gained through light and dark contrasting, yet blending seamlessly at the same time, which gave me strength and helped me feel positive in this unforgiving world we live in.

Inspiration….

Depth

Application….

Depth in Design

In Closing

For me, I’ve done a relative amount of travelling. When I travel, I try to intricately delve into the foreign culture and experience the heart and soul of where I am. Am I the most experience traveller out there? Heck no, I haven’t touched a finger print on this earth really yet.

But one place I’ve been to which completely captured my heart forever. Japan. the country itself was absolutely amazing, but it was the people, the culture and the frame of mind (with everything they do), that really drew me in.

One celebrated train of thought, which is evident throughout travels in Japan if you look close enough, is

“Wabi-sabi – The Celebration of Imperfection”

The actual train of thought may not be 100% in line with creating a flamboyant metallic epoxy installation, but the thought process that not everything needs to be 100% perfect, is inspiring to me.

If you’re after a metallic epoxy installation, through me or another fine artist applying their minds eye to your project area, accept the fact that you will find imperfections if you get down close and look hard enough.

Hell, some might be blatantly obvious.

But if you can stand back, admire the blending of the colouring, the workmanship that has gone into your project, and hopefully find a feeling that coincides with your installer, then you’re job is a one of a kind and an amazing piece of artwork that should be cherished.

wabisabi
Depth in Design

Passion in Depth

I’m sitting here this afternoon tired. I’m literally on my 17th day straight at work. The rain we’ve had, followed by an excessive work load, has left me with little energy for free time and a zombie like outlook on the world trying desperately to figure out whether I should rest my weary body, or feed my creative freedom (of whom my wife calls a “little smeagol”) with something lavish in my garage (of which I’ve used as a canvas for hundreds of epoxy creations testing what I can create).

I thought a few beers might help me rest. Now I like those big frigging half litre Asahi beers straight out of Japan. You know, the full strength fuckers that knock you on your ass after two when finished a hard day in the sun.

So here I am, 4 fulls in, staring up at the sky and pondering the days to come…..

We’ve had a cyclone come through up north in the last few days. This has left us with more rain of course, but it’s been scattered, only coming in waves every now and then. Then I look a little closer. I see it. More to the point I feel it. The contrast of storms and madness blended into a back drop of bright blue skies and twinkling sunshine, almost like mother nature was talking to me directly.

I’m inspired. I have energy pulsing through my veins that I really fucking shouldn’t have. I’m exhausted. I should be passed out on the couch like the old man I am dreading the alarm going off at whatever ungodly hour to wake me for more torment tomorrow.

But no. It’s time. To finish my own garage……3 years late.

Depth
Custom Metallic Epoxy Floor Robina

You see, I’m fresh off a custom Epoxy Project down at Robina (see pic above). My Confidence is high. I’m a confidence driven person.

I’m so freaking keen with the direction I’m heading in at the moment that being tired and weary will not stand in the way of my back flipping fucking brain coming up with rediculous ideas of creation with my chosen profession.

Oh my god. I’m inspired. I’m actually completely devoted to something for the first time in my life.

Not just for a pay cheque, fuck the money. I’m not a money person. I need inspiration and a sense of achievement and I get it directly from colour pigment on my hands and a slide on spiked boot.

dirty

What I’m working with here is the basic colours that I can get to match my house design. I’ve got a brick home and have completed the driveway with Almond colouring (which needs re-doing because I keep spilling bloody colour pigments on it grrrrr). But what I’m inspired by is the depth in the first photo I put up in this blog.

I need depth in my life. I was thinking originally about a semi marble like design, moving away from black and using a Brass instead. But…that’s not going to suit my house. My house / property is a homely property. It’s not heavily contrasted, relying more on natural appearances and tones.

Also the image that caught my eye earlier. The contrasted depth of tones in the afternoon sky with the storms around. Somewhat calling to me to re-create in colour tones that suit my house.

So I’m going to work depth through my creation with a white base and platinum white, old brass and carbon dust naturally blended together to re-create that afternoon delight for my eyes.

Now, every creation with metallic epoxy is a once off creation. No two designs are the same anywhere in the world. Frigg, even if I try to get it exactly the same, I feel like I stuffed up and failed….then I see what the new design is I created and immediately feel a sense of achievement having toppled the old winner of “best design in Ben’s head” award that appears to be excessively easily given out.

So here it is. The colours may not be the same as that lovely afternoon experience I witnessed yesterday, but the creation of depth between light and dark contrasts and how they flow for the overall design at least re-create a feeling that I saw that one afternoon at the end of February, full of beer and optimism for the year ahead .

Thanks for reading.

Depth in Design
Depth in Design
Depth in Design
Depth in Design

Lessons Learnt A New Year Awaits

What a year we had last year!

I made a conscience design to effectively grow the business last year, handing my website and marketing over to a 3rd party company and reaping the rewards of what I sowed.

On paper, everything was fantastic.

In reality, it was only a lesson learnt to pull the reigns in again.

You see, I have focused my business throughout on quality over quantity, always taking the stand point of making sure the workmanship and quality of materials is first class, then worrying about the exact profits later.

However, I fell into the all too common contractor trap of just taking on as much as work as I can, putting in 60+ hours on the tools each week to keep up, then wonder why not only the quality started to drop away, but also the back end of the business effectively failed completely.

Now don’t get me wrong, my quality of work towards the end of the year was still quite acceptable, but mistakes were creeping in that not only cost money in repairs, but also kept me up at night kicking myself and just begging for the year to end (end of the current workload), so I could step back, re-evaluate everything and get back on a more solid path.

I took 3 weeks off at the end of the year. For the first time in what seems like a decade, I actually switched my phones and computers off and simply just took time for me and my family without any concern for what work had to offer.

This was the absolute best thing that I could have done, not only for my business, but also for my mental health and well being.

You see, I’m not a live to work kind of person. I’ve had my business since my early 20’s and have always strived to be better in life, but I have always been well aware that I am only on this earth once and if I lose myself in work too much, I’ll miss the journey along the way.

Last year for me was a great milestone to reach. I finally discovered exactly what I could earn and achieve, as well as having the negative aspects blatantly slap me in the face to bring me back to reality.

So the year to come and hopefully the remainder of my working career….

Balance.

I’m going back to basics. I will maintain the good marketing that I have put in place and continually strive to better my business, but I have also decided to set very specific working hours and anything outside of those hours, see’s my phones and computer turned off, my tools packed away and me spending time with loved ones and activities outside of the work place in general.

This will also see me going back to basics of one job at a time, done properly. Something I’ve always been a fan of.

I start a job, I finish that job 100% to satisfaction, then move onto the next project.

This is going to see some clients having to wait a fair amount of time for my services, but not only will it put my mental well being back on track again, it will also see my much more refreshed and able to provide my clients with the quality of workmanship and customer service that has seen my business thriving and receiving 5 star reviews in for the past 15 odd years.

I’m really looking forward to what this year has to come and I feel refreshed and enthused to grab the bull by the horns and get back to the basics that have seen my business successful throughout.

If you’re after a quote or a new client, I look forward to seeing your work. If you’re a client who has had work completed by me previously, thank you for your business and I hope you all had a great end of year break.

Cheers to a new year ahead.

revamp stamp

Revamp Your Stamp

Miles and miles of stamped concrete on the Gold Coast. A highly popular finish throughout the 80’s and 90’s that fell away after that because, bluntly, no body EVER looks after their decorative concrete finishes properly!

Because all this stamped was placed, then never re-sealed throughout it’s life time, the process of erosion removes the colour, starts to delaminate the finish and basically makes everything go to shit.

There’s a few options that we have to revamp your stamp, with the most common (and cheapest), being a tint sealing. I’ve discussed this option in another article, but basically, it’s an epoxy colour tint that is added to the high grade acrylic sealer and basically “painted” onto the surface, allowing the sealer to penetrate and giving a “painted appearance” to the surface. Although this finish is fine, and often the only option available, there is a better option….an option that brings stamped back to it’s former glory, but, requires a skilled applicator to get it right.

It’s a custom stain process that requires mixing and blending of base line stain colours to allow the new colours to work with any existing dual colours that are still on the surface of the old stamped concrete. After this process is complete, the colours are applied in a custom fashion, blending as we go to create a unique, multi tone appearance that not only brings the stamp back to its original flavour, but if I can say so myself, looks like a brand new custom design.

I’ll just leave two before and after pictures to give you an idea of what we can create. That old stamped is never dead, it just needs some TLC by someone who know’s what they’re doing.

revamp stamp
revamp stamp
custom concrete

Concrete – Standard & Custom

Our grass roots, where it all began, is of course in concreting. Over 20 years ago I began in the industry, and in that time, there isn’t much I’ve put my hands onto to try and master. From basic paths and shed slabs, to intricate contrasting applications of exposed and stamped in full custom designs, it’s fair to say, there isn’t much I can’t handle.

I won’t go into too much detail for standard works in this section, as nearly everyone knows what they are. Plain grey, exposed aggregate, coloured…..if you’re after something standard, there’s no need to talk anymore, expect it to be completed to the highest standard.

But where I really like to delve into, goes hand in hand with my other decorative applications I provide for resurfacing options. I love mixing things up. I’ve never been scared to take a risk. Instead of a single colour throughout, lets do different coloured sections. Let break that exposed driveway up with different coloured stone inserts for something a little different. Lets border that exposed driveway with an intricate stamped design border or pathway leading off from it.

Basically, I love different. Different keeps my brain involved and keeps me striving to set new standards within the industry.

Here’s a couple of pics of what can be achieved by thinking outside the box. Give me a call today to have a chat about your new concrete installation, and instead of of just getting an exposed driveway completed, lets get a custom exposed driveway completed that sets you apart from the rest of the crowd.

Contrasting Exposed Aggregates

custom concrete

Colour Concrete w/ Stamped

custom concrete

Stone Tile Border w/ Exposed

custom concrete

Exposed Aggregate w/ Stamped

custom concrete
Custom Staining

Staining – Custom Recolouring

Food for Thought - Tinting & Staining - Rejuvenating Old Concrete

With these process’s we are delving, for the most part, into rejuvenating old concrete surfaces, to look new again. These can also be completed as package deals for new areas, which would include concrete installation then resurfacing as per requirements, but as said, we mostly delve into tinting and staining to revamp old areas.

All work completed with this process is a custom design of colour combinations and textures, as it is all hand completed by myself, to fit in and work with it’s surrounding areas, making that tired old concrete look fresh and new again.

Tinting as a Full Depth Colour Over

The most basic form of re-colouring concrete that I provide is a process called “tinting”. This is quite simply a full colour epoxy tint, mixed through our full acrylic sealer, then applied to a fresh, cleaned surface. This most basic form, quite simply colours the entire surface a single colour throughout. If you think of painting a surface, then you get the basic idea of this application, however, separating itself from paint, this product penetrates the concrete surface and does not chip off or peel like painting would. Depending on the existing condition of the concrete we are working with, this can also be completed in a “semi tint” process, that is a little less full depth colour, allowing existing tones to still show through.

tint stamp revamp tugan

Staining to Revamp the Stamp

Staining to revamp your old stamped concrete is a great way to bring back multiple colour combinations that you had when you stamped concrete was brand new. When we are dealing with an existing stamped surface for example, that already has it’s existing colours, as well as areas of no colour at all from wear and tear, this is when this process truly shines. Being able to combine lightly 2-3 different colours, to work alongside the existing colours, really allows us to come up with some truly unique and custom installations that leaves that concrete really shining and looking like it belongs in an art gallery.

Multi Tone Stain Stamped Tallai

Custom Resurface & Staining

This is where we separate the men from the boys. This process can be supplied in a brand new package installation, or simply by resurfacing your existing concrete area. First off, we apply our heavily modified resurfacing products over your floor, creating a completely new design for the area. Whether the design is mimicking a stone surface, a rough textured trowel, or a completely smooth surface to later hand cut separation areas into, everything is custom completed to suit your needs. From there, we apply our custom stain combinations to the surface to fit in with with the existing area, and finish off with a full sealing process that leaves a completely unique, custom design that is truly a once off that no one else in the world will have.

Skip Trowel Overlay
Custom Staining
epoxy flooring sample

Epoxy – Metallic Design

Food for Thought - Epoxy - Metallic Designs

Getting creative with Metallic Epoxy. Simply put, lets blend everything together in various patterns to see what we can come up with!

Ok, so that may be a little too basic, but it’s the general principle. For me, metallic designs is more working with the product to let it create something amazing, rather than trying to control the product and force it do something.

Every piece of metallic work is a completely unique design in both colours and patterning. This process is working on WOW factor more than anything, perfect for that garage area displaying your latest Harley or Shelby Cobra…..or even simply for you modern restaurant service area, the applications are many, the designs unique and the results are always impressive.

Here are some examples of what can be achieved.

epoxy flooring sample
epoxy flooring sample
epoxy flooring sample
epoxy flooring sample
epoxy flooring sample
epoxy flooring sample
decorative concrete epoxy flooring gold coast

Epoxy – Flake Design

Food for Thought - Epoxy - Flake Designs

Epoxy flooring is by far the best solution for any indoor resurfacing application. Clean, easy to maintain and outstanding appearance keep this product at the top of decision making for garages, kitchens and other indoor purposes.

I offer a couple of different options for epoxy flooring, here we will go over my Full Flake installation that I can provide, which I suppose would be your typical Garage installation for this product.

Beginning with a full, typical prep for any resurfacing, the floor is cleaned thoroughly, acid etched and primed ready for our new coatings.

From here, a base colour is chosen, along with flake colours and our products are applied, giving a very sturdy, colourful design that is easy to maintain for years to come.

The following pictures are just different examples of the design, each aspect can be chosen individually as per requirements in colouring.

epoxy flooring example
epoxy flooring example
epoxy flooring example
epoxy flooring example
epoxy flooring example
epoxy flooring example
epoxy flooring example
epoxy flooring example
epoxy flooring example
Concrete Resurfacing Gold Coast

Spray On – Custom Design

Food for Thought - Spray on Resurfacing - Custom Designs

Welcome to my passion. I started out concreting many years ago, but when I came across concrete resurfacing, both in Spray On and Epoxy forms, I knew this was where my direction and focus needed to be.

I find myself always striving for perfection, whether it be mimicking sandstone appearance, or putting onto the concrete canvas my modern take on these designs, portraying my design view for my peers and customers to view and appreciate (hopefully).

This can be a stressful technique to apply, as every aspect is custom and hand completed, along with being muchly time consuming to install, and the designs themselves may not be up everyone’s alley.

Some love it, some don’t like it…but most people I come across at least have a respect for stepping outside the box and pushing the industry in new directions.

Here are some examples of some of the designs I have completed. All of these designs have been evaluated on a job to job basis, not only just going for a specific technique, but working with the colours and areas to get the whole “idea” to work.

These of course is delving into the more expensive range, you are not just hiring an installer for your concrete resurfacing, you are hiring an artistic view of that particular installer.

Shop around, find the installer’s work you like the most. You will be getting something completely unique that no-one else has.

Full Sandstone

Concrete Resurfacing Gold Coast

Minor Sandstone

Minor Sandstone

Heavy Contrast Modern

custom concrete resurfacing oxenford

Beach Pathways

Concrete Resurfacing Ashmore

Blended Surroundings

concrete resurfacing ashmore

Oversizing

Driveway Resurfacing Monterey Keys
Concrete Resurfacing Nerang

Spray On – Standard Design

Food for Thought - Spray on Resurfacing - Standard Designs

Standard spray on resurfacing designs are exactly that. Not requiring too much forethought, more a relatively strict routine to follow, ensuring all areas are installed, whilst cleaning up the general area as a whole.

I call these designs standard for two reasons. Firstly, they are relatively common designs, majority of people want to stick with the the tried and true theory for area rejuvenation, and these designs have proven the test of time to work again and again.

The second reason, is typically, from an installers perspective, they’re basic. Nothing to really think about here, just make sure standards are maintained with installation and you can’t really go wrong.

However, there is a rather “elegance in simplicity” as I like to call it, where sometimes the most basic designs are what truly allows everything else around it to shine more.

These designs are of course on the cheaper end of the price scaling. Not because they quality is any less in workmanship, but you’ll start to understand why when you see some of the custom works we provide our clients.

The following examples of taped designs, borders and center pieces all fall under my “standard” design approach and pricing. Don’t forget to mix up colours and flecking options to suit your home.

NOTE: Whilst combining a few of these basic options together is typically still considered a standard design, by making things relatively complex combining to much of these designs can lead them into the custom design bracket and pricing. For example, having a standard bulk border and a single diamond center piece is still a standard design, by installing multiple diamonds and making the border a brick border will turn this into a custom installation (to vaguely explain).

Diamond Tiles

Backyard Transformation Benowa

Coloured Borders

Smashed Avocado Ormeau

Simple Center Piece

Concrete Resurfacing Gilston

Border & Single Colour

Elegance in Simplicity Pacific Pines

Regular Tiles

Concrete Resurfacing Tugun

Off Set Tiling

Concrete Resurfacing Tallai

Diamond w/ Darker Taped Lines

Concrete Refurbishment Arundel

Random Triangle Single Colour

Concrete Resurfacing Helensvale

Tiles w/ Offset Border

Concrete Resurfacing Ormeau