Location: Mermaid Waters
Project Size: 300sqm + 24sqm
Finishing off our major colour re-works project today, has been a long slog this one.
We got in early to prep and complete the metallic epoxy flooring, then settled in for the long hand grind of the remaining stamped concrete that was painted at some stage.
Now, there’s nothing particularly wrong with paint, expect it doesn’t work that well most of the time, and when we need to fix it up, it’s a damn nightmare.
We gave our client two options, firstly, just going over everything with a tint seal, which would see relatively frequent and larger fix ups as the existing paint continued to peel off over time, or, we can hand grind out the paint as much as possible, of which we wouldn’t get rid of all of it, but with the aim of removing as much as possible so that the touch ups are a lot more infrequent and of a much smaller scale over time.
Our client for this project was truly just one of those people who simply makes your day better by being around them. Such kind, considerate, hospitable people of which we will truly miss their company. As professionals, we are always striving to do the absolute best we can with the work that we output, and when we have clients like this, that process is all the simpler, even finding the extra reason to push that little bit harder for better results.
Thank you kindly for your business, we hope to run into you again soon.
Here’s a few small sample boards I completed today because I was bored. I wanted something to take to my quotes so my prospective clients can see first hand what our epoxy floors / kitchens feel and look like. These are only sample of different blends we can do, but with a little creativity, there’s no limits to what we can achieve with these products.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Project Size: 78sqm
Full flake epoxy installation at Coomera finished off with Top Coat Urethane today. Ash Grey full flake. Part of a bigger project we’re hoping to be finished early next week….if the rain gives us a break.
Project Size: 100sqm
Commercial site custom metallic epoxy installation.
Pure white base, with Platinum White and Titanium Silver blending throughout, finished off with Urethane top coating.
Project Size: 42sqm
“Stage 3”: The….Week…..From….Hell.
The third section of this nightmare freaking week, funnily enough coinciding with Halloween…go figure, is our full flake epoxy floor in “SnowFlake” we installed for our client out at Pimpama.
This one actually had me a little disgusted with my industry. Now don’t get me wrong, none of us are perfect, we all make mistakes and not all of our work is 100% perfect, 100% of the time….but this garage floor substrate was fucking horrific. (Sorry younger readers, but you’re reading the blog of a concreter…deal with it).
Now this is a great lesson for everyone to learn…who doesn’t know it already.
Builders provide bottom dollar quality tradies to complete work for their clients. You may quote me on that shit.
Take for example, the going rate, (roughly), for exposed aggregate concrete, is around $95/sqm starting rate for a direct contractor like myself. A customer can expect to pay a builder in the vicinity of $140/sqm for their exposed aggregate. Most builders, due to negotiations, will pay their sub-contractors in the vicinity of an $80/sqm starting rate.
Needless to say, builders don’t get contractors like myself working for them, because they pay peanuts and I’m not a frigging monkey.
The same goes for your house slab. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying sub-contractors installing works for builders are bad concreters / contractors, I’m just saying you get what you pay for, and those sub-contractors are not going to provide top quality workmanship and materials for basement value prices.
This sometimes can’t be avoided by the clients…mostly, as something like the house slab is considered a normal inclusion in a house contract, but at least our client in this situation had the common sense to boot the builder to the curb and find someone who actually gives a shit.
I quoted this garage site unseen and when I rocked up to start the epoxy, there were literally cracks EVERYWHERE. Now, I’m 20 years in the mud, my off sider is pushing 40 odd years, both of our first reactions…..boys on the piss pouring in the rain. The splintered plastic cracking throughout, with low spots all over (literally swimming pools), a surface that came off with a finger nail wipe and a fall that headed straight from the garage entrance to the hallway door (backwards) just so, you know, clients can wash their hallway while cleaning out the bloody garage.
Ok, ok. I’ll end my little rant here. But please for the love of Bhudda, learn from this client here and contact a contractor directly, you’ll get a much better job completed.
So back to the story.
After grinding out cracks for what seemed like a good hour, these cracks were in filled with epoxy and sand and let sit over night. I returned in the morning again to apply more epoxy to the cracking before coming back later in the day and applying our epoxy flooring.
Of course the floor was primed in the process as well and left sit for a full day before applying our main coatings.
We wanted to match our new epoxy floor in with the Salt and Pepper exposed driveway we were installing, so I decided to go with a Light Grey epoxy tint and apply a 100% “Snow Flake” over the top.
After our application was complete, I returned the next day to chip away the excess flaking, vacuum up all the loose flakes and finally apply a full coating of Urethane Sealer over the top for a full gloss, lovely epoxy flake floor…..man I love working with this stuff.
Thanks again as said before to our lovely client. See you soon for the pool surrounds. You guys have been great to work with.