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    CD Designs Blog

    Case Study – Tannery Way, Gorton

    Pattern Imprinted Concrete Compass Acid Stained Compass

    Pattern Imprinted Concrete Acid Stained Compass

    Installed in September 2012, this landscaped patio and raised patio area featured a variety of interesting features. A pond area was formed and brick walls erected to define the pond area and the raised patio area. Key kerbs were installed to create a series of large half-moon steps leading to the raised patio area and the back patio doors. At the side of the pond a filter was situated and was covered by creating a small decked area, which incorporated a hatch for access to the filter. The use of pacific boardwalk pattern suited the raised area, with the pattern, compass, decking and pond area working beautifully together. The lower patio featured the country cobble print, which with its traditional look completed the whole area perfectly. The lower patio was linked to a cobble pathway which stretched down the side of the house toward the front of the property. Before the job was protected with seal, the compass was artistically stained.

    This week we received an email from the customer saying the following:-

    Hi Tim & Ben

    This email is a thank you for the transformation you made of our garden after a certain company left it in a disgraceful manner. Your whole team of lads are a credit to your company in the way the work & their attitude was carried out.

    As you know the company we first gave the job to absolutely wrecked our garden & damaged our property even though we did our homework to avoid ‘cowboy builders’. We cannot thank you enough for the way you have sorted out all the previous builders mistakes and for your professional aftercare.

    Your workmanship is well worth the money we have spent and all the tea made. We will not hesitate to recommend you to anyone, you have done a fantastic job.

    Thanks

    Paul & Michaela

    You can see other photos from the full case study here.

    Case Study – Snowdrop Close, Runcorn

    The finished driveway

    The finished pattern imprinted concrete driveway

    Installed in September 2012, this block paved driveway had over time become susceptible to weed growth and the blocks had begun to sink significantly.

    The blocks were first removed and the perimeter was shuttered allowing us to gage our levels and grade off. New deco drainage systems were fitted around the front and gable end of the house to relieve water. An old manhole cover was removed and replaced by a recess manhole cover allowing us to continue the pattern through the drive and over the manhole. A square step was then built at the front door using KL blocks.

    The use of grand ashlar on the main body of the house, and a change to the smaller original ashlar slate on the narrow gable end stage, allowed us to match the size of the area to the pattern. The russett colour was used for the main body of the driveway, with the borders being acid stained afterwards to finish.

    You can see this more images of this driveway in our full case study here.

    Concrete Comedy Carpet

    Aerial view of the carpet

    Aerial view of the carpet

    Comedy Carpet, a new £2.6 million attraction located at the foot of Blackpool Tower, has recently been unveiled. It is the work of visual artist Gordon Young, whose work mainly focuses on creating art for the public domain.

    The work is 2,200 square metres in size, and comprises of 235 cast concrete panels, which include over 160,000 letters cut individually form solid red and black granite, and specially created cobalt blue concrete. The letters vary in size from a few centimetres to nearly a metre in height, so can be seen both close up and from the top of the tower.

    The carpet features the names, jokes and catchphrases of over 1000 comedians, including Les Dawson, Frankie Howerd, Tommy Cooper and Morecambe and Wise, and was unveiled by another comedy legend Ken Dodd.

    Comedy carpet is one of the most ambitious pieces of public art ever commissioned in the UK, taking 5 years to complete from initial conception to finished installation, and is part of the Festival Headland overhaul, a new events area at the resort. Graham Caine, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for tourism and culture, said of the work: “This magnificent work is all part of the continuing regeneration of Blackpool. It’s a truly unique work of accessible public art at one of our resort’s most famous locations”.

    Glittery Gritz, for Concrete Glitz!

    We’ve covered a lot of different pattern imprinted concrete techniques on the CD Designs blog, from the conservative to the creative, and from the sublime to the ridiculous. But here we’ve got a unique and very special effect to share: glittery concrete! Maybe you are a fan of musicals or cabaret (are you Frank ‘n’ Furter?), or maybe you just love it loud (your decor, that is). Whatever the exact details, if this sounds anything like you then you’re gonna love this!

    Glittery Concrete Floor; We're Fans

    Glittery Concrete Floor; We're Fans

    To achieve such a result, it really doesn’t take that much effort beyond a normal concrete sealing treatment. Pop down to your local DIY store and get a regular floor coating kit. Everything you will do to apply it is completely standard, except that instead of adding a subtle treatment for decoration and texture (normally a few multicoloured flecks), you should mix in a good few bottles of glitter, the kind that you can buy in any kids’ craft shop.

    Apply the coating treatment, flatten it all out and get it all even, and then sweep off any excess. When the coating has set, you should just seal it all in with a standard clear sealant, and you’re done!

    Image via Diary of a Crafty Chica

    How to Stain Concrete

    Imprinted Concrete Driveway

    Stained and Pattern Imprinted Concrete

    Staining concrete is a great technique to consider for pretty much any pattern imprinted concrete driveway, patio, internal floor, or other concrete project. It is fairly easy to do, and inexpensive, and you can use it to get pretty much any colour and style of finish that you desire, from polished wood to marble and other stone effects. Done well, it is almost indistinguishable from the real thing, but can you really do it yourself? Of course! Below we will tell you how.

    1. First of all, choose the staining method. the three choices are
      • Acid stain, which is actually a chemical reaction between acid and concrete surface, producing a unique colour depending on the acid being used.
      • Acetone dye, which is available in dozens of colours, and stains the concrete using coloured particles suspended in a solution.
      • Water-based stain, which is basically an acrylic dye and works in a similar manner to acetone.

      There are pros and cons to each. Acid staining is a bit more imprecise than the others, as it relies on a chemical reaction rather than specific colours, so it is impossible to guarantee exactly what you are going to get. Also, it usually gives you earthy colours and tints. Acetone has a wide range of colours and is pretty precise, but doesn’t give quite the same look as acid stains – it gives more of a bright solid colour, without much texture. Water-based stains are available in a more limited choice of colours and they are often used in corrective work. The choice is up to you, depending on what you want.

    2. Next, you need to prepare the surface. Make absolutely sure that it is clean and dry before getting started. Also, you should apply the colour before you apply any additives, sealers or coatings, as these can and will interfere with the colouring process.
    3. Time to apply the colour! Make sure you wear protective clothing, as the materials used here are pretty corrosive. Also protect any areas that you don’t want stained. the stain is usually applied with a sprayer or a brush. Try to get it as even as possible.
    4. After applying the colour, you need to seal the surface, with a sealer that is compatible with the method of staining that you used. Make sure you research this carefully.

    Complete Driveway Designs Ltd

    The Yard, Stubbins Lane, Ramsbottom, BL0 0PT
    E:info@northwest-driveways.co.uk
    T: 01706 827180

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