I’ve always loved the look of stained concrete. The walkway and front porch were ideal to stain. This project started with finding the two most perfect stain colors based on very small store samples. At Lowe’s we found burnished gold and vaquero brown which we thought would blend nicely together. We also bought concrete cleaner, an etching substance to maximize porosity of the concrete. We rented our handyman’s power washer and got after it. The concrete turned from a drab dingy gray to a bright steel gray with every swipe of the wand. After it dried and after reading several DIY articles on staining, we attempted the walkway. We practice tested on a halfway poured sidewalk down by the creek in our neighborhood. First went on the gold. Ugly. So we then tried the brown over the gold and mixed the 2 with water from a spray bottle. Something was still not quite right. We decided to put the brown down first. The gold next mixed over the top of the brown seemed to be a winner. So off to the real walkway we went. We developed a rhythm. Work in 4′ x 4′ areas. I spray the concrete with water to wet it down then I spray the vaquero brown. Hannah sprays the gold over it and then sprays water on top of that to mix. We think we’ve got it! This continues to a few feet shy of the steps of the porch. Looking good, feeling good about our project, Hannah leaves me to go on a dinner date with friends. How hard can it be by myself I ask myself. I can do her role as well as mine. So after taping plastic around the house, this stupid woman attempted the steps and porch by herself that evening. At one point the spray from the gold got on my door despite my taping, and I ran to the garage to get more rags. By the time I got back the spray had accidentally been put in the lock position and ugly gold paint was spewing all over the porch. I frantically mopped up gold paint for 2 hours until the sun set and it didn’t look so bad simply because you couldn’t see it. I was seriously afraid I’d ruined the porch, but by some small miracle, we just started the process all over again in the morning, and the colors matched the sidewalk. It took 3 gallons of brown and not a full gallon of gold to complete the task. I’m not sure rolling it on would have created less waste.
We let it dry for a couple of days due to some high humidity and rain sprinkles. I then sealed it with Quikrete pavement sealer which brought out a slightly darker hue to the final color. It was rolled on along with every bug, twig, and leaf which blew or just appeared at every roll. A new Pier 1 love seat and cushions, lots of lanterns and decor, and curtains (because why wouldn’t you need curtains on the front porch?) give a more formal yet warm feel to our new and improved entry. It’s turned into the perfect spot to curl up with a cup of tea or a glass of wine.