A Little Teaser!
On Saturday I opened my molds! Now, no matter how hard I try to get the air out of the concrete I just don't have the tools needed to vibrate the mold so there were some blow holes. Since I only had about three hours in which to work I quickly applied a slurry to my pieces to fill some of the holes and let the slurry cure over night. Generally the slurry is the last thing to apply, according to THE BOOK. After making the kitchen counter tops though, I have found that the slurry shrinks when it hardens, so applying it before grinding reduces the appearance of shrinkage in the voids.
On Sunday I got to grind my concrete pieces. This creates more holes of course, but holes are good because they actually allow you to alter the appearance of the concrete. You can also fill them with a slurry of a completely different color or even colored epoxy. I am way too traditional to put bright colors in my voids, besides, I am trying to make my pieces look more like polished stone. So today I was able to grind all my pieces to 800 grit with the diamond polishing pads and slurry my pieces to darken the color of the concrete. The fireplace hearth went from this
To this with an almost black slurry on all the pieces.
I gave up on the plum color on the central piece and went for black and blue marbleized look but the acrylic paint weakens the bond and integrity of the cement due to how much I had to use to get the color. The book actually states this so it was no surprise. The slurry helped to level the surface and as a result reduced the amount of blue in the piece. That grey streak is the hardest section of this piece. Here are close-ups.
These pieces are wet so that you can see how they should appear when polished and waxed.
After much grinding the counter looked like this.
I put a dark grey slurry on this to fill the voids around the glass chips and not make such a drastic color change to the concrete. On Wednesday I will grind again with the 800 grit disk and melt the wax slithers and any polypropylene fibers on the surface of the concrete with the butane torch and then slurry with a black mixture. I also have to grind about 1/8 inch of the front notch of the sink hole so the sink sits flush. I was using a tile saw today to make a series of grooves that I can take a cold chisle to on Wednesday. Here is a close up before the slurry was applied, the final color will be darker though.
Stay tuned, the final finish won't be until next weekend. I wonder if Elizabeth's hair will stay up that long? It might if we don' t wash it!