Concrete contractor in Las Vegas stains existing concrete driveways
to look like leather, and faux-paints garage doors to look like rustic wood.

Some homeowners think there is no hope for a driveway with deep cracks and crevices. Others think the dirty gray color with the car oil stains are just permanent results of aging and use that they must live with at the entrance of their home. When curb appeal is so important, we'll often give our homes a fresh coat of paint, but we stare with despair at the ugly driveway out front.

Sometimes it's just that homeowners don't know what feasible options there are to making the most highly used area of their home more appealing...until they meet Rick Metzler of Pizzazz Painting. A fine artist and concrete contractor by trade, Metzler helps clients visualize their driveways from a different perspective.

"In my area of Vegas," he says, "there are so many ranch style homes. The clients get so excited when I tell them I can make their driveway look like leather." But Metzler doesn't stop there. "Why have a beautiful driveway with an ugly, big, white door at the end of it?" he asks. "So I tell them, 'Now let's make your garage door look like real wood.'"

On this particular project (see photo above), Metzler stained the concrete driveway and accentuated the existing cracks to achieve a rustic look. He then faux-painted the garage door to look like rustic wood, making custom hinges and door handles out of steel for an antiqued look.

Metzler says, "Any stained concrete makes the house look so much different, and adds so much curb appeal. Painting the garage takes it over the top." Because Metzler is coloring existing concrete driveways, the process is reasonably priced for homeowners. The price is of no comparison to the dramatic effect on the home that can be achieved.

The Stained Concrete Driveway ProcessOftentimes, Metzler can incorporate cracks and can mask some concrete problems through coloring. But in some cases, parts of the driveway are too far beyond repair to incorporate into the design. "On this project, the driveway was gray, chipped, and cracked," he recalls. "We actually tore the front of the slab off because it was sticking up 6 inches."

Metzler used Super-Krete's water-based stains for coloring. "It's a linear process with tri-color variation," he explains. To begin the process, he first wet the driveway. "Then I hit the cracks with a dark, walnut color and some black. This accentuates them and darkens them up," he says. Before it completely dries, he adds a random coat of the lightest color, which on this project was Super-Krete's yellow. "I covered the entire driveway randomly as a base with the yellow," he explains. "It blends with the dark colors in the cracks so the cracks don't become the focal point."

Then he sprays another coat in between with the medium hue, terra cotta. The last coloring step is to spray full coverage with the walnut. "I'm able to get a nice variegated look this way. It looks very organic," he says. Metzler warns that not all stain colors work well in the heat of the Vegas area. "I usually use browns, reds and tans in Vegas, maybe some green as an accent," he says. "Blues and greens too high in color will fade in the hot sun."

Finally, Metzler applies a sealer by Maverick. "The sealer then makes everything pop," he says. "It looks leathery once the sealer is applied, which works very well with the ranchy motif. And I always apply two coats." Metzler prefers only a top-grade sealer, Maverick's 1450 which he says, " as good as it gets for a polyurethane." He doesn't use a water-based inexpensive sealer, which "only lasts about 8 minutes," he jokes. Although Metzler's sealer of choice is expensive, "it's approximately $400 for 5 gallons," he says, "it lasts." He tells his customers if they have any problems with it, he'll come back and seal it again at no extra charge.

The Garage Faux-Painting ProcessWith a background in faux painting, venetian plaster, and murals, Metzler uses his creative talents to transform garage doors as well. "It takes about three days to faux paint the garage to look like wood," he explains. "The finish on the window frames and hinges and handles is Verdi Gris. The wood field is already textured like wood so I painted it solid and then rubbed of the paint on the raised areas. The black bars were painted deep gray and then while still wet, grained with a wood grain tool."

Metzler's keen ability to visualize driveways, garage doors and other surfaces from a new perspective is refreshing to homeowners. His vision, combined with his artistic talent, continues to heat up interest in decorative concrete applications throughout Las Vegas. With Metzler's innovative techniques, homeowners can now be given complete package options in customizing their homes.

Rick Metzler
Pizzazz Painting
Las Vegas, NV

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