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  • Swirls of blue and caramel dye add artistic flair to the Wassenburg Art Center’s newly polished concrete floor.
  • A combination sealer and high-performance lithium silicate stain guard add shine while protecting the floor from surface abrasion and staining.
  • The original concrete floor was restored by polishing it to an 800-grit finish.
  • A smaller polishing machine works along the edges.
  • Approximately 800 square feet of concrete flooring was hand-painted with water-based stains by local artisans.
  • More hand-painted custom artwork.
  • More hand-painted floor art.

When the nonprofit Wassenburg Community Art Center in Van Wert, Ohio, made plans recently to relocate to a former National Guard Armory, the first order of business was to transform the 75-year-old facility into an updated, welcoming space for hosting free art exhibits, classes and workshops. Instead of covering up the original concrete flooring, they decided to restore it and make the floor itself an expression of art by inviting local artisans to get involved in the project. To create a pristine canvas for their custom artwork, Nick Dancer of Dancer Concrete Design was hired to bring the concrete floor back to life.

The project involved polishing nearly 8,000 square feet of concrete, honing it down to a sleek 800-grit finish. A portion of the floor was then hand painted by local artists using a colorful array of water-based stains. For the rest of the floor, Dancer’s crew, including David Habeger, John Marcey, Cameron Hermiller, John Campbell, applied swirls of color using acetone-based dyes in the shades of slate blue and caramel. To create a washed effect and to tone down the blue and caramel coloring, a touch of buckskin dye was added to the concrete densifier. The floor was then finished with a combination high-gloss sealer and high-performance lithium silicate stain guard.

“This concrete floor is from 1938, but the polishing process has it looking and performing great,” says Dancer.

Polishing equipment and materials used: Floor polisher: Lavina 32-S planetary polisher
Edge grinder: Hum-B floor grinder from CDCLarue
Acetone-based dyes: ColorTru polishing dye in caramel and slate blue, from Polished Concrete Solutions
Concrete densifier: Lythic Densifier
Stain guard: Lithium Silicate Finish Coat, from TruGuard
Water-based stains: Butterfield Colors

Polishing contractor Nick Dancer
Dancer Concrete Design, Ft. Wayne, Ind.

See other projects completed by this contractor:
Beautiful Chemistry
Smoothing Out the Rough Spots

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