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  • This broom-finished concrete deck, stained aqua-blue to match the color of the pool lining, gives the illusion of a never-ending body of water.
  • Narrow channels were left between some of the concrete slabs and filled with blue-gray river rock, adding to the Zen-like effect.
  • Another view of the pool deck, which features separate areas for lounging, dining and entertaining.

The challenge
To create a Zen-like atmosphere, the owners of this outdoor pool and spa wanted the deck surrounding it to echo the color and movement of the water, creating the feel of an expansive, floating pool. But they were unable to find any type of tile or slate to fit their vision. Knowing they did not want a solid-colored surface, they opted for stained concrete.

Design goals
"The homeowners contacted us through their pool builder, who recommended us for the staining of the pool deck," says Brock Lynch of BDC Ltd., a company specializing in all types of commercial and residential decorative concrete work. "We stained this patio in a blend of blue and aqua stains. We tried as much as possible to match the color of the pool lining."

To add texture and create the illusion of rippling water, the surface was given a broom finish.

Narrow channels were left between some of the concrete slabs and filled with blue-gray river rock, adding to the Zen-like feel.

Secrets to success
The biggest challenge on this project was getting the color just right, says Lynch. "We started with one coat of aqua-blue acid stain on the broom-finished deck, to create a natural-blue background color instead of the plain gray concrete. Once this was completed, we switched to a water-based stain. Referring to a stain color chart, we mixed a large batch of stain combining gray, blue, green, and black and applied it in two coats with an airless sprayer."

Protection of the existing surfaces before staining was paramount. "We tape off everything when we do a stain project. The last thing someone wants is to hire a contractor to clean up after another contractor," says Lynch.

For the final finish, the surface was coated with a high-solids solvent-based acrylic with grip enhancers stirred into it for slip-resistance. "After three to six years, it's always good to apply clear coat to a stained surface to keep the colors fresh and protect the surface," says Lynch.

This project is one of many that BDC Ltd. takes on for the opportunity to try something new with decorative concrete. "It's great to have people trust you to come up with ideas for their projects. That passion is what keeps me moving forward. Whether it's a concrete bartop for a trendy restaurant or an elementary school courtyard, we are always prepared to do something new."

Materials used
Aqua-blue acid stain: Kemiko
Water-based stains: Decorative Concrete Supply
Acrylic sealer: Decra-Seal, from W. R. MEADOWS
Grip enhancer: H&C SharkGrip

BDC Ltd.
Longview, Texas