Paint, Epoxy, and Finishing Touches

Article - September 25, 2012

The shop is nearly complete and moving day is this week. But let’s step back a bit and continue where we left off last time.

Stucco

The stucco was completed in three days. The guys were able to match the existing house pattern perfectly. After a week of dry time, the stucco was painted to match the house. Somehow, in all of the craziness, I lost a bunch of pictures of this part of the build. So all I have is a picture of the finished product with a fresh coat of paint.

Painting

There isn’t too much to say about the drywall (sheetrock, tape, mud, done!) so let’s skip to the paint. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m not a fan of picking paint colors. All I know is that I don’t want the shop white and I definitely don’t want it too dark. Additionally, at some point in the future, we are looking to re-paint our house interior. So I figured we could kill two birds with one stone by simply picking out the house colors now, and using some of those in the shop. To save time and effort, I picked up a few of those color brochures and simply picked out a complimentary color family that met Nicole’s approval.

The primary color I selected has a fancy name, but I prefer to call it “light-tannish.” I also had a 12″ border painted with an accent color around the perimeter. The origin of the border is actually kinda funny. While the painters were spraying the ceiling, they used rolls of masking paper to protect the walls. My step-dad walked in and said, “That border looks great!” I laughed and told him it was just for masking purposes, but then realized it actually did look pretty cool. So I asked the painters to include an actual painted border around the entre shop. It certainly isn’t something I’d do in my house but I think it works well in a shop space.

Epoxy

After a long mental struggle, I decided on an epoxy coating for the floor. I laid out my reasons for this in this article in case you’re interested. The material itself is a cycloaliphatic resin epoxy, or so I’m told.

Much like wood finishing, it’s all about preparation. Even a brand new slab needs to be prepped for the best possible adhesion. In many cases, an acid wash does the trick. But that really only works if you have a place for all the liquid to drain. Not to mention, my drywall goes right to the floor. So the alternative is a dry diamond grinding technique. Large grinding machines abrade the surface, which I can only imagine gives the concrete a nice mechanical tooth for the epoxy to bind to. With as much dust as these things must produce, I was glad to see they brought their own dust collection. Otherwise I would have had to hook up a few Festool CT Vacs. Ha!

The epoxy went down over the course of two days. The smell was unbearably strong during the application and after the final coat. Even with a respirator, the guys who do this work must be losing brain cells by the truckload! Amazingly, after 24 hrs, the harsh smell was all but gone. One week later, all I can smell is latex paint.

The color of the floor is called “sand” and is a pretty good match for the walls. Since straight epoxy can be quite slippery in a dusty wood shop, we had a mixture of grit particles and 1/8″ flakes embedded in the final coat.

The Rest

After the majority of the work inside the shop was complete, there were a few loose ends to tie up outside. The area in front of the shop still needed concrete and the torn up driveway needed to be fixed. The concrete pour was uneventful. But I am stoked to finally have an HOA-approved place to store my cargo trailer!

As for the driveway, we were quite lucky to have pavers instead of concrete. While we may have lost a few pavers here and there, the vast majority were saved and re-incorporated into the driveway. Now that the pieces are all in place, the driveway looks seamless again.

The plumber came back to finish the toilet and sink installations. I can’t tell you how excited I am to have plumbing in the shop. Just having a place to wash my hands is going to be a very nice treat! You can also see the final view from the yard. I am very happy with the results and the shop ties into the house quite nicely.

As far as the construction phase goes, that’s really about all there is to show. I have plenty of video footage that I need to assemble into a coherent production and you can expect that sometime soon. Tomorrow is the big tool move and as you can imagine, it will take me quite some time to get everything up and running.

I hope you enjoyed going through this process with me and I truly appreciate all of the well-wishes and “you suck” comments. haha! You folks are great! I know I am very fortunate to have an opportunity like this and I am even more fortunate to have thousands of friends out there cheering me on. I just can’t wait to start producing awesome content for you from this new space. Onward and upward!

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