Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Reapiring and Recoloring a Faux Bubbler Stone (Post #1)

This weeks project is repairing a faux Bubbler Rock/Water Feature.  The faux rock made out of foam was starting to show some chipping and discoloration, as well as the faux concrete coloring was starting to flake off of the stone.  I brought it back to our shop in late November when we cleaned up the homeowner's garden.  This faux rock was originally designed to be just that, a fake rock to cover up something.  We decided one day approximately 8 years ago to turn it into a water feature and a focal point outside the homeowners bedroom window.  We drilled (2) holes and ran the plumbing, as well as faux finished the entire fake rock with concrete and then faux finished the fake stone with concrete colorant to make it appear more natural.  This will actually be the 2nd time that I have completed this process.

This was back in the day before the water feature/fountain manufacturers had created the fountain basin or reservoir that we now have today.  We created the fountain basin out of a 33 gallon pickle barrel cut in half, the one that we selected was very thick plastic and would never break if water froze in it.  One of the first things we did was take and create a metal mesh system to act as re-enforcement and help stabilize the plumbing to keep it from moving during normal maintenance of the bubbler water feature.  We cut into the stryrofoam side of the fountain with an angle grinder with a metal blade.  This allowed the pieces of metal mesh to slide right in to the foam side of the faux stone.  The metal mesh was then filled with foam and allowed to cure.

Next, we took and used a metal brush and cleaned off all of the loose debris-concrete, algae, sealer, etc.
We then blew off the outside and inside of the faux rock with an air compressor.  We then took and vaccummed all of the surfaces, inside and outside of the faux stone.  This would make sure all dust and debris was cleaned from the surface so that on the inside we did not have a bond breaker for the foam.  The outside of the stone was also vacuumed so that we did not have a bond breaker on the outside for the concrete.  Next we took and mixed a high strength concrete and mixed it a little wet.  I then took a cheap china bristle paint brush and stippled the entire faux rock with concrete.  A stippling technique was used so as not to show brush marks, but still allowed us to get concrete into every nook, cranny and crevice and still maintain a textured, authentic rock look and feel.  This completed our first day of the faux stone water feature rehabilitation.

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