Dan McCormick of Eagle View Custom Creations, Fort Harrison, Mont., submitted these photos of a river he carved through an acid-stained floor using two brands of water-based stain from NewLook International. He put down the river at ExplorationWorks, an interactive science and culture museum in Helena, Mont.
McCormick writes: “When ExplorationWorks approached me with this project they wanted to do an acid-stained river from the exterior through the front entryway and around the front-desk area of the museum. Because the floor had already been acid-stained and sealed with a urethane sealer I explained to them the problems we may have with an acid stain and explained the ecofriendly stain options of NewLook.
“They explained that they wanted the river to have a bluish green effect with islands throughout the river.
“At this point I made a sample board using self-leveler to get the smooth look of the existing concrete. The way we achieved this look was to first saw-cut the river edges including the islands. We then used NewLook Easy Strip 2000 to remove the old sealer. This was an indoor job, so it required us to scrape, mop and shop-vacuum up the old sealer, leaving a clean surface. It was not very porous so we applied etching material from Surface Gel Tek to open up the pores of the concrete for the stain.
“After taping off the edges of the saw cuts we colored the river using an HVLP unit to spray Robin Egg Designer Series acrylic stain top-coated with Fountain Blue and Powder Green Translucent Enhancer semitransparent stains. All of the colors were put on at one time, very wet, to get the marbleized flowing effect of water.
After the colors were dry we sealed the floor with two coats of NewLook Co-Lock Sealer and two coats of commercial floor wax for a sacrificial wear layer. The final step was to add a dark brown urethane caulking into the saw cuts to finish out the project.
“The clients are extremely happy with the finished project and will have me back to do the exterior portion of the project this spring when weather permits.”