About Jen Panguluri

Posts by Jen Panguluri:

Colorful Concrete Bowls Made with Colored Sand, Cement, and Water

Concrete is a mixture of cement, aggregates (sand or sand/gravel), and water.  In my seemingly never-ending exploration into colored concrete and cement projects, I made concrete bowls with different proportions of cement and colored sand.  You can see in the photo below that the bowls are different intensities of yellow.  I used 12 part yellow sand to 1 part cement in the least intense yellow bowl (on the left) up to 3 parts yellow sand to one part cement in the most intense yellow bowl (on the right).  At the bottom of each bowl, I put a small amount of uncolored cement for comparison.  With this information, I hope you can make some really wonderful, colored concrete decor!  Details follow.

Learn how to make colorful concrete bowls using cement, colored sand, and water.
Learn how to make colorful concrete bowls using cement, colored sand, and water.

This post contains affiliate links.

Tools/Supplies:

Spray the inside of the cups with cooking spray oil.  When working with concrete/cement wear a dust mask and gloves.

Choose one of the recipes below depending on how intense you want your concrete project to be.  The more colored sand in the recipe, the more obvious/intense the color will be in the finished concrete.

RECIPES

Concrete Made with Colored Sand Recipes

  • 12 part sand
    1 part cement
    1 Tablespoon water for every 14 cup sand and cement (combined volume)
  • 1 part sand
    1 part cement
    1 Tablespoon water for every 14 cup sand and cement (combined volume)
  • 2 parts sand
    1 part cement
    1 Tablespoon water for every 14 cup sand and cement (combined volume)
  • 3 parts sand
    1 part cement
    1 Tablespoon water for every 14 cup sand and cement (combined volume)

(For my metric friends, note that 14 cup is 60 ml.)

For convenience, I made batches of concrete where each “part” was 14 cup.  So for instance, for the recipe with the most sand, I used 3/4 cups sand, 14 cup cement, and 4 Tablespoons water (1 Tablespoon per 14 cup sand and cement).

MIXING THE CONCRETE

Put the sand and cement in a mixing bowl.  Mix the dry sand and cement.

Making Colored Concrete.
Making Colored Concrete.

Add water and then mix.

Making Colored Concrete.
Making Colored Concrete.

Adjust the consistency of your mix with water or cement, if needed.  The consistency of the concrete should be fairly dry.  It should maintain its shape if formed into a ball or could be slightly wetter, being able to form a sloppy ball.

Making Colored Concrete.
Making Colored Concrete.

For molds, I used two disposable plastic bowls of the same size.  I first put a little uncolored cement in each bowl, then let that cure about an hour to harden.  I did this so that it would be easy to compare the colored concrete to uncolored.  You can do this if you like the two-toned look, but it’s not necessary.  Plop your colored concrete in the bowl that is oiled on the inside, and level the concrete.

Making colored concrete bowls using colored sand, cement, and water.

Push the other bowl (oiled on the outside) into the cement.  Put something rather heavy (like stones, or in my case another concrete casting) into the inner bowl to weight it and keep it in place.  Let the concrete cure for at least a day, then popped the plastic molds off.

Making colored concrete bowls using colored sand, cement, and water.
Making colored concrete bowls using colored sand, cement, and water.

I always coat my concrete and cement creations with Rain Guard, a silane/siloxane sealer that prevents efflorescence.  Efflorescence is an unsightly white powdery film of masonry salts that can form when concrete/cement is exposed to moisture after it is cured.

Make colorful concrete decor using cement, colored sand, and water.
DIY Concrete Decor Made Using Cement, Colored Sand, and Water.
DIY Concrete Decor Made Using Cement, Colored Sand, and Water.
DIY Concrete Decor Made Using Cement, Colored Sand, and Water.
DIY Concrete Decor Made Using Cement, Colored Sand, and Water.

You might be interested in another project using colored sand:  DIY Concrete Cake Stand or Centerpiece with a Changeable Base.  This was my first project using colored sand in concrete, and I used a low concentration of sand for a subtle look.

Stop back soon!  As always I hope you are having a great day!

Jen

DIY Cement Eggs Tinted with Colorant

It’s probably no secret: I love colored cement.  Using ordinary latex paint as a colorant is beyond economical and convenient for small batch cement projects like the one I’ll show you today.  With paint in the mix, the finished piece is colored, and yet the texture of the cement is also there.  Earthy and primitive like cement tends to be, yes–but also interestingly colored.

In this project, I’ll show you how to make colored cement eggs, which are especially popular this time of year with Easter and Spring just around the corner.  Of course, these cement eggs can be used to decorate your home throughout of the year.

DIY Cement Easter Eggs Colored with Latex Paint.
DIY Cement Easter Eggs Colored with Latex Paint.
DIY Cement Easter Eggs Colored with Latex Paint.

 

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Supplies:

ABOUT THE PAINT COLORANT

The type of paint to use for coloring cement (and concrete) is latex paint.  Most interior wall paints are this type of paint.  Leftover paint and sample-size jars are ideal for this project because you don’t need much.  You can also use acrylic latex paint in little containers that you can find at craft stores.  When paint is added to the cement in the mixing process, it tints the cement, giving a muted version of the color and sometimes an unexpected color.

Paint used to tint cement decor, Behr, Pittsburgh, Glidden, etc

EMPTYING THE EGGS

Using a pin with a ball head, poke one hole in the end of the egg that is more pointed.

Use a pin with a ball head to poke holes in eggs for removing the egg contents.

On the other end of the egg, use the pin to poke holes in a circle shape, roughly 12 inch diameter, as shown in the photo below.  Then go back and poke more holes very close together (between other holes) around the circle.
Eventually you will be able to pop the circle out, leaving a nice circular hole in the egg.

Use a pin with a ball head to poke holes in eggs for removing the egg contents.

Next, position a straw over the hole on the pointy end of the egg and blow the contents out through the larger hole.  Rinse the eggs with water, then put a small bit of tape over the single hole in each egg so cement doesn’t leak out after the pour.

Learn how to empty the contents of an egg, leaving the shell intact.
Learn how to empty the contents of an egg, leaving the shell intact.
DIY Cement Easter Eggs Colored with Latex Paint.

MIXING AND POURING THE CEMENT 

The amount of dry cement you will need is roughly 14 cup (2 oz) for a small egg, 13 cup (about 3 oz) for medium and large size eggs, and 12 cup (4 oz) for jumbo size eggs.  I used three different egg sizes: medium, large, and jumbo, and I generally made cement batches big enough to fill several eggs.

Cement with Latex Paint Recipe

Use the following general proportions per batch:

8 parts (dry, by volume) Quikrete Anchoring Cement, Rapid Set Cement All, Shapecrete, or similar
1 part water
12 to 1 part latex paint

Recipe for Latex Paint-Tinted Cement Furniture and Decor.

 

This translates to the following for a one cup size batch (nominal):
8 oz cement (dry, by volume)
1 oz water (adjust to a pourable consistency)
12 to 1 oz latex paint

This size batch will fill two to four eggs, depending on the size of eggs.

To mix a batch of cement, first put the cement in a mixing bowl.  Next, add the paint to the mixing bowl.  (I used blue and white paint in different proportions for my eggs.  As an aside, the eggs turned out a surprising variety of colors using only the same two paint colors.)  Then add a small amount of water and mix.  I usually mix with a gloved hand, but a spoon or stick works well also.  I like to mix the cement batch initially to a crumbly cookie dough consistency, then add more water to adjust the batch to the consistency I want.  For the eggs, I adjusted the batches to a pourable state, like a runny pudding.

Making cement colored with latex paint for DIY decor and furniture.

I transferred the colored cement into a small disposable cup, and then poured the cement into the eggs.

Making cement colored with latex paint for DIY decor and furniture.
DIY Cement Easter Eggs Colored with Latex Paint.

When I made smaller batches, I used a disposable plastic cup rather than a bigger mixing bowl.  I could pour the cement into the eggs from the cup.

Making cement colored with latex paint for DIY decor and furniture.
Making cement colored with latex paint for DIY decor and furniture.

After pouring the cement, I wiped off any cement from the outside of the eggs with a paper towel.

DIY Cement Easter Eggs Colored with Latex Paint.

Let the eggs cure at least 3 hours before removing the shells.

REMOVING THE EGGSHELLS FROM THE CEMENT EGGS

I have an easy way to get the eggshell off the cement eggs.  But first let me tell you a method that is a pain in the rear.  Get a knife or file and pull the eggshell off in little chunks.  It will take about 15 minutes (or more) per egg.  You will get weary thinking you shouldn’t have made so many of the lovely egg creatures.  You will remember the phrase “work smarter, not harder,” and it will eat at you all the while you are pick, pick, picking at the shells.

So here is how to do it smarter.

The cement is harder than the shell.  This is the key.  Take the eggs to a patch of concrete or other hard surface.  I did this on my front porch which is rough cement.  Rock the egg against the surface giving it some pressure.  The eggshell will crush into a powder.

How to get the shell off a DIY cement Easter egg.

Wipe off the powdered egg, and rub a new section of the shell into the hard surface.  Continue until all the eggshell is off.  Some of the eggshell may come off in larger chunks.  Removing the shell using this method is super fast and easy!  After removing the shells, I washed the eggs with water to remove any remaining debris.

How to get the shell off a DIY cement Easter egg.
How to get the shell off a DIY cement Easter egg.

The last thing I did was seal my eggs with a silane/siloxane concrete sealer.  This is optional.  If any of you try waxing your eggs (or use a different sealer), let me know how it worked out. I have been wanting to experiment with waxing cement/concrete but haven’t gotten to it yet. Well, this sure was a fun project for me, and I hope it is for you, too!

DIY Cement Easter Eggs Colored with Latex Paint.
DIY Cement Easter Eggs Colored with Latex Paint.
DIY Cement Easter Eggs Colored with Latex Paint.
DIY Cement Easter Eggs Colored with Latex Paint.
DIY Cement Easter Eggs Colored with Latex Paint.
DIY Easter Egg made with cement, latex paint, and water.

 

As always, thanks for stopping by and staying a while!
Jen

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The Easy Way to Make a Stump Coffee Table!

Making this live edge stump table was a challenging endeavor for me, but not how you might expect.  I decided to do minimal processing of the stump.  That meant no taking off the bark, no leveling with a router, and for the love of all things good–no sanding!  Yes, I almost blew it with the sanding.  I broke down and got the sander out.  But I needed a longer extension cord, and looking for it slowed me down just long enough to come to my senses.  So you understand, I would normally sand a stump like this for hours to get it flat and smooth.  But this time, I wanted to go in a different direction.

DIY Live Edge Stump Coffee Table with Bark and Painted Top.

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Ugly to Lovely: A Chair Makeover

This is a makeover project, and this chair was long overdue. I bought this chair for $10 about 20 years ago. Soon after I bought it, a friend recovered the seat with a neutral, if not boring, fabric. We used it for a few years, then it ended up in the basement for at least the last 10 years. No one sat on it. It was up against the wall by the ping-pong table, and balls always seemed to get caught underneath it. I really liked the chair, though, and that’s why it survived many rounds of purging at the second hand store. For the makeover, I did a simple refresh of new paint and new fabric on the cushion.

This is a makeover project, and this chair was long overdue. I bought this chair for $10 about 20 years ago. Soon after I bought it, a friend recovered the seat with a neutral, if not boring, fabric. We used it for a few years, then it ended up in the basement for at least the last 10 years. No one sat on it. It was up against the wall by the ping-pong table, and balls always seemed to get caught underneath it.

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Easy Garden Stepping Stones with Embedded Colored Cement Designs

For all of you concrete/cement enthusiasts, please check out the DIY Furniture Studio Concrete and Cement Furniture/Decor/Garden Community Board on Pinterest. If you want to join as a contributor comment “ADD ME” on this pin: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/500603314815473738/ or email me at jen@diyfurniturestudio.com.

The days are still short and cold here, but I’m starting to think about Spring and the flower garden. I don’t do all that much gardening right now, but I have in the past and very much appreciate garden/yard decorations in amongst the plants. I wanted to do a rather easy garden art project with colored cement. So, I spent a bit of time figuring out a new way to make stepping stones that have cool colorful designs. Here is the short version. First, I made a colored cement shape by adding latex paint to the cement batch and shaping the cement as if it was clay. Then I plopped the colored shape in an oiled round cake pan, shaped it a bit more, and finally, I filled the rest of the mold with uncolored cement. It’s an easy and fun way to get inlaid color into your cement projects.

 

DIY Cement Stepping Stones with Inlaid Colored Cement Designs.
DIY Cement Stepping Stones with Heart. Garden Art.
DIY Cement Stepping Stones with Colorful Design. Garden Art.
DIY Cement Stepping Stones with Flower. Garden Art.
DIY Cement Stepping Stones with Colorful Design. Garden Art.

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