Some time ago Ray and I attended a workshop about how to use beton cire within your home.
Beton cire is a great way to upgrade your kitchen countertop or use it instead of tiles in your bathroom. (We are going to use it as a floorfinish while Ray will use it in his new bathroom).
The Beton cire Atelier of Sandra Graller is situated in Viennas 17th district in an amazing neighborhood (and house!) We met her a few month ago at the trade fair and talked with her about the material and her workshops.
Back then I was amazed by the professional look of her fair booth and the beautiful corporate identity Sandra created around her business Beton Cire.
We have been lucky to chat with her before the workshop started and I was not at all surprized to hear that shes got a professional background in advertising and marketing. But after several years working for an agency she changed tracks and started to get her hands dirty with beton cire. After a loveatfirstsight-meeting (businesswise spoken) with her dutch supplier they asked her to be the chief agent for Austrai and so she started the business and didn’t regret it eversince!
You can tell that she really loves her job, the material itself and the contact with both, companies who purchase Beton Cire from her and private persons who want get to know more about the material and try to embelish their homes and try themselfs as Beton cire craftsmen.
After a quick introduction regarding the different surfaces and finishing options we started to mix a bucket full of material…
You can choose between a lot of colors. The plain material and the suitable amount of pigment will be supported to you by Sandra (or any other supplier). Fold it under and strain it through a sieve.
Add the ace resin (actually it’s better the other way round: add the pigment/betoncire mix to the ace resin) and mix everything until it gets the consistency of ice cream. (that’s a hard job… Ray worked up a sweat)
We started smoothing it on to our surface. We used special scapers but normal ones (and some skills) will do the job as well. the Beton cire layer is really thin but super durable.
We tried it ourselfs and it was really a hard job. After the first layer we waited about 20 minutes and started over with the second layer on top of the first one. I tried a rough and a smooth finish on my panel just to get an idea of how it works.
Sandra prepared two panels the day before so we could sand them as well the same day. And I think sanding is the hardest part of it…
You have to add a lot of pressure, the machine is pretty heavy and you’ll always keep in mind that you don’t stay too long at the same spot to get an even surface with a nice calm look.
After you’ve dry cleaned the surface from all the dust you can seal it with a special wax or a synthetic varnish depending which surface you did (f.ex.: bathrooms demand the synthetic varnish to stay water resistent…)
We’ve learned a lot and it was a great way to get a feeling with the material. Looking forward to our beton cire floor!
Thank you Sandra to share your story and the possibilities of this amazing material with us!