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Wilder Gulf Shores DAC-ART Concrete Block Vacation Home Project--Page 9

Waxing DAC-ART Concrete Walls

I chose to lightly sand and wax the interior DAC-ART walls in our guest house. 

This produces a fabulously smooth and elegant surface that does not change, but only enhances the characteristics of the concrete blocks themselves. 

I experimented with the three bands of paste wax that were available to me locally and of the three, Minwax® Paste Finishing Wax had the best overall characteristics for my purpose. 

Polishing the wax results in a beautiful old-world, hand rubbed, satin finish.

Many people have come to visit in person and several magazines have come to photograph and everyone runs their hand across the walls and comments on the luxurious finish. 

See the comparison of this waxed finish and the untreated concrete blocks in this photo, where, at this extreme angle, the waxed DAC-ART blocks reflect the bright sunshine from the adjacent windows.

Waxed DAC ART concrete block wall that looks like marble.

 

Supplies for waxing a DAC ART architectural stone wall w/ Minwax Paste Wax.

  I have experimented to find the best combination of ingredients to create a  wax especially for DAC-ART and applied it with a rectangular lambswool applicator. The shape enabled me to apply the wax t the blocks while easily avoiding the grout lines. The grout is much more rough in texture and tends to 'grab' too much wax. I tried to keep the wax on the face of the blocks only. 

Since I was working during the warm-hot summer and not in air conditioning, the wax was always very soft and mixing a small scoop of the Kiwi white shoe polish (from drugstore or grocery) into a cup or so of the Minwax and stirring with a popsicle stick was easy. If you are working in a cool atmosphere, set the can in the sun to warm it up a bit. 

The concrete blocks are sanded lightly with #150 sandpaper on a small vibrating electric hand sander called the B&D Mouse. it was perfect for removing any remaining pencil lines and scuffs and creating a very smooth surface. The small, lightweight size of this sander meant no fatigue of my arm or hand while doing this job. 

Upon application, the wax causes the DAC-ART to darken until the solvents in the wax evaporate.

The formula that I have used, with the addition of a tiny bit of white shoe polish, adds a ever-so-slight pickled effect to brighten the block...it adds a slight bloom, as would be present with age.

The wax goes on the face of the block only, not the grout lines.

 

Applying the wax to DAC ART archiitectural stone.

After a light coat of wax is applied and dried, I have buffed the surface with a rather stiff scrub brush to remove any small deposits from surface voids and bring up the sheen.

I have made no attempt to get wax into every surface irregularity, but rather have skimmed a light coat across the flat planes of the concrete blocks only.

Waxed architectural stone walls ...Minwax Paste Wax was used.

The Minwax® Paste Finishing Wax polished wall is still looking fine after 5 years !

DAC-ART Building System can be ordered in different colors. We asked for a very sight pink that would glow in the Gulf Coast sunset, but not look icky-pink all day. Our mixture of taupe, beige, and pale pink concrete blocks has given us just the look we were seeking.


The Chandelier
We have placed an order with a company in Venice for an Italian glass chandelier to hang in the center of the south end of our house. Since I do not speak Italian, it has been very challenging to successfully communicate with the Murano based art glass company by email and phone. I designed this chandelier using parts of several models from photos and directed them to a web page where I put the composite photo. Shown is a 6 arm version, but I have ordered a 10 arm model. It will be interesting to see how well  the finished piece matches the photo. I will expect delivery in about 6-9 months. It will come in individual pieces which I will need to completely wire and assemble. See the actual installation of this chandelier here.

italian chandelier ordered from Murano of hand blown glass


 

The Well

Local well digger and retired shrimper, Jerry Dubuissan came out to locate underground water and dig a well for outside use water. We are charged sewage fees based on city water usage, so for irrigation or outdoor showers, etc it is best to use your own well water. Jerry uses a divining rod method using two bent wires to locate underground streams of water. He says the 90 degree bent pieces of wire, held one in each hand, will swing around and meet when passing over water, or electricity. He showed me how it works. He also says they can locate gold and lost items!

Divining rods and Jerry our well digger.

Our hand dug well for irrigation and fish cleaning.

Jerry diggs the well by hand using a home-made device that is suspended from a tripod and is lowered into the sandy soil using weights and momentum. The hollow rod has a sharpened bottom edge and a loose ball inside that allows water and sand to enter, but not exit. Each time the rod is extracted, he examines the color of the sand and water in it. He has a working knowledge of the soil layers throughout the Ft.Morgan peninsula, so he knows where to expect the best water. Our well was dug to 20 ft.

His method of testing the water for purity, is to drink it himself and he says if he doesn't die or get sick, then it is ok for you too.

The photo on the left shows Skip, Jerry's helper pouring sand and water from the digging rod.

Digging a well in Gulf Shores Alabama on Fort Morgan Road

The Pump..Our pump on Ft. Morgan Rd...awaiting electricity.

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