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Learning All About Painting Your Home

Hello, I'm Marc Victors. I am excited to talk to you about painting your home. I loved to change the look of my home on a regular basis by using just a bit of paint. There are a wide range of paint options for every room. Therefore, it's important to know how to select the best type of paint for each area. For example, high gloss paint should only be used in the kitchen or bathroom since those areas need frequent cleaning to stay in good shape. Using high gloss in the bedrooms or living areas gives the space a harsh sheen when the lights are turned on. Please use the information on my site to select and use the right paint for the job. Also follow my site to learn how to correct apply the paint to the walls. Thanks.

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Learning All About Painting Your Home

5 Options For Jazzing Up Your Concrete Patio With Alternative Aggregates

by Terry Fernandez

When it comes time to add a patio to your backyard, concrete from sites like http://www.claggett.net is the best building material for the project because it's affordable and speeds up the installation process. However, plain gray concrete looks a little boring without some extra decoration. Try mixing one of these alternative aggregates into the cement in place of gravel to add a hint of beauty without spending hours dyeing and stamping your new patio.

Crushed Stone

Most concrete relies on gravel as an aggregate because the small pieces of rock lend strength to the finished slab. You can swap out plain basalt gravel for other types of stone, such as colorful marble or banded jasper, without sacrificing any strength. Chunks of colorful and pattern stones brighten up the finished concrete without the high price tag associated with solid slabs of the material.

Refuse Glass

It's not a good idea to mix broken bits of glass bottles into concrete because the material is contaminated with all sorts of chemicals that can interfere with the curing process. You can still add the glittering look of glass to your patio by buying colored aggregates made from refuse glass left over during the manufacturing process for bottles and mason jars. When scattered over the surface of wet concrete and polished, it creates a look no other products can match.

Mother of Pearl

The soft glow of mother of pearl works surprisingly well for dressing up a simple backyard patio. This product comes from the inside of abalone and mussel shells, and it serves as a good aggregate for projects that don't need the full strength of concrete. Since even tiny pieces of mother of pearl come with a high price tag, most homeowners that choose this addition scatter the bits of shell lining over the surface of their patio instead of using it as the aggregate for the entire batch.


Glass chunks and marble bits are relatively new additions to the concrete decorating world, but seashells have been used as an aggregate for decades due to practical benefits like the reuse of waste shell material that end up in landfills. While using sea shells as an aggregate does lower concrete strength by about 50%, this shouldn't pose a problem for a decorative patio made with a slab that rests directly on a supportive and graded section of soil.

If you don't want to sacrifice any strength but you still want the look of shells, stick to surface treatments. Consider design options like:

  • Pressing long and spiraling shells into the surface in a sunburst pattern, especially as a centerpiece in the middle of the patio.
  • Scattering brightly colored bits of crushed conch shell across the surface and adhering it with a weighted roller.
  • Arranging flat conch shells to create patterns or a cobblestone style in miniature

Mirror Pieces

You don't have to love disco music to give your patio a little glamour with broken mirror pieces. Aggregates sold by suppliers are cleaned to remove residue and tumbled to reduce the sharp edges, so avoid using an old mirror from home for this project. The polishing and sealing steps for the concrete dull down the reflective power of the mirror aggregate a little, so you won't get a bright disco ball effect shining light into your eyes on a sunny summer day.

All of these materials only appear on the surface if you ask your contractor for an exposed aggregate finish. The contractor has to come back after a day or two and remove the surface of the finished slab, revealing the beauty hidden below. Sealing and polishing the surface smooths it out again for a patio your neighbors will envy.