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Step 3: First Coat; Utilizing Fabric With Cement:

You may know my Step Spook, he has held up great so I am utilizing this draped concrete method as a base coat and reinforced layer. To start it is key to find the right fabric as my draped concrete tests has taught me. I prefer fabric with some substance to absorb the portland cement but not be too fluffy and bumpy. An old polyester blanket was just right, thin but absorbs the portland slurry nicely.

As with the Step Spook I used a Portland Cement slurry. It’s about the consistency of thick cream. If the portland is lumpy it helps to put it through a sieve.

Very absorbent fabric may ‘steal’ the moisture from the concrete so you may need to wet it first, but I found that this could be added dry and massaged into the Portland mix. Yes, pure mucky mess!

Let’s get messy!
My intention with this Faux Bois is to wrap the branches well with the cement dipped fabric. Using thicker or thinner strips spirally around wrap the branches smoothing as you go along.

This will be just the first layer so you can be less fussy. I like the smoothness of the portland cement as I find the sand tends to not get absorbed when using a sand mix.

It’s already taking shape… you just need a vision! As long as you can see it, is all that matters! Any parts than seem a bit thin can be coated with some of the Portland Cement slurry painted on afterward so that once cured it’s a good strong shell.

I bet some of my neighbours were wondering what I was doing out back each day. It’s messy sometimes, so I keep these jobs for summer projects outside. Keep the mess down with some of my tips. You should wear a big apron and my new tip; double nitrile gloves!

It’s been brutally hot here so I covered the chair lightly to allow the portland not to dry too quickly as it cures. Misting it regularly will strengthen it. It’s not done, but the hard work is done! The next steps will take it over the top! I promise! I love making beautiful permanent furniture out of something that could have ended up in the landfill!