Sealing and enhancing our back patio

One of my favorite features of our new home is the covered patio out back.   I love the skylights and how from inside, it appears as though it’s an extension of the inner living space.   This was one of the main items that I fell in love with when we first saw the house.   And the fact that it had terracotta tile on the floor…. icing on the cake.  Here’s a shot of the patio from before we moved in…

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After we became somewhat settled, Joey got going like crazy working on the backyard.  Honestly, he’s done so many things so fast, that I haven’t even had time to photograph them all to put them on the blog.  Of the things that I did manage to photograph was the power-washing.   He power-washed the pool decking and back patio, which made SUCH a difference.  You can see the power-washed area below the line and pre-powerwashed above it….

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He started working on this task while I was out running errands, which is when he sent me a text…

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Brownie points for Joey!  Heehee!!  🙂

Now, I will say, that we should’ve researched how to clean terracotta tile before power-washing.  Neither of us thought about it beforehand, thus, we were equally surprised when the tiles dried and looked powdery and unfinished…

Honestly, the tiles were so dusty before that we were unsure whether we’d stripped the glazing off with the power-washer or they were already de-glazed before.  Either way, we knew the tiles needed to be sealed to prevent staining and breakdown due to moisture.   I went to Home Depot and the associate whom I spoke with recommended this…

It’s a penetrating sealer and color enhancer meant for stone, tile, grout, etc. and can be used for indoor or outdoor applications.   This product was pretty pricey in my eyes.  Around $40 per bottle, but the associate assured me that it was a great product that would last way longer than the less expensive topical sealers.   So, I went for it.

Once I returned home, I prepped the surface.  Even though we’d power-washed the day prior, it had been windy, thus, some dust and debris had repopulated the patio.   I thoroughly swept, then vacuumed the patio to remove as much dust and dirt as possible.  Because of the cost of the sealer, I wanted to be sure I gained as thorough of coverage with the least amount of waste possible.  So, I decided to seal the patio by hand, rather than using a broom or mop.

I donned gloves and got going.  The process was simple.  Wet the sponge with sealer, press it into the tile and grout….

Then, come back 5 minutes later and remove the excess with a towel…

The first coat was VERY slow-going since the patio was soaking up a ton of sealer.  It was easy to see where I’d already applied the sealer as it definitely enhanced the color as promised.  Here’s what it looked like about a third of the way through…

You can see the beautiful tones of the tile coming out as well as the darker grout.   I’d say the first coat took a bit over 2 hours to complete and used up about 1.5 bottles of sealer.  I waited 30 minutes per the instructions on the bottle (and the instructions from my shoulders), then I applied a second coat (which went SO much faster).  I completed the second go-around in about 30-40 minutes and only used up about 2/3 of a bottle of sealer since the stone soaked up so much less this time.  The second coat really united the sheen, making the patio appear more consistent and finished.  After I was done, I was left with this….

And the before for comparison (this was taken after power-washing)….

And the view from inside….

And the before, again…

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I love it.  It’s just so dang RICH!!!   I feel like it looks like more of a floor now, less of a patio, which further contributes to that feeling that the patio is an extension of the indoor space.   When the tiles were dry and powdery-looking, they resembled pavers to me.  We had to avoid walking on the patio for 24 hours and couldn’t get it wet for 48 hours after sealing.   I’m now working on getting our patio furniture cleaned up and rearranged, so I’ll give you that update once I’m finished.  In any case, the hours and money spent on this project were well worth it.  Both for looks and piece of mind that the flooring is now water resistant and more protected.

Future plans for the patio space involve:

1. Removing the decrepit railroad ties and replacing them with stone that’s much easier on the eyes (and will provide additional seating)

2. Beefing up the posts of the porch

3. Replacing the ceiling of the porch with a more durable material (maybe some type of vinyl beadboard).  Right now, its a thin plywood, that we’re learning has been compromised in more than one spot with mold/mildew thanks to leaky, poorly maintained seals around the skylights.  We’ve since fixed the leaks and sealed the skylights well, but the damage has been done, unfortunately.

4. Landscaping.   Once Joey’s had his way, it’ll look amazing.

So, anyways, that’s the scoop on the patio!  What outdoor projects have ya’ll been working on?

 

TDC Before and After

 

 

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Sealing and enhancing our back patio

  1. Oooh, it looks so shiny and pretty, Christina! Such a difference from before. You guys are doing amazing work and I am enjoying watching the process.

    • Thanks, Sarah! I feel like we’re finally getting the groundwork done, so we can focus on the fun stuff like painting and decor. For a while there I felt so scattered, but now it’s totally on!

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