In March, 2019, we got a call from a person interested in having their business logo on their concrete driveway. That’s our favorite thing to do, so we enthusiastically set up an appointment. The address was in Bel Air, which seemed strange for a business. The address also didn’t make sense for a business, based on the street (and the lack of a unit number).
I followed my GPS until I reached a steep driveway with a security booth and a gate towards the top. The gate had a big goat(ish) logo on it, which seemed familiar but I still hadn’t put two and two together. The security guard inquired about the purpose of my visit, and I briefly explained. He then proceeded to hand me his iPad, saying, “I need you to sign an NDA for Dan Bilzerian.”
I wanted to ask a lot of questions at that point in time, but I figured it’s best not to be a pain in the ass and just sign the friggin’ thing. And it goes without saying, that anything in this article is accordance to that NDA.
Anyway, the gate opened, and I saw what I assumed was the gentleman with whom I spoke on the phone. He was standing in the middle of a huge driveway, which looked more like an eccentrically designed parking lot, than a driveway. He turned out to be the property manager of the joint.
They wanted the logo to go over these large stone tiles that were, at that time, coated with some type of a stain and a sealer (or perhaps a stain that’s also a sealer). Dan can be seen prominently standing over those same tiles right on his Instagram:
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Since no decorative concrete systems would bond to a sealed surface, there were two options:
- Option 1: Take out the stones, pour new concrete, then wait 30 days for that to cure, and then proceed to do the logo.
- Option 2: Grind the stones to remove the sealer and expose the raw stone, and apply the overlay directly over the tiles.
The first option seemed like quite the expensive and time-consuming detour. On the other hand, we were unsure whether or not the concrete overlay (the material we use for concrete resurfacing) would bond to this particular type of stone. We expressed our concerns to the property manager, and we told him we’ve never done it before.
He was willing to give it a shot. So, we agreed it’d be best if we make him a sample before we begin working.
Making the Sample and Taking It to Bel Air
We made the sample, which was tricky because of the little curly hairs on each horn. We actually made two different versions, using two different techniques, which I think they appreciated.
The next day, I took the sample to the house and handed it over to the property manager. Then I went home, and we didn’t hear anything for three days. And on the fourth day, we did.
Naturally, in the initial reaction to the news, we had a rush of excitement and nervousness that made us slightly incoherent for a few hours. When we came back to our senses, we immediately ordered the stencil and began preparing for the starting date (which was two weeks away at that point). The logo was 10′ wide and a little under 7′ high.
The First Day at The Job
We started work on a Wednesday. First, we grinded the stone. That went smoothly – only 3-4 hours of work. Then we pressure washed everything to clean up all the dust. Can’t leave a mess at Dan Bilzerian’s house.
When we were ready to go home, we stopped by the property manager’s office to let him know we were heading out. With a concerned look on his face, he told us he had just heard that Dan is planning a party of 500+ people that weekend. That meant there would be no way for us to finish in time and let the overlay and the sealer cure long enough to handle 500 people’s Uber Drivers driving right over them. So we decided to postpone all further work until the following week.
That weekend, I was scrolling down Instagram, and I saw a video of Dan Bilzerian feeding a bear on the floor we had just finished grinding. Needless to say, I knew we had another round of pressure washing coming our way on Monday.
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The next week came, and the next step was to figure out what to do with control joints between the tiles. At that time, there was a rubber caulking there. But after all the grinding and the pressure washing, a lot of that rubber had come off. We knew we have to fill the joints somehow, or else water was going to start collecting in between the stones (which could ruin them).
So we went with epoxy.
After the epoxy had dried, we put a base coat of white overlay. It seemed like it had created an excellent bond with the stone, and we were stoked!
Then, we stuck the stencil over the base coat and sprayed black overlay around the stencil. We lifted the stencil off, and the logo had come out great.
However, we decided to go a step further. To create even more of a contrast between the black and white overlay, we decided to use a black and white tinted sealer. This took significantly more time than applying the conventional clear sealer, but I think it was worth it.
The word from the property manager, as well as from Dan’s personal assistant, was that Dan loved the logo. He asked them tons of questions about how we’ve done it, what materials we used, and so forth.
Needless to say, we never got to meet Dan. However, we can’t overstate how nice everybody was towards us. We were constantly asked if we wanted water, or if we needed anything. We struck a couple of friendships, and we hope to be back soon for more logos.
UPDATE: SEPTEMBER, 2019
Here we are, almost 6 months after we completed the project, and as can be seen from the post below, the logo is still standing strong:
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That’s excellent news, given that we were worried about the bond between the stone and the concrete overlay. Not only that, but the floor undergoes heavier traffic than any of the other floors we’ve currently worked on. Trucks of all sizes, cars, and motorcycles drive on that thing on a daily bases. We’re very glad!