Last fall, Will and I discovered stenciling concrete was a pretty easy way to jazz up our outdoor space. If you are looking for a cost-effective way to get a tiled look on your concrete, stenciling might be your ticket! We were brainstorming home improvement ideas one night and decided to try painting and stenciling the concrete patio floor, in order to add some color and personality to our outdoor living space. After much research, we devised a plan and headed to Home Depot. Here is the prep work we did, along with details of the stenciling and painting, and the final results.
Originally our outdoor patio had an outdoor rug glued down on top of the cement. So before we could begin painting the cement floor we had to get the glue off. We rented a floor sander to create a super smooth surface for the paint to be applied. There was a lot of dust from the sander, so we swept the patio multiple times. Then, Will used a mop and an old vacuum to get the floor extra clean. If you do not want to risk potentially messing up your vacuum, I recommend power-washing the cement floor before you paint.
It is important to get the floor as clean and smooth as you can, so your finished product is flawless. Also, remember to check the weather before you start painting. You don’t want a rain shower to ruin your hard work! The best temperature for painting outdoors is 50 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Here is everything we used for this project:
9-3/8-Inch Nap One Coat Knit Roller Covers — used for base paint
Wooster Brush Roller Frame, 9-Inch — used for base paint
Wooster Brush Roller Cover 3/8-Inch, 4-Inch — used for stencil paint
Wooster Brush Roller Frame, 4-Inch — used for stencil paint
Painting & Stenciling Concrete
Once we had the patio properly prepared, we started with the first coat of “Sea Cave” blue, using our 9″ roller brush. When the first coat was dry, we applied another coat.
With two coats of dry, blue paint down, it was time to start stenciling. It is important to mark with tape which end of the stencil you will consider the top. The 18″ x 18″ pattern may look symmetrical, but it could be slightly off, which will make any rotation of the stencil throw off your design. It will be clear how the stencil fits together as soon as you paint the first stencil. In addition, make sure that first stencil is aligned properly with surrounding walls or the edge of your concrete. That initial stencil will impact everything else!
We began by making an “L” shaped outline of the stencil, first going down the short length of our patio and then down the longer width. Once that was in place, we went row by row, filling everything in. Remember not to put too much paint on your stencil brush. It’s better to have a small amount, and then go over your stencil again. This will create crisper lines. Thicker paint will also stick to your stencil and pull it off the ground if you aren’t careful.
Go slow with your stencil brush and make sure the corners of your stencil align properly with the existing stencil on the ground. This process will take a while, as you should wait for the paint to dry, so that the bottom of your stencil does not pick up surrounding paint. Take your time, but don’t get too hung up over it being perfect. A few little bits of paint being outside the stencil, will not make a huge difference with the overall design.
With the stenciling complete, we waited a couple of hours for the floor to completely dry. Then, I did a few touch ups with a small paintbrush. The touch up paint dried within an hour, so we applied a glossy paint sealer to protect the stencil. I recommend at least two thick coats of the sealer. Will and I prefer an extra glossy look, so we applied extra coats of dealer until the bottle was empty.
Below are photos of our finished product. It’s so smooth and glossy that it almost feels like tile on your bare feet and most people think that’s what it is at first glance.
Have you ever painted concrete or stenciled a floor before? Or have you jazzed up your concrete floor in a different way? I would love to know if you have any DIY tips for similar home improvement projects.