diy patio finished product
Dwell,  Home Improvement

DIY Patio Update on a Budget

Since we bought our house, I have tried to identify “low-hanging fruit” home improvement projects. These are projects that I think I can do on a small budget that will yield a big outcome. My DIY patio is one such project.

angle of painted black and white diy patio
After much trial and error: the final painted patio

The Truth About DIYing

The truth about DIYing is that, unless you are a seasoned professional, your DIY journey is going to be a rollercoaster. It will be full of ups and downs, laughs and tears.

You have to be resilient, and not beat yourself if things don’t turn out the way you expect the first time.

My DIY patio makeover journey is no exception.

Affiliate Disclosure: Digital Molt is a member of the Amazon Affiliate Program and other affiliate programs. Some links in this blog post are affiliate links. If you click on the link and make a purchase, then I may receive a commission.

Getting Inspo for My DIY Patio

The research phase started where all great DIY home-improvement projects start – Pinterest.

My front porch patio is a cement block that is 16 feet wide by 6 feet deep. It was painted gray by the previous owners.

Patio tiles were too expensive, so I started looking for ideas on how to paint the cement.

Basic Supplies You Need to DIY a Cement Patio

DIY Tip: Attach an extension pole to your paint roller. This will make your life easier so you don’t have to paint on your hands and knees.

behr gloss enamel porch and patio paint can
I used the gloss enamel porch & patio floor paint by BEHR.

The First Plan: Stenciling the Patio

The first plan I committed to was stenciling the patio. I watched numerous tutorials on YouTube, researched the supplies that I needed, and bought them.

What You Need to Stencil Your Patio

In addition to the painting supplies, you will need the following:

figuring out the patio stencils
I got two of the same stencils because I thought that would make the process go faster… (Sorry the image is blurry.)

Patio Stenciling: A DIY Fail

I took some measurements, and made a border with painter’s tape of where the stencils needed to begin.

After priming, I painted my patio a white base color. I envisioned a white base with black designs.

Then, I began stenciling.

Stenciled tile on a patio
The stencils from afar didn’t look too terrible…

I soon realized two things. One, that this was going to be a long, painstaking process. And two, that the stencils were bleeding through.

After the first couple of stencils didn’t go as planned, I let it dry, painted over it and tried again. I got the same result.

paint bleeding from under stencil
I was very disappointed.

The surface of my patio’s concrete is rigid, not smooth. I think because of this, I was never going to be able to get the plastic stencil flush enough to the concrete to prevent the paint from bleeding.

DIY Tip: Don’t try to stencil concrete unless it is perfectly smooth.

A New Approach to My DIY Patio

Thanks to heat, mosquitoes, bad weather, and life in general, I was left with a white patio for a few months. Spoiler alert: It didn’t stay white. What I was really left with was a dirty patio for a few months.

white concrete patio
Back to the drawing board.

A word of advice: Don’t ever paint your concrete front porch pure white, even if it is covered.

dirty white concrete patio
Why you shouldn’t paint your patio white.

My New Plan

Stenciling was out of the question, but what could I do now? So I Pinterested and pondered, pondered and Pinterested.

Spending more money on this project was a hard no. I still had the painting supplies, a gallon of black porch paint, and a gallon of white paint.

It would also need to be a project that could be done in a single day of good weather.

Then, one night before bed, I had an a-ha moment. The design just came to me.

sketched out plan for new painted diy patio
The vision.

Inspired, by a lattice my husband made, I drew the design to scale on sheet of paper.

Here is How My Reimagined DIY Patio Went

First, we had to clean the patio, because, yuck. I don’t like to use chemicals, but this stuff works great. We use it annually to clean the exterior of our house and our driveway.

30 seconds outdoor cleaner
30 Seconds Outdoor Cleaner Concentrate for the win.
deck brushing the dirt away
I let my husband do the dirty work.
using the leaf blower to dry the patio
We used our gas-powered leaf blower to expedite the drying process.
clean patio
Voila! Much better.

Next, it was time to tape out the design. My husband is great with precision projects, so I asked him to help me. We used levelers to help keep our lines straight.

adding straight lines for a diy patio
We did the straight lines first, two feet apart.
using levelers to guide the lines
The levelers helped keep our lines straight.
diagonal lines added to diy patio
My husband added the diagonal lines with the painter’s tape.

After our design was taped, we painted the whole patio black.

black painted patio
We covered the patio in the black concrete paint.

We did two coats of black paint, and let it sit overnight to dry before we peeled off the tape for the big reveal.

detail of the painted DIY patio
Looking good!
diy patio finished product
The finished product.

It’s not 100% perfect, but we love it! We are planning on incorporating a lot of black and white in our interior, so we thought this was a great way to introduce those design elements.

angle of painted black and white diy patio

Now, all that is left is to decorate the patio!

What Do You Think?

Have you done a DIY project like this? Tell me about any of your DIY fails or successes in the comments!

Thanks for reading the Digital Molt Blog, Jenna. @DigitalMolt

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