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.
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.
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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
- Concrete Primer (Like this BEHR Premium Concrete & Masonry Bonding Primer)
- Porch & Patio Paint (Like this BEHR Premium Porch & Patio Paint)
- Painter’s Tape
- Paint Roller Kit
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.
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:
- A stencil (I got my stencil on Amazon.)
- Removable stencil adhesive spray
- A stencil brush
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.
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.
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.
A word of advice: Don’t ever paint your concrete front porch pure white, even if it is covered.
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.
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.
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.
After our design was taped, we painted the whole patio black.
We did two coats of black paint, and let it sit overnight to dry before we peeled off the tape for the big reveal.
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.
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!