I must have broken the number hours spent painting over the last four months. Since moving into the new house in January, I’ve spent nearly every weekend (and an occasional spare hour in the evenings) painting something.
It’s either walls, skirting boards, upcycling wooden items as well has helping out with redecorating my sister’s house. Not forgetting painting my nails. I have paint marks on my arms and legs and my nails are ruined. My hairdresser had to cut paint out of my hair last week! I’ve had to increase my ‘painting wardrobe’ from two T-shirts, shorts and trainers to five T-shirts, two pairs of scruffy leggings, two pairs of trainers and a fleece. Call the fashion police!
I wanted to do something drastic (yet cheap) to the crazy paving in our garden. We have artificial grass on the way to cover most of the crazy paving however there will be a 1.5m x 6m crazy paving ‘path’ on show.
Not wanting to spend any money and find a way of using left over masonry paint, I went onto Pinterest and searched for ‘painted floors’ and ‘painted concrete’.
Good old Americans, especially the stay at home moms and the home makers – they have so many ideas and they document everything. There’s a lot of ideas out there, mostly involving painting or staining concrete. Not a concept that us British have considered but worth looking into.
My search continued on Google, this time looking for heavy duty wall stencils and found plenty of suppliers based in the States on Etsy.com. Plenty of choice but didn’t fancy paying £25+ for postage and any import taxes.
I finally found a British supplier called Henny Donovan Motif and bought the mosaic stencil pack, £15 plus P&P, to create a Roman/Grecian style tiled path for the patio. Think of the ornate mosaic floor in Pompeii and other Italian ruins.
First step – sweep the area and remove as much loose concrete and dust followed by marking out area with masking tape and some strong guides to make sure everything was straight. And move dog out of the way!
Next – paint area with a big masonry brush. It wasn’t easy painting onto the crazy paving. Changing positions between kneeling, bending over and bum shuffling and trying to get paint into every crack but I got there in the end. I should really invest into a kneeling pad.
After an hour, the paint was dry (it was a hot spring day) and I went ahead with stencilling the mosaic border with blue paint. The first patch was a bit messy as I used a soft bristle brush and too much paint. School boy error! But after swapping to an older, stiffer brush, used less paint and using the dabbing effect onto the stencil, it turned out really well. The painted and stencilled path looks aged, especially with the inconsistent texture on the crazy paving.
I was considering stencilling the fan mosaic pattern inside the border but decided against this as I thought it might be too much. ‘Less is more‘ as they say and this case, the blue mosaic border is enough for my painted path.
Looking at the pictures here, you might think I’ve missed a patch by the back door. I wasn’t sure if I should paint right up to the door as this area is the dog’s toilet area. I decided to leave a meter square area for the dog’s toilet area as dog urine could potential spoil the paint and eventually crack, fade or flake after a few weeks. If dog urine can leave burn marks on lawns and grass, I’m sure it will have a reaction with paint.
It will be interesting to see how long the paint will last on the concrete patio, as most of the garden traffic will be on this path – between moving flower pots, wheelie bin and husband’s bike. If it lasts between three to five years, I’ll be very pleased with myself and it will be another opportunity to paint a different style onto the patio. Maybe Moroccan style and add more colours? Hopefully the garden will be finished next week if we get the dry weather to install the artificial grass and new garden furniture.
Watch this space for a pic of the finished garden.