This post is to give you a step by step guide to makeover your concrete slab patio/path
Read Time: 10 Minutes
All products used linked
I bought my new build back in 2015, and with it the garden came with a sliver of turf lining a concrete pathway of doom. You can see from the photo it’s about as exciting as I’m making it sound. A few other points to note; the garden is north facing, it’s small and it’s on a slant. I originally wanted the garden leveling and paving (not decking, too many spiders) but the lowest quote was £5,000 so the mini garden makeover (that took me two months!) was born…
You can read my full garden makeover post on the blog but this one is all about those concrete slabs and how to make a feature out of them in your garden for under £40.
Here’s what you need
Masonry paint. I used Rustin’s I bought a 500ml tin around half a tin did 32 42x42cm slabs.
A PVA bond to seal I used ½ pint PVA bond for the same amount of slabs (and had quite a bit left in the mix – a little goes a long way)
A stencil for your pattern (unless you want to free hand!) I ordered mine from Dizzy Duck Designs
A flat paint brush. I used one from Dulux but you want one you can dab with.
Some tape to stick the stencil down. I used frog tape
Picking Your Stencil
If you’re going with Dizzy Duck Design’s there are so many beautiful patterns to chose from. But you need to get your order right.
Firstly, Measure your concrete paving slabs both width and length (in cm)
Secondly, choose your design. You will need to order in the correct size, Dizzy Ducks recommends ordering slightly smaller than your concrete tile size to get the best finish. If your size isn’t in their options, you can ask them to create a custom size for you too.
I went with the Zarzis design which I’ve linked here.
Prepping your surface
You’re going to need a couple of days of dry weather (and as little wind as possible). I didn’t use any products to prep the concrete beforehand, I did pressure wash the tiles to get as much of the dirt up as possible and I swept to get rid of any dust/dirt that would make the painting difficult.
Remember, you could always use a masonry paint to change the base colour of your slabs first if you want to. I liked the concrete look.
Grab a slab of cardboard and give it a practice run before you get started on your concrete. When you’re ready to go you will need to line up your stencil and use your tape to secure it in place.
Gentle dab the paint over the top of the stencil covering as much as you can. You don’t need a lot of paint and remember you can go back for more so make sure the paint brush is not dripping.
Once you’ve completed I left the stencil for around 30 seconds then gently removed it and moved to the next one.
Don’t forget to alternate the concrete slabs you’re working on so that you have somewhere to sit/kneel whilst they’re drying.
You may need to use a metal ruler to neaten up some of the edges (I would recommend leaving it to try over night before doing this)
Sealing Your Tiles
Once you’re happy with the finished look it’s time to seal them. (Make sure to leave them fully dry before sealing). Then it’s time to mix your PVA bond you’ll need a large bucket and to mix one-part PVA with 4 parts water and stir.
All you have to do next is paint the PVA bond over the top – it will put a white sheen on initially, but it will dry clear so don’t panic! Then just leave to dry
If you give this a go, I’d love to see your results please e-mail them to me on firstname.lastname@example.org or send me a message on Instagram @bethshehata
update: March 2020. I’m often asked how the slabs are holding up! The below photo shows the paint. They have held well (just need a clean when it’s a little warmer!!)