DIY Paint a Porch Faux Slate with Stencil Tiles

Five and a half years ago we built a porch on the back of our home…but I never could decide how to finish the concrete. I considered staining, but didn’t like the color choices.  

I had to make a decision because between my messy projects and the messy birds, my porch needed some help. We were beginning to think the birds thought we had built the porch for them. We’ve hatched several families of wrens on our deck/ porch for the past 20 years, and their mess isn’t easy to clean up on an unfinished concrete!  


I know people say painting will be a pain to keep up…but so would staining.  Both will scratch. I opted to paint my porch faux slate with stencil tiles. Now, here’s how I did it….

There are many options on painting a faux slate. A quick Google search and you’ll find that it comes in all shapes and colors. 


Don’t let my design frighten you….It would look great to paint the floor all the same and then paint thin lines for grout. You may want to mark your lines with tape and then paint a thin line along the tape for grout. What ever you are comfortable with. Obviously, you may just faux the whole porch with no lines…It will still be impressive…

The natural concrete color works perfectly fine to use as grout, without having to paint the lines, at all. Simply tape your design, making sure the tape is pressed down firmly, and paint your slate. Remove the tape and you’re done.

Here are sample ideas of how  you might choose to layout your grout lines. I used chalk and a yard stick to mark lines…then I snapped the lines all the way across the porch.


As you can see, shape is totally up to you. And those grout lines? Nothing to worry about….they can be as irregular as you want and still be ‘right’. No perfectionist needed for this job.

Slate comes in many colors and you can choose one or them all as seen here:

I knew wanted a gray slate, in squares.  The first day I had to measure everything and figure out how far apart to make the squares. After taking measurements,  I snapped the lines across the porch and laid the tape down, securely. 

The next day  painted the white between the lines. My husband was impressed and suggested I leave it this way…not a chance. ūüôā 


I cut the gray into the edges of the stripes. And filled in the blocks with gray.

I wasn’t happy with the gray and went back to the store to have more black added.


I used water-based BEHR Porch and Patio enamel. And I used Old Masters SPAR-EURATHANE outdoor, also water-based,  as my glaze.

The darker gray looked better to me. My husband said leave it this way…. Not going to happen.

Next, I drew off all the small squares and painted them. I thought this looked pretty good.

I started working on the faux look of the slate.


First paint the background, basic gray color. ( or your color of choice) Allow to dry.  Then use some lighter gray and dry brush over in irregular strokes to give a dimensional look. Do the same with darker gray. (I added some black to the gray for dark gray. And white to the gray for a lighter color.) You may also dilute it with glaze and water. This will make the layers somewhat transparent.  I used 1 cup paint to 1/2 cup glaze and 1/2 cup water. More or less..there is no exact measurement. The more glaze, the more transparent.

Obviously, the same method applies no matter what color slate you are working on…simply have a base color and faux with a lighter version of your base color and a darker version of your base color. Note the colors in the sample of various colors of slate above. There are many colors in each one, so you can’t mess it up. Who’s to tell you yours is wrong, I ask? No one…because, first of all, it’s art…and secondly, God made all sorts of color combinations  and He says they are all good.

Slate has cracked lines that are mostly straight. It also has pocked markings…I found a sponge roller was able to make the marks. After glazing a couple layers of paint and allowing to dry, I used straight paint on the roller to leave pock marks. Very quickly roll lightly over a small area here and there.

I hit and barely rolled the roller to make markings, straight and diagonal marks. It should be very subtle.  And when I accidentally stepped in the white paint, I simply rubbed my flip flop around in the gray to give even more dimension.

You probably could cut up a roller to make your own….

Next I drew a 30 inch circle in the center of the porch for the medallion.

I painted the center white for the medallion. I love this view. (below) It’s looking from the steps toward the house. Other pictures are from the house/kitchen door to the edge of the porch. 

My trusty helper-husband is a perfectionist. He burnished the medallion for me. 


Once the medallion was burnished down, we decided to go ahead and remove the backing, so I could paint it, rather than chance it curling up and coming loose, in the night air.

It’s a fairly simple process, but has to be done with care, so as not to tear the stencil.

That’s where my helper comes in….He was the kid who put all his toys back in their original box after playing with them….  Not me. I threw them under the bed when I cleaned my room. ūüėČ

Next day I finished the stencil. Rather than just stenciling it, I wanted to paint it.

Then I stenciled the small tiles.


The tile stencils I ordered from Royal Design Studio and the medallion is a Modello Designs. If you decide to go with a large medallion over concrete, I suggest you buy one that has larger and not intricate details. 

At the end of every row are half tiles that needed stencils. They were the last thing I had to do.

I was done. I couldn’t be happier. 


When you’re finished,  you may want to seal the whole porch with the Old Masters SPAR-EURATHANE. I used water-based paint and polyurethane, because oil based will yellow over time…if you aren’t using white paint, then you may use oil based, because that’s not going to matter.

Gone is the dirty old concrete.  Now if anything spills, I simply wipe it up…and now, I don’t mind sharing my porch with the birds.  Clean up is easy.

My plan is to allow this to cure for a week. It’s not necessary,  but I’m in no hurry to put my metal tables  and chairs back on the porch….and when I do, the kids will probably find tennis balls attached to the feet of their chairs…..that ought to work for awhile….;)

Regardless, I’ll have leftover paint ready to touch up when and where needed…..

As for your project, yes, it’s a lot of work…but it’s also great fun and a wonderful sense of accomplishment when you’re all done and family and friends think it’s amazing…and trust me, they will. So have fun and don’t be afraid…after all….it’s just paint. 

Happy Painting…. let me know what you do….. 



Designer Photo Gallery on a Budget


I love taking pictures…and, as it turns out, I happen to have some of the cutest grandchildren,  ever. ….. ūüėČ and I also have more cute photos than I know what to do with.

It’s been three years since my daughter moved into her new home.  She has a loooong, beautiful, empty wall in her hallway. There’s at least 15 feet of wall space…the perfect place for a photo gallery!

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The Perfect Bathroom Vanity Make-Over

I’m so happy! We finally finished the vanity for my daughter’s bathroom. And it’s perfect!

PicMonkey vaVanity makeover ad2

When she moved into her new home, the whole bathroom had been renovated,  except there was no vanity.  All Summer she looked for the perfect piece of furniture to use as her bathroom vanity. Finally, she found an old French Provincial dresser, the perfect size. The perfect price.  With a little TLC it really would be a perfect vanity.

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DIY Picture Frame Wreath

I’ve been on a wreath making binge lately. In the past few weeks I’ve made 9 wreaths with several more planned for next week. ¬†It’s hard for me to choose my favorite wreath. I love all of them. But today I made my most favorite wreath of all….using a picture frame I picked up at Salvation Army!

Picture Frame Wreath3


I love finding treasures in thrift shops.¬†¬†Like the amber lamp I found and gave to a friend that matched her¬†brown dining room…the one I mentioned earlier this week in the¬†Trash to Treasure Lamp Makeover.



This lamp was only $3.00!!! I couldn’t use it myself, ¬†but I also couldn’t leave it behind. I called my friend, who was thrilled to have it. Here, I had just painted the metal parts an oil rubbed bronze color, for her.

While finding a treasure is fun…what I like even more is the challenge of making something¬†out of something that has seen better days. Trash to Treasure gets my artistic juices flowing. ¬†That’s just what happened when I visited The Salvation Army a few weeks ago. That’s where¬†I found this old picture frame.

jennifers frame wreath before

Now, it didn’t look like this when I found it! It was a cream color, that had yellowed, badly. I forgot to take a before picture….

I painted it light turquoise (above) to match my daughter’s dining room, but ended up painting it¬†a darker turquoise and adding highlights, ¬†so the details of the frame could better be featured.

picture frame wreth dark

jennifers frame wrerath cu accent

These highlights were made with the same paint I used on her lamps.   The highlights are a dusty Aqua.


Once I finished that,  I added white highlights to accent the detail even more.


I love this frame!



For this DIY Picture Frame Wreath project you will need:

Frame of choice

Paints of choice: craft, spray or latex paints or a combo

Sponge brush or paint brush or both

Flowers choice

Hot glue gun

Bow/Ribbon is optional

Find a frame as ornate as you like. If you prefer a plain frame, that works, too.  And then paint it. I spray painted this one, but you could easily paint with craft paint or leftover latex paint.

There are a couple things to decide. If you’d like the details to be featured as light, ¬†then go with a darker paint overall. If you’d like the details to be darker then start with a lighter paint. I wanted my highlights to be light, ¬†so I painted over the lighter turquoise with a darker turquoise.

After it dries,¬†¬†you will want a lighter (or darker if frame is light) color paint to add highlights to show off the detail of your lamp. Or if your lamp is plain it will distress the frame to give it character. If you mess up…it’s just paint. Do it over.

I added white on top of that because there is so much to show off and accent on this frame.


 Next gather flowers. I found these silk flowers at Hobby Lobby and Michaels. But I have found nice flowers at Walmart and even the Dollar Tree. You just have to be selective.

I use a hot glue gun and I start in the corner with a Hydrangea. That’s where to start arranging your flowers. Cut the stems close to begin…but longer as you go up the frame. And give them space to show off. In other words don;t cram them all so close together you can’t tell them apart.


 Next add other colored flowers, spacing them along the frame.


Keep adding flowers until you’re happy with the design.


 I added some berries and tiny flowers for filler.

Don’t forget¬†to add leaves in the background.


…easy as pie.

¬†After you have everything glued into place, ¬†you may consider adding a bow to the bottom…or a ribbon to the top, ¬†to hang it by.

It turned out so pretty, we’re considering using it in a bedroom or living room.

Have fun!

Lamp Makeover: From Trash to Treasure

Jennifer lamp make over ad

I love Goodwill. I ALWAYS find a treasure…..Last week I found this pair of lamps for 8 dollars!. Lamps are one of my FAVORITE things to makeover, too. ūüôā I texted pics to my daughter and told her to look beyond the gold, at the shape and design.¬†Would this be something she’d like in her house? Sometimes it’s hard for people to see what I see…but thankfully, she’s learned to look beyond.

jennifers lamps tall

They were 20 inches tall, ¬†not counting the shade, ¬†which meant they were tall enough to give off good light for the room. I mean, what’s the point of having lamps if they don’t light the room enough?

jennifers lamps paint

She said yes…and I was so happy, because I could see them in her family room. ¬†But, of course, I was going to have to do some work first. ¬†As it turned out, not much, tho.

If you are wanting to makeover a lamp…you may need to prime it first. ¬†(after cleaning any dust and grime off) ¬†I spray lamps with a white primer especially if I’m wanting the color to be true.

But this time, I just went for it. ¬†Always remember, it’s just paint…so, if you make a mistake, just paint over it… You can¬†use spray paint or bottles of craft paints or in this case, I’m used a can of paint I had mixed for another project.

jennifers lamps stripes

Isn’t it amazing what a little paint can do? I used a dusty aqua latex paint leaving some of the gold peeking through my strokes. ¬†Then I went over the swirls with a brighter turquoise. But not too bright.

jennifers lamp gold

One thing you’ll want to do if you paint a lamp, or anything else for that matter, is to follow the shape or design of whatever you’re painting. In this case, my brush followed the path of the swirls. It makes the brush ‘work with you’ and makes life easier, and less messy looking. I like seeing the gold thru the aqua paint. It adds a little character.

After I finished painting the lamp, I painted the base. The base was dark, but dull looking and I wanted to keep them dark. So, I added a dark metallic brown mixed with dark brown to brighten the dull brown. It worked!

jennifers lamps base beforejennifers lamps base finished

See the before…just a dull dark brown. ¬†Below, ¬†I added some dark brown to a bronze metallic ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†paint to make a nice dark, but not dull, brown.


BTW: Dark Bronze Metallic Paint is Perfect for Dining Room

A¬†friend of mine wanted a brown dining room, ¬†but she was not happy with any of the brown samples she had tried. She finally gave up and just¬†painted the whole room a brown… but it was lifeless. ¬†She came over frustrated, and asked me to help her pick out the ‘right’ brown… I found a metallic brown for her and the room came to life. ¬†It made all the difference in the world. ¬†It is beautiful and so elegant! ¬†So keep that in mind. ¬†Metallic bronze-brown is beautiful on walls. fyi. …..You’re welcome.

jennifers lamps finish

The last step is to seal the paint with¬†several light coats of polyurethane. Used spray. (You can brush it on if ¬†you prefer) ¬†Allow to dry. ¬†Now they’re ready for shades.

Tip: I like to try on several shades from around my house to see what style looks best on whatever lamp I’m working on. ¬†I decided I liked drum shades best. ¬†Once I decided on the style shade, I checked¬†Pottery Barn to find the shade I wanted. ¬†I wanted a bargain to go with my bargain lamp…. ūüėČ ¬†So after checking around, I found very similar shades on eBay for half the price….Needless to say, I ordered the shades from eBay. ūüôā

jennifers new lamp alone

The lamps look so classy in her living room. They add just enough of her turquoise color to the room without being overwhelming. And the shades are perfect!

jennifers new lamp

My daughter teaches kindergarten and so having a cheerful, colorful home is very fitting. Red and turquoise are so happy. And don’t the lamps look perfect in the room?


jennifers lamps makeover

Bright and cheerful is what we’re going for…;)

jennifer new lamp rt

I ¬†love how they turned out….It’s a far cry from how they began!

Next time you’re in the market for new lamps remember to check out your local GoodWill, Salvation Army and thrift stores. You’ll be surprised at the deals you can find. And with a little TLC (and paint), create a one of a kind decorating statement. Love…

Jennifer lamp make over ad


New Creation aka Poppy Lamp

I posted this 3 years ago but thought it worthy of sharing again….. ¬†There’s a powerful lesson here and I needed to read it again…Maybe you do, too.

I hope you have a blessed Sunday!

Behold I make all things new. That is an amazing truth in the Bible. The truth that when a person accepts Jesus Christ as his/her personal savior…all the things we ever did in the past are completely forgiven. And we become a new creation.

The old is passed away and we are a new, totally forgiven person. While some of us….all of us….continue to make mistakes and sin against ourselves, others and God, it’s comforting to know that along with our salvation comes the right to approach God for forgiveness.

I was confronted last week with the realization that I had been less than forgiving of someone I ran into from my past. I hadn’t seen this man for years but I knew back then that he had been horrible to his wife. Abusive. Horribly abusive.¬†¬† He had done things, that in my opinion, ¬†were absolutley unforgivable and inexcusable!

And when I saw him, ¬†I was visiting a church and he was¬†leading the singing! ¬† Honestly, I just couldn’t believe he had the nerve to even accept such an honorable position! IN A CHURCH no less!¬† This came to my mind several times over the past few months and I continued to be¬†apalled.

And last week it suddenly hit me. I’ve done things that were wrong. I knew better and yet in moments of weakness gave in to sin. Things I’m ashamed of. And I have asked the Lord to forgive me of my transgressions and I know He has.

And yet, people who know of my sin may not know that I have repented of them and been forgiven. They may even look at me and think who does she think she is?  Just as I was doing this man! Oh my goodness.

That’s when it hit me like a ton of bricks. The truth is, that man has obviously¬†repented and here a I am judging him.¬†I’m not privy to his heart¬†nor his¬†most personal life. Just as others are not privy to mine.

The revelation I recieved from all of this is that, we are not to judge others. I know I am stating the obvious, but how easy it is to see someone and think back to what they were back then….when we don’t know what the Lord has brought them through and to.

In fact, to be Christians we are to extend MERCY to others because we ourselves are in such dire need of it.  So, I repented. I asked the Lord to forgive my arrogance and pride.

I understand the apostle Paul’s heartfelt cry when he said he was the chiefest of all sinners! I can so relate. I know I’m in need of his mercy and therfore I must extend it to everyone,¬†even to¬†those whose hearts I know not.

Oh, but this post¬†is about a lamp…my little new creation…. It in no way compares to God’s gift to us when we are saved. But in some small way it shows how we have so much potential to be so much more than the people who ‘knew us before’ could ever have imagined.

I hope you get my drift….

This is the lamp I found in an old thrift shop. It’s seen better days and its owners obviously thought it had nothing left of value and it was discarded.

Isn’t that how we are before God steps in and says “I see¬†potential in you.”

lamp before - Copy (2)

I took my daughter with me to see the lamp I had found. I thought it would look great in her den.  She had a hard time seeing any virtue in the old thing.

I said, “You’re just going to have to trust me.”

jennys lamp before - Copy

I primed it, covered all the blemished and made it whiter than snow…..ummm ~ what an interesting concept.

lamp base primed

Her den is green with red sofa and so I decided to paint the back ground green and somehow create poppies in some of the indentions….

Isn’t that the way we are? We can’t see anything but our shortcomings and can’t see past them to what we could be.

If we could just figure out a way to release our potential to someone who could do something with us……hummm… you do see¬†the poppies ~¬†don’t you?

lamp base painted green

lamp base flowers - Copy (2)

I thought of the lines in Pretty Woman when Julia Roberts’ character “Vivian” gives her friend “Kit” some money because “You’ve got potential” and then later that same¬†friend gives some of the money to her friend because “you got potential.”

That’s what God says about each and everyone of us. He takes us as we are or as we have made ourselves….a plu-perfect mess and feeling worthless and God says “You’ve got potential.”

And even tho we may not want to believe it or we can’t see it, there’s someone who sees the potential in us….after all…This is the Creator who made the world out of nothing…surely he can make something out of you and me.

God says “Trust me, you’ve got potential.”

jennifers lamp

I bought a new shade and ¬†painted a new finial to match. ¬†My husband put a new switch on and rewired it….

My daughter claims she had faith in me all along…. ūüôā

Who knew life lessons could be learned from something as mundane as a lamp make-over.?

My lesson for this week….I will look beyond what I can see and find the potential in others…and I will extend mercy to all.¬† Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy!

So dear reader, ¬†remember that Someone far greater than¬†me has already made it loud and clear He thinks you are more than worth it….In His eyes You have GREAT POTENTIAL! He who makes all things new can make something awesome out of you….just Trust Him.

jennifers poppy lamp makeover

I pray your day and the coming week is blessed and that the Lord himself will show you just how¬†much potential He sees in you….warts and all.

Vintage Lamp Makeover

JRenee signature


How to Cover a Lampshade With Burlap

How to cover a lampshade with burlap

My daughter in love wanted a ‘lantern lamp’ for her son’s Vintage Americana bedroom decor. ¬†She found one that was a little pricier than she wanted to pay, so she decided to put that on hold [Read more…]

Beauty from Ashes Birdbath

Beauty from ashes birdbath

Our friend’s home burned down. It was a spectacular home and we were all saddened by the news that this beautiful home had burned to the ground. I had painted a chinoiserie design on a buffet for her a couple of years before and as I left, ¬†I mentioned I was working on a mosaic birdbath. She was intrigued and said she wanted to talk to me about making one for her garden. [Read more…]

French Hatbox Inspired Planters

French Hatbox Planters pics

A couple of years ago we added a porch, where once stood an old deck. That deck had served us well. ¬†Even though it was small and in the sun, ¬†I never let it keep me from hosting outdoor dinner parties. ¬†But, I always dreamed of having a real porch. We love to sit outside, rain or shine but having no roof presented a problem. The umbrella worked sometimes…but not always. ¬†So, I dreamed of building a porch one day.

Finally, my husband gave me the go ahead to build a porch! Yes, a real covered porch. I love it. We love it. Our whole family loves it. ¬†Most days, we live on our porch more than in the house. This picture shows one of the columns…along with ¬†the small table and chairs…I call the¬†Perfect Find!

my porch furn

When they built the porch,  they had to cut about a foot from the bottom of the columns they used. There were 8 of them and I asked the builders to save me the bottoms. I already had an idea what to use them for.

french hatbox planters0

Herbs are so invasive and my herb garden on the side of the house had really been more than I could handle. The oregano and pineapple sage had taken over. I needed containers to keep this from happening.

I knew these column bottoms would be perfect to make planters for my herbs.

I love the colorful planters in various catalogs that come in the mail…..

grandinroad planters

Have you seen the colorful planters in GrandinRoad? ¬†They’re so pretty. I ended up taking my inspiration from them.

Of course, mine are not nearly as perfect as the catalog ones……but they’re perfect enough for me.

french hatbox planters 01

The furniture on my porch is blue, so I painted the ‘planters’ various shades of blue and white.¬†I used stencils in different designs to vary each one. ¬†When I stepped back and looked at them, I realized they looked like hatboxes. And the blue colors made me think of France…. so that’s the story behind my French Hat-box Inspired Planters.

french hatboxplanters 02

I found my stencils at Walmart and the base color is a spray paint.

French Hat Box Planters

It’s so nice to step out the backdoor and have herbs for cooking, at my fingertips. And know they won’t be taking over the flower bed…least not anytime soon.

french hat box planters8

Do you cook with fresh herbs? They can be expensive in the store, but they are very easy to grow. And they don’t need much tending to, if you plant them in a container. ¬†And most of them live from one season to the next, at least at my house they do. ¬†My favorites have to be a tie between basil and dill.

french hatbox planters9

You may not have access to the bottoms of columns…( if you know a builder, I’d certainly ask them to save you some) ¬†You can achieve the same look using clay pots. I’d prime them first so your paint is the true color you want.

french hat box planters6

The above picture was taken a couple of weeks ago….now see the same plants:

french hatbox planters9

The bottoms are open because herbs need well drained soil. They don’t like to be wet and prefer hot sun. So do keep that in mind. I plan on a heavy mulch in the winter so they will hopefully survive until Spring. The clay pots in the same location did survive, … I have high hopes for these….

So, what are you waiting for? Be inspired….you can do this….:)

My Favorite Project: Hand-Painted Easter Eggs

hand-painted easter eggs sign

It’s time for one of my favorite projects! ¬†Hand-painted Easter Eggs. ¬†Not up to blowing out eggs? Last year I shared¬†my secret. You’ll want to check it out…seeing as how I have no wind to blow eggs, either. ¬†If you’re the same way, you’ll want this little secret for yourself! But, shhhhhhhh…don’t tell and no one will ever know! [Read more…]