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.
To DESIGN or Not to DESIGN:
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. 🙂
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.
WHAT KIND OF PAINT:
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.
HOW TO FAUX 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. 😉
Next day I finished the stencil. Rather than just stenciling it, I wanted to paint it.
Then I stenciled the small tiles.
STENCILS AND MEDALLION:
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.
SEAL YOUR PORCH:
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…..