Sometimes I see pictures of our house the way it was when we bought it and I kind of wonder what we were thinking! But I’m glad we bought it and I’m thankful that Ken is just as crazy as me and saw the potential! This is what the front porch/door looked like the day we viewed the house with a realtor:
A couple years ago, we painted the brick white, with black accents (Snowbound and Tricorn Black, both by Sherwin Williams, to be exact). And a couple of weeks ago, I painted the doors and added some of the self-adhering window film to the glass as a bit of a temporary band-aid until we get around to fully replacing the doors altogether. Here’s what that change looks like:
At this point, there was nothing wrong with the front porch, except that it was bland — just a plain old poured concrete slab (with a texture) and a brick perimeter. We’ve talked about resurfacing the whole porch eventually, with slate, tile or something along those lines. But we won’t be doing that for a bit so that left me knowing that I could play with it a little and try my hand at something creative. I kind of love it when that happens. 😉
I had been kicking around ideas in my head and after painting the doors, I decided to just continue with the rest of the porch. I started with limewashing the brick border with Romabio masonry paint and here is the result (drag the arrow back and forth to compare):
It was definitely an improvement, especially since it took me just a couple hours, no prep, and already had the paint leftover from another project. After such a good result, I knew the porch could be even better! I found some inspiration pictures on Pinterest and decided to just go for it over Labor Day weekend.
For the sake of your time, I’ll just jump into describing what I did and the result.
STEP BY STEP GUIDE TO PAINTING CONCRETE PORCH OR PATIO
1. I cleared off the porch, sprayed it with muriatic acid in a pump sprayer, scrubbed the dirty/stained areas and hosed it off. I let it dry completely.
2. I painted the entire surface (except the brick border) with this paint from Florida Paints, in the color Shark Fin. It’s a neutral classic gray concrete color. I had a gallon on hand already, but I ended up running out (due to a mistake which I’ll share later) and Florida Paints was closed on Labor Day. So I had to get a gallon of Behr Porch and Patio paint from Home Depot, color-matched to Shark Fin. Home Depot had the color code on file and matched it perfectly. I would recommend both brands of paint for your porch/concrete project! Florida Paints is only here in Florida, so it’s good to know there is a nationwide brand like Behr available to you. Anyway, I just rolled one solid coat as a base to paint my pattern onto, with this roller cover and extension pole (I like this one for its length flexibility). The coverage was perfect!
3. I cut a 18×18 inch template, found the center of where I wanted to begin the pattern, traced a diamond, and then continued to trace diamonds and work my way out from there.
4. I was working on my own and just winging as I went, and I got off track — the pattern started to shift and the diamond sizes changed. Oops! I had to end up painting over a good portion of the diamonds I had already painted. Ken rescued me and cut several exact squares out of masonite board, helped me strike some chalk lines, and then I traced out the whole surface and made sure it all looked good before I went ahead with any more diamond painting. Below are photos of the walkway limewashed, painted gray, and then painted with the diamond pattern.
5. I used Romabio Masonry paint in Richmond White to paint every other square, creating a checkerboard/harlequin pattern. I chose not to tape the lines, and just take a little time to hand paint. This brush by Zibra helped tremendously to get crisp lines and corners. Then I just filled in the large areas with a traditional 2 inch angled brush.
6. When I finished the pattern, I wanted to soften the sharp contrast and did so by whitewashing the whole surface the way I had whitewashed the brick border. I used Romabio Limewash in Avorio White. Romabio paint is very forgiving and can be applied and washed off if done so within a few hours of application. If you wash off too much, just apply more. Work with it until you get the desired results. It also dries quickly which means I could keep this project moving along. I love the softened, aged look the limewashing gives. You can see the difference it adds below.
7. The last step I did was to seal the paint. The concrete paint (in my case, the gray color) was satin finish and wouldn’t necessarily need a sealer. However, since I used the masonry and limewash paint over it, I wanted to put down a sealant. The Romabio limewash specifically is formulated to continue to naturally wear off over time. But since I had already “washed” off what I wanted to give it that worn/aged look right from the beginning, I chose to use this low-luster sealer to lock in the finish. I applied it with a roller nap, and it was dry within an hour. It has no shine, but does have a very smooth, wipeable surface.
Here’s how it looks!
I love it — right away, it reminded me of something one might see in a beautiful historic town like St. Augustine or Savannah. And yet, it’s not old-fashioned or too cottagey. Although the cottage look may be one of my very favorites, it’s just not the style of our home and so I didn’t want it looking like that.
This whole project took more time than it did money; since I had most of the items on hand, it cost me less than $50 (because I messed up and had to go buy more paint). But if one were to go purchase everything needed, I’d estimate it’d still be less than $200 and a couple days’ time. It was a hot job, here in Florida over Labor Day weekend. But it’s totally worth it to me! It looks so much more fresh and bright. I’m looking forward to cooler weather and fewer bugs to be able to enjoy it even more than I already am!
You can find more photos and step by step of the process on my Instagram @seasonsunderheaven — check out my “painted porch” highlight bubble for behind the scenes of the project, along with my own tips and mistakes. I hope you found this helpful for you to feel confident to tackle your own concrete porch/patio project; don’t forget to pin this to your own board so you can find it again, and feel free to reach out with any questions!
–Beth 🙂 @seasonsunderheaven