When we moved into our house last year we had big plans for our garden. When I say big plans, I mean expensive plans and we simply did not realise quite how expensive. We wanted to replace all of the fences, extend our kitchen to have big opening doors onto a new patio, we wanted to remove about 10 huge trees to gain a whole lot of our garden and most expensive, we wanted to buy a gorgeous garden office/storage shed for the end of the garden. Fast forward 12 months and none of that has happened but I am still over the moon with our cheaper make do version.
The first step was to make over the awful eye sore that was a bit of dirty cracked concrete that we stored our bikes on “temporarily” under a bit of tarpaulin. We bought a 4×6 shed to put at the foot of our garden (which Liam has to learn to lay concrete for). I think on another post I will go into the rest of the garden, including our gorgeous new fence that we put up ourselves! Once the bikes were removed a nasty area of concrete was unearthed. Yet, a gorgeous sun trap was in my mind so I set out to make it over during lockdown with a couple of pots of paint and a stencil.
HOW MUCH I SPENT
WHAT I USED
First and foremost, check the weather forecast. Make sure you have a few dry days ahead of you. Brush all the dirt and grit away so that you don’t get lumps of things stuck in your brush.
I probably should have washed the concrete down first but I got over excited and couldn’t bare having to wait for it to then dry.
Use a paint brush to paint the edges of the area. Then use a roller to paint over the concrete. I ended up doing three coats of paint, thinly each time.
If you have a lot of holes and cracks in your concrete like I did you can use a paint brush filled with your base colour and dollop it into the holes and cracks. I did this in the minor cracks but left the large ones because I thought it gave a nice character to the rustic vibe I was going for. Then leave to completely dry. It will probably be the end of the day now, so wait until tomorrow so that everything is completely dry.
Get your stencil and analyse the space you have and work out which way you want your stencil to be orientated. I just went gung-ho into it and didn’t really consider where I wanted it to start and finish and was just lucky that it all worked out.
Decide on what you want to use to paint your stencil. I used a sponge to give a nice uneven look. You could use one of those dappled brushes or a roller to lay it on with more thickness and perfection.
My top tip is less is more when it comes to the painting of your stencil. Sadly when I bought mine you could only get one in a pack. They have now amazingly changed it to 2 in a pack which is super handy. You could either half the time it takes you by having someone else help you or save on stencil drying time. When I first started I used too much paint and didn’t clean my stencil so I just had bleeding paint everywhere.
The way I used it in the end is to dab a tiny bit of paint on my sponge (wear painting gloves to save on mess on your hands) and dab it over the stencil. Then after that I would lay it upside down on a big piece of card from the rubbish bin and use a piece of kitchen roll to rub off all the paint that had bled to the underneath of my stencil. This meant each stencilling looked a little cleaner.
After you have finished stencilling and admired your work you can decide on wether or not to add sealant. Mine is now 12 weeks old and not budged at all. My idea was for it to rub away a little for a used effect before sealing it but it seems that my paint was pretty awesome…oh, and also it hasn’t yet been winter. Before the end of the summer I am going to wash the patio and pour on my sealant to save me having to repaint it next year.
What do you all think? I’m personally so happy with it. It has completely renovated the serious dire looking spot of concrete and all for under £100. Initially we were thinking of putting decking out over the area which would have cost a lot of money in materials and labour so this has been such a wonderful, fairly cheap, lockdown project. If you do it too make sure you tag me in any photos so I can see your works of art @megantaylorlondon