How to Stencil a Concrete Patio for a Budget-Friendly Outdoor Refresh

Pave the way for your backyard makeover with a stencil (yes, a stencil).

Jenna LeBlanc portrait on stenciled concrete patio
Photo: Hector Sanchez
Project Overview
  • Working Time: 2 days
  • Total Time: 2 weeks
  • Skill Level: Beginner

As much as Jenna LeBlanc would have loved to retile the patio behind her Tampa home, she didn't want to buy 650-plus square feet of tiles. More in line with her budget was paint and a stencil ($71, Royal Design Studio Stencils) she had been eyeing online. So she and her husband pried up the old tiles, then prepped and painted the concrete underneath. Proper surface prep was key, Jenna says, but in the end, she had to let go of precision. "The benefit of it being an outdoor space is that it doesn't have to be perfect."

Jenna, who shares her projects on her blog Jenna Sue Design, stenciled a design to mimic Moroccan tile. The 28x28-inch stencil created a single, high-impact medallion. "There was a point a few hours in where I thought, Wow, what was I thinking?" she says. But after getting the hang of it, she cut her time from 25 minutes per medallion to 5 minutes, completing the stenciling in 27 hours over two weeks. Follow the steps below to learn how to stencil a concrete patio for a budget-friendly makeover.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • 1 Paintbrush and roller
  • 1 Large stencil (Jenna's pick: 28x28-inch Mandala Fusion; royaldesignstudio.com)
  • 1 3-inch stencil brush

Materials

  • 1 Liquid concrete crack seal
  • 1 Outdoor paint for concrete and patios
  • 1 Paint remover (like Krud Kutter)
  • 1 Clear concrete sealer

Instructions

  1. Prep the Patio

    If needed, remove existing tiles to reveal the concrete patio. Jenna removed layers of green paint under the old tiles with a power washer and putty knife. Once the surface is clean, let the concrete dry completely. Fill in any cracks with crack seal and sand the surface smooth.

  2. Paint the Concrete

    gray paint rolled on patio
    Courtesy of Jenna LeBlanc

    After clearing debris a section at a time with a leaf blower, Jenna painted the patio gray using a brush and a roller. For best results, choose an exterior paint that's designed for concrete surfaces and includes primer in the formula. Check the weather before you begin to ensure the paint will have ample time to dry. Let the base color dry completely before stenciling.

  3. Stencil the Pattern

    painting on stencil on concrete patio
    Courtesy of Jenna LeBlanc

    Jenna aligned the first stencil along a joint in the concrete for a built-in straight line. She secured the stencil with painters tape, dipped the stencil brush in white paint, and lightly dabbed it on a paper towel before dabbing on the stencil. A light touch created the chalky look.

  4. Adjust Around Edges

    design stencil taped down on patio
    Courtesy of Jenna LeBlanc

    Where the patio abuts a wall, Jenna flexed the stencil and taped it for ease in stenciling. Her solution for paint buildup on the stencil that can cause uneven edges: Coat the stencil with Krud Kutter ($7, The Home Depot) and place it in a garbage bag overnight. The dried paint peels right off the next morning.

  5. Seal the Stenciled Patio

    Once the patio dried, Jenna rolled on two coats of sealer. The busy pattern masks most imperfections in the concrete and the stenciling, Jenna says. Let the sealer dry completely before walking on the surface.

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