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Painting a faux slate walkway on concrete

Updated on August 5, 2012
chip brushes
chip brushes
Outdoor Folkart Opaque
Outdoor Folkart Opaque | Source

What you will need to get started

Do you want the look of expensive slate but don't have it in your budget? Consider painting it!

I painted my front walkway, using concrete paint, to look like slate!

Using specially formulated paints specifically for concrete you can have the look of real slate at a fraction of the price.

Here's what you will need:

  1. Several bottles of Folkart Outdoor Opaque paint in various colors. Shades of blue and green work best, with a little bit of brown. The main color used was a sand color. I mixed most colors with this one to mute the colors.
  2. Several paint brushes in various widths. Don't buy expensive ones. Cheap chip brushes work perfectly
  3. Paper towels to wipe brushes
  4. A bowl of water to clean brushes
  5. A straight edge.  I use a metal right angle ruler.
  6. A radio to keep you company. You may be there a while, depending on the size of your project.

test on paver
test on paver
Chalk lines and random tile pattern
Chalk lines and random tile pattern

Here's what you do

  1. Practice your painting techniques and color combinations on a 12" concrete paver
  2. Clean the surface that you will be painting. I pressure washed.
  3. Begin by drawing your tile pattern using a piece of chalk. If you are making tiles you will need a straight edge. I chose to make a random tile pattern varying the size of the rectangles and squares in no particular order. I used a right angle metal ruler.
  4. Next, paint over your chalk lines with the light sand color. This paint drys to the touch in minutes.
  5. Now begin painting in the tiles, one at a time. Paint each tile individually for a more convincing effect. Switch color ratios and combinations for each tile. This will also give a more natural look. The technique is simple. Smudge different colors together, leave it darker in some areas, lighter in others the messier and less exact the better. Have fun with it! There's no right or wrong way to do it. The trick is in choosing the right colors. Go with natural colors and you can't go wrong.
  6. Finishing touches. Add details. With a thin brush paint some random lines using dark blue/gray and brown. This will create the illusion of ridges. For added dimension paint a line whitish line right next to the dark one for a highlight! This really gives it WOW!
  7. Finally, don't forget to add a little shadow to the grout lines. This can be achieve by mixing a little blue/gray with tan. Paint a thin line along the outer edge of the tile in the grout area and instant shadow!

That's it you're done! No sealing with varnish. This paint is self sealing.

It says on the paint bottle, UV and weather resistant. Permanent outdoors. Waterbase, nontoxic. Satin sheen. Self sealing.

I will attest to all of these claims!

I painted my walkway about  3 summers ago and it still looks great! Plus it seems to resist mildew because I have never needed to pressure wash it. There is no pealing and minimal fading.

I hope you enjoyed the article and found it helpful!


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    • profile image

      Mike McNabb 6 months ago

      Man! You're an artist maximus! How long did this take? I'd love to try this, but it would take me a year and a half.

      This is beautiful!

    • profile image

      Rachael 21 months ago

      Hi I just found this and want to do it but I'm having trouble finding the folk art outdoor and the sand color.

    • profile image

      Marlene 2 years ago

      I am getting ready to paint my sidewalk as above. any last minute techniques before I get started?

    • profile image

      teana 3 years ago

      Can you tell me how this held up over time?

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 3 years ago from the short journey

      This method really is worth attesting to! :)

    • bridalletter profile image

      Brenda Kyle 4 years ago from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA

      Very cool technique, I love it! Thanks for sharing the details and advice.