It's amazing what you can do with some paint, a little effort and bit of time.
Okay... It took a few gallons of paint, a lot of time and a rather notable mount of effort. But the results are well worth it.
Believe it or not, the floor around the pool at the Brunswick Mineral Springs Bed and Breakfast is made of your basic cement slab.
While it serves it's purpose, giving you a stable and reasonable clean surface to walk on and a place to put your tables and chairs. But it isn't very aesthetically pleasing.
While the pool house at the B&B is impressive, to say the least, the cement slab around the pool itself had become stained from years of use and there was only so much a pressure washer could do. If you have a pool or patio, I'm sure you know exactly what I'm talking about.
So... What to do, what to do?
Well, for me and my husband, Tom, we decided to make the cement slab look like Spanish tile!
The hardest part is the mathematics. You see, you're going to have to measure out your space and do some math to figure out what size your squares will be, and where to start, so you don't wind up with partial "tiles" on one side. Once you get that done, the rest moves along pretty smoothly.
Here is a list of supplies you will need for the project:
The first thing you should do is pressure wash the surface you are going to paint. If you paint over dirt or anything oily your painted surface will wear off pretty easily. Make sure you allow the surface to dry completely before starting the project.
I know. Once you've decided you're going to do this, you're going to want to start slapping the paint down right away. But this is definitely one of those times where patience will pay off.
After you have pressure washed the surface and allowed it to dry, and you've done your starting calculations so you will know what size your "tiles" will be, it's time to start marking your lines.
You don't need to draw the pattern out. You can just use tick-marks. Then you can start laying the painter's tape.
The most important part of this step is remembering to center the tape on your tick-marks. The tape lines will be your "grout" lines in your tile pattern. If you place the tape to the left or right of your tick-marks, you'll wind up throwing your measurements off. Make sure you burnish your tape down real good so paint doesn't get underneath.
After you have taped off your tiles and burnished your tape down, you can start painting!
I strongly suggest you use a brush to apply the paint close to the tape. Using a roller applies too much paint at one time and causes the tape to get soft. Every time I get impatient and try to just slap the paint on fast with a roller I wind up getting paint under the tape. If that happens, you're going to have to go through the time-consuming task of painting your grout lines and unless you have a steady hand and all the time in the world... Well. Let's just not do that.
After using your paint brush to apply the paint nearest your tape lines, you can use the roller to fill in the centers of your tiles. When you've completed the surface, wait for the paint to dry before lifting off the tape. If you drop it, you'll smear wet paint across your grout lines and... well... you know what that means!
I have to admit, pulling the tape up is the best part. I giggle and smile every time!
You'll want to give the paint a few days to dry completely. Then you should seal it with a clear coat made for cement. This step will prevent your paint from getting stained. It will also make the color of the paint look deeper and more rich.
It's amazing how different the pool house looks now, with the slab painted.
I liked the results in the pool house at the B&B so much I painted the cement floor on the screened in porch at my house in Florida the same way!
Of course, that looked so good I got the brilliant idea to paint the cement pavers outside of the screened in porch around the fire pit. But I didn't want to do the same thing. So, I decided to paint the individual pavers with a stenciled pattern to make it look like a rug!
After pressure washing the patio and letting it dry, I painted an area around the fire pit to the size I wanted the "rug" to be.
Then I created a stencil the same size as the pavers. If you prefer, you can purchase stencils at any craft store. But make sure it's made of something sturdy as you will be using it a lot and you'll be dragging it across cement.
After selecting my colors, I centered the stencil on the painted paver and began adding the pattern.
One thing I will tell you is this...
No matter what plan you start with, don't be surprised if you decide to go in some completely different direction half-way into your project. Sometimes, your project will tell YOU what it wants to look like. Just go with it!
Oh... and another thing.... and this is VERY important!
ALL projects, big or small, will go through what I call "the ugly phase." It's that awkward and uncomfortable place, somewhere between "Oh wow, I have this great idea!" and "Oh Lord, what have I gotten myself into?"
Just ignore the fear and keep going.
Trust me... With proper planning, patience to do things the right way and seeing your project through to the end... It will be worth every ounce of effort!
Oh... and that beautiful, multi-level pond in the background? The one with the crystal clear water and multiple water falls...?
My husband and I made that, too. I'll tell you how to create your own low-maintenance water feature in another post. And I'll SHOW you how it's done when I create one behind the pool house at the B&B!