How to Paint Concrete Stepping Stones

Do not paint over dirty concrete stepping stones.
Do not paint over dirty concrete stepping stones. (Image: stepping stones image by cherie from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>)

If you are planning to paint concrete stepping stones, consider these points. Because concrete stones are hard and nonporous, they are ill-suited for adhesion. In addition, if these stones are serving as a walkway, any new finish will be subjected to an inordinate amount of duress. Ordinary paints are not appropriate for stone and will ultimately chip and peel. You must select a particular type of paint, specifically formulated for exterior rock and stone.

Things You'll Need

  • Pressure washer
  • Heavy-duty fabric drop cloths
  • 3- to 4-inch latex paintbrush
  • Patio paint
  • Patio spray paint

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Work on a warm dry day, free from heavy winds.

Remove the stones and place them on a flat concrete surface, like a porch or driveway.

Clean the concrete stones using a pressure washer. Wait 2 to 3 hours for the stones to dry.

Cover areas surrounding the stones with heavy-duty fabric drop cloth.

Coat the clean stepping stones with patio paint using a paintbrush manufactured for use with water-based paints.

Wait 2 hours for the painted stones to dry. Add another coat if you have poor coverage.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can also spray on the patio paint. Purchase cans of patio spray paint. Hold the can 8 inches from the stone as you apply.
  • You can use stencils to create designs and patterns on stepping stones. Be sure to use a stencil adhesive to attach the stencil to the stone or paint may bleed underneath. Stencils and stencil adhesive are available at craft stores.
  • Do not paint over dirty stepping stones or you will have problems with adhesion.
  • Do not use plain acrylic latex or oil-based paint on stepping stones; these paints will not provide adequate durability and will ultimately chip and peel.
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