How to stencil a concrete patio or path in your garden…

How to stencil a concrete patio or path in your garden…

(Edit) Please also check out my latest patio repaint from summer 2021, using a slightly different method and products based on what I learned from this project.

You may or may not have seen my latest mammoth project that involved hand stencilling my garden path, if you haven’t then click here, if you have then you are probably reading this because you would like to know some more information about how I did it etc.

Well, the first thing I would say if you are interested in stencilling your patio or path is, you have to be committed and extremely patient if you want great results.

I originally thought of doing this last year but our garden was in a complete state and our path was riddled with broken concrete that was beyond repair, so I knew I would have to put it on the back burner.


Our former path was unsafe, I, and my children have tripped over it numerous times, so the guy that manages the farm we live on kindly agreed to replace it for us.

Once the new slabs were down, I started to research the best paint. This was one of the hardest things because it appears that in all the years that concrete paving slabs have been around, apparently painting them ‘isn’t a thing!’

So I just had to take a chance, the closest thing I could find that would be able to take a battering from our UK weather would be masonry paint. As much as I was confident that it would withstand the rain and snow, I wasn’t so sure it would handle foot fall and that’s when I began to research something to seal it with.

The Masonry paint I used was just budget Leyland smooth Masonry paint from The Range, I think it was about £14 for a massive tub and had great reviews online. I bought two tubs, one black, one white.

I also bought Wickes patio and paving seal which was £18.

Before I began to paint I swept the area thoroughly and made sure the slabs were clean. If your slabs are particularly weathered you will need to jet wash them first and then allow to dry all the way through, which might take a couple of days.

I began to roll on the white masonry paint using a large roller on a pole for ease. The paint was pretty thick so I could have gotten away with one coat, but I did two for a more opaque look.

The stencil I used was very kindly gifted by Dizzy Duck Designs who offer a large selection of stencils and decals. They asked what size my slabs were and made a bespoke stencil to fit them, which very promptly arrived the next day.

When stencilling, it’s best to stipple, especially around the edges and actually less is more when it comes to the paint application, because otherwise you may end up with bleed.

If the paint does bleed, try to correct it at the time by wiping it as soon as you can to avoid having to go back and correct at the end.

Some other tips I can offer is that knee pads are a good investment, I got mine in Lidl for £4.99. It’s a good idea to get a cushion to sit on too and make sure you have things to hold your stencil in place, tape can be a bit fiddly, so I used paint tins to weight it down.

Take your time with it, especially towards the end as you start to get tired and achey, because if you don’t then you might make mistakes and regret it.

Once all the painting is done and dry, you’ll need to start applying the patio seal. Before you start you’ll need to give the area a really good sweep to make sure there is no dust or grit.

Then carefully (because it’s really runny) pour the patio seal in to a paint tray and use a sponge roller (and pole) to apply it. You will have to allow the first coat 4 hours to dry before applying the second, and then another 4 hours before you can walk on it.

The patio seal will create a protective layer that resists rain, dirt and grime, but I’m afraid I won’t know how it holds up to foot fall for a while yet.

I’m so happy with the result and although it took me around 15 hours and a lot of perseverance, I think we can all agree it was 100% worth the effort.

I will provide regular updates on how it’s doing on Instagram though so keep your eyes peeled.

I hope I’ve provided enough information if you are considering this project, however if you have any further questions please reach out to me and I’ll try my best to help you.

I will be stencilling our patio once it has been laid which is twice the size of the path, so I’m both excited and a little overwhelmed about starting that but I know it will be worth all of the hard work.

Until next time,




  1. Nicky
    July 11, 2019 / 1:37 pm

    Hi Hayley. Thank you so much for sharing this project, it looks super cool. I have considered doing something like this in the past, but haven’t got past the point of which slabs to get. Yours look pretty smooth, all I can find are the ones that have an anti slip finish, either riven or with those horrid bobbles on. Have even gone as far as buying a mould so the husband could make me some (however he was not at all keen on that idea!). So what were yours called and where from? I would be beyond grateful for that information! I have to do something about my beyond revolting back garden in my other home in Cornwall! Thank you so much, and great blog by the way! Best wishes Nicky

    • Iamhayleystuart
      August 7, 2019 / 3:59 pm

      Hi Nicky, thanks for this comment, I have only just seen it so I apologise for the delay in coming back to you. The slabs I’ve used are just bog standard smooth ones from my local patio place. They’re not shining but the patio seal gives them a slight sheen when you first put it on. I hope this helps x

  2. Lina
    February 24, 2020 / 8:50 pm

    Can you tell me how the paint is doing so far? Does it chip a lot? I have awful grey concrete patio that just cries for tlc project but just like you I need to weather proof it from UK rain and feet proof and I’m just really worried that with our traffic paint might not last over period of time…

    • Iamhayleystuart
      March 26, 2020 / 8:55 pm

      Hi, I’ll be putting an update on here soon. I’ve been cleaning them this week as covered in algae and a few slabs need repainting but overall I’m pleased with how they have lasted. I think you have to have realistic expectations though, after all it is paint and will need maintenance. I hope that helps x

  3. Jen
    April 29, 2020 / 6:32 am

    This looks amazing but as you say probably needs maintenance. Any reason why you did stencil instead of use the sticky tiles from dizzy duck which is what I was thinking of doing. I have the subway shape tiles tho so not sure what I could do in terms of a pattern. Will investigate, any tips would be appreciated.

    • Iamhayleystuart
      April 29, 2020 / 8:12 am

      Thank you. I wouldn’t recommend using stickers outside, they will be slippery and constantly exposed to water. If that’s what you mean as I’ve not seen that Dizzy duck do sticky tiles.

  4. Nicola
    May 2, 2020 / 10:40 pm

    Can I ask what size of stencil brush you used for the stencil? Garden is amazing!!!

    • Iamhayleystuart
      May 2, 2020 / 10:43 pm

      Thank you. I just used a normal paint brush. You can use a sponge roller though if you find it easier.

  5. May 14, 2020 / 8:24 am

    Hi Hayley
    What a fantastic job you have done. My question is would I be able to do he same sort of thing on very old exposed aggregate concrete? I have phoned different Stain companies who have said Stain wouldn’t work as the stain wouldn’t take on the stones in the concrete. I am on a tight budget so can’t afford to replace paths and patio and the whole area really spoils my garden. Any advice would be very much appreciated.

    • Iamhayleystuart
      May 14, 2020 / 8:28 am

      Hi Teresa, thanks for reading. It really depends on how rough the surface is. It would be really hard to achieve a nice stencilled effect on a surface that isn’t smooth and the paint would wear really fast too. Sadly, I don’t think stencilling would be the solution 😞

  6. Marie
    June 16, 2020 / 3:33 pm

    Hi can you tell me what size the stensil is please?

    • Iamhayleystuart
      December 28, 2021 / 12:50 pm

      Hi Marie, it’s 60x60cm

  7. William
    September 4, 2020 / 1:41 pm

    Thanks I’ve a large area which I would like to try keep me updated on messenger

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