*This post contains affiliate links
I know what you are thinking right now...how does "easy" and "hand painted brick" all go together, lol! Well let me tell you, I hand painted my entire front concrete steps to look like actual brick (well pretty darn close) and yes it was easy. You do NOT have to be an artist to pull this off and I think you will see that with a few supplies you can definitely create this look too. Soon enough you will have a unique piece of art at your feet and have acheived something so unique that you will be the envy of your neighbourhood!
So here's what you will need to get started:
Brick Stencil, I used this one from Royal Design Studios
Primer, link is for Amazon, but I bought mine at Benjamin Moore
Concrete Paint, I used this one in the colour Graphic Charcoal by Behr
Outdoor Paint in a contrasting shade, I used this product in Soft Gloss in the colour Simply White
Outdoor Craft paints, or chalk paints in 2-3 shades. I used Folk Art Outdoor paint in the colour Maple Syrup, Folk Art Chalk paint in Parisian Grey and Deco Art paint in Cinnamon Brown. You can purchase all of these at Michales
1 1/2-2" Angled Paint brush for cutting in primer and porch paint
Small dish sponge
Flat tipped paint brush, I used the one from Royal Design Studios but any flat head brush could work
Sealer for all your hard work. I am using this one from Rustoleum
*Please note if this is a project you would like to tackle for an indoor surface, say a feature wall, or maybe a tile or linoleum flooring, whatever your surface is, it can still be done! I would just use the same products listed above, but change out the primer, porch paint, exterior paint and sealer. Click here for a blog post I did on stencilling my master bathroom floors and the products I used for indoors.
Alright lets get painting!
No matter what surface you are going to paint outdoors, these same steps will apply. The first thing you always want to do before painting any surface is wash it like crazy! Scrub that floor and be sure you use the proper cleaner for your flooring. Whenever you are washing concrete you need to let it dry fully for a few days before you can paint it! Take it from my mistakes, even if it seems dry on the surface the concrete is porous and the moisture will still be within the concrete! So give it at least 4 days just to be sure, and watch your weather forecast!!
When your surface is all clean and dry you can now roll on your primer. I only applied 1 coat if the Aqua Lock, you can definitely apply 2 coats if you really want that extra insurance incase your area is a high traffic surface. Allow your primer to dry the proper dry time before you start painting with your porch paint.
I rolled on and cut in 2 coats of the Porch and Patio Paint. Can I just say I looooove this product! I don't even get paid to say this stuff, all opinions are my own! It was a thinner consistency than most other paints I've worked with, but it soaked in and went on so beautifully. The coverage was incredible and I have full confidence this stuff is durable! I did wait one day to apply my second coat, but you can apply sooner if you want.
Now that you have your solid base paint and primer all done it's now time to stencil! I fell in love with the look of the herringbone brick pattern so much from Royal Design Studios. I loved that the bricks were a bigger size and the edges of each brick were not perfect which gave it a more realistic look. Whenever I stencil I like to have the corners of my stencil taped with a few pieces of painters tape to help hold it in place. I laid my stencil down on the far left corner of my concrete steps and worked away from there. Be sure that you apply the flat side of the stencil pattern to the upper edge of your area you are working with.
Usually when I stencil surfaces I always roll off some of my paint onto a paper towel before I apply it to the stencil and floor so it doesn't bleed, but being that I was rolling it onto concrete which is a textured surface, I knew it wouldn't be perfect anyways. Also brick isn't flawless, it has that unique and dimensional textured look, so bonus for me! So basically what I'm saying is that if you are applying your stencil to concrete to just starting painting, don't over think it!
I continued with my stencilling to the right of my initial stencil. I usually waited a couple minutes between laying down the stencil again before painting. Concrete sucks up paint very quick so I didn't have to wait long at all which is great cause I'm slightly impatient and like to get it done quickly!
Once all of my steps were done being stencilled white I was planning to leave it like that. I was going to seal it next, then be all done.....but I just wasn't loving it and didn't want to commit to the sealer until I was absolutely happy with it. It seemed too bright, even though I used the same off white colour as my front door which is Benjamin Moore Simply White. So I knew I was gonna have to think about it more, I mean this is my front entry and I think it's important that I didn't just settle.
So I reached out and asked a lot of my followers via my Instagram stories if I should add some brown or grey to the bricks just to tone them down a bit. Many of you said to leave it and a lot said to tone them down to make them look more realistic. I like reaching out to my audience and see what other peoples opinions are, because sometimes you guys see things that I don't, and it's rewarding to learn a lot from others peoples perspectives on this platform. So I slept on it, and then the very next day I dug through my craft paint collection and pulled out some greys and browns to see what I could come up with!
This was a fun process and a lot easier than I bet you are thinking. First thing I did was use my flat head paint brush and dabbed it into some browns and then some of the original porch grey paint. You can use whatever colours you want, depending if you want to have a darker brick, or a lighter brick. It's just important that you have some warm colours, some dark colours and some lighter colours to get this look. I then brushed some of it off on a paper towel, then stippled it along one edge of the brick and along the bottom of the brick. Then I took my dry sponge and pulled the paint across and down the brick to blend the paints across the brick.
Don't over think it, just start playing with the colours you have and using your sponge to smooth the shades across the brick. You can NOT mess this up or do it wrong, trust me! I continued to work on my bricks, making some more brown, some lighter shades of greys and some darker ones. I kept standing back to take a look and see what I liked. I had some inspo pics on my phone to refer to as well. I think it's a good idea to look at pictures of real brick that you are attracted to the most.
Once you are all done painting, let it dry for a few hours before you seal it. I used a spray sealer to seal mine. It was so easy to use. It literally took me maybe 1 minute to spray my front steps with the first coat. I then waited 1 hour before I sprayed on my second coat. I did apply a 3rd coat to use up the rest of the can and give it a good seal. It's not shiny either, it has a matt finish which is what I wanted. This product smells too, so maybe wear a mask!
I waited 24 hours before I set everything back up and was so happy with the final results of this project! I've already had friends over telling me it's their favourite project I've done so far, so sweet of them to say that! I do kinda have to agree with them thought, lol. I think it's one of my fave's as well. I guess because it also wasn't really planned, but just sort of all happened. I didn't mention this to begin with you guys, but some of you may not know I originally painted my concrete steps with the Rustoleum's Stone Effects product and within days it alllll started peeling off! It was such a disaster!!
I think maybe either my concrete wasn't fully dry or the product is just crap......sorry Rustoleum. I read some reviews on it and I'm not the only one who had this experience. I also had a gut feeling it wasn't gonna hold up well because there was no primer involved and I love my primers and sealers! After years of being a nail technician I know the building blocks to lasting nails, a base coat, builder coat, and a sealer.....well painting is no different I've discovered! So basically if you are going to paint your porch, patio or any floor for that matter, please use a good primer, floor paint and a great sealer!
Let me know what you guys think of my newly painted steps! Are you guys going to give it a try too somewhere in your home? Do you think I'm off my rocker for doing this!? LOL! I don't have any regrets so far, and I will definitely keep you guys posted on how it holds up in our crazy winter months here in Calgary. If there's ever a place to test outdoor paint durability Calgary is your city....yikes, winter is coming!!!
Thanks for stopping by!