How to Paint Concrete to Look Like Stone

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Concrete walls or floors can make a room or patio look drab. To liven the space up, consider painting the concrete to look like stone. Natural stone brings a sense of warmth wherever it goes, so it's an ideal way to makeover a concrete surface. Buying and installing stone can get expensive, so painting concrete to achieve a similar look is a major win for your bank account.

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Tip

Before you start painting, be sure to check the weather. You'll want to have dry and sunny conditions for a few days so your paint can properly dry.

Things You'll Need

How to Paint Concrete to Look Like Stone

Step 1: Pick Out Your Colors

First things first — it's time to pick out the colors for your faux stone. Take to the internet to review photos of natural stone and use them to figure out a realistic color scheme for your project.

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Stone is typically made up of multiple colors — a solid background color, plus small mottles or flecks in one or two other colors. Choose your paint colors accordingly, with one primary background color and a few accent colors based on the look you're going for.

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Step 2: Prep the Area for Painting

It's essential to prepare the area you're painting before diving in. Clear any furniture or other large materials off the concrete and remove outlet covers, fixtures, and any other items that may get in your way while painting.

Step 3: Clean the Concrete

Before you paint a concrete surface to look like stone, clean it thoroughly. Sweep and vacuum up all dirt and debris and mop the floor with warm, soapy water and a cleaning solution if desired. If the concrete has been painted previously, you can use a chemical paint stripper to remove it. Allow the damp concrete to air dry completely.

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Use painter's tape to tape off areas that you aren't painting, like your molding.

Step 4: Apply Primer

Applying a coat of primer before painting your concrete to look like stone will increase the paint's durability. It also helps the paint adhere to the concrete, meaning you'll get an even finish.

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Use a large brush or paint roller to apply an even wash of primer over the entire concrete surface. Allow it to dry, following manufacturer's instructions, before moving forward. Drying times vary from product to product.

Step 5: Paint the Background Stone Color

Paint the concrete with two coats of the primary background color you chose, allowing the paint to dry between coats. Use either a roller or a brush to apply the paint, depending on the size of the area you're painting.

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Step 6: Draw the Stone Outlines

Draw the outlines of the stones using chalk, concrete stamps, or stencils. Alternatively, you can mark the outlines with painter's tape. This step will help you achieve a clean look.

Step 7: Paint the Concrete to Look Like Stone

With a relatively small brush, apply one of your darker accent paint colors to the edges of each faux stone. Carefully blend it in to create a shadowy texture.

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Use a sponge to dab on one of your other accent shades. Experiment with different colors and placements to find the look that you like the most.

Tip

Test out painting methods on a wooden board to find the technique you like. Play around with sponges, brushes, and other textured items.

Step 8: Let the Paint Dry and Finish

Allow the paint to dry for at least a day (preferably, two). Once the paint is completely dry, finish with a coat of sealer to protect the painted surface.

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