Reader reno: A shocking $350 patio makeover utilizing stencils


What did your patio look like before the renovation?

Prior to the makeover the patio was just a big stained slab of concrete – no character, no vibe.  

What inspired your renovation?

I saw a few posts on Pinterest of people with stencilled outdoor areas and balconies. Though they all much smaller spaces, I thought I could do it too.

The patio is basically our last renovation project for our home and I thought it would be lovely to tie in the outdoor space with the interior, so I searched for a stencil that was the exact same pattern as our bathroom tiles!

bathroom floor

Have you done any renovations before?

We’re first-time home buyers and knew from the get-go that we wouldn’t be able to afford a renovated or new house, so we did the old ‘worst house on the best street’ scenario. We’ve been fumbling our way through a complete reno since mid-last year. 

What kind of look were you after?

I love upcycling old traditional-style furniture so the theme of our house is cottage/traditional/vintage/Hamptons. Using the same design as the bathroom tiles really helped tie in the theme of the spaces. 

Biggest challenges?

The sheer size of the patio is 75 square meters! Other than the size, making sure the stencil continued to line up and was straight was pretty difficult. I employed four big strong rocks to assist holding the stencil (45cm x 45cm) in place and I used some builder’s line to keep me in line. 

patio before

The renovation process

  • Used the gurney on the patio.
  • Did an acid wash on the concrete and driveway.
  • Finished cleaning with a concrete etcher.
  • Painted the base colour (Timeless grey by Dulux) with a concrete-specific roller.
  • Used stencil with a dense foam roller (Timeless grey half-strength) and repeated pattern until complete.

How long did it take?

It took a solid week working around 6 hours a day on it, though I’m a perfectionist. 

How much did you roughly spend on the renovation?

It cost about $350-$400 in total which includes paint, stencil and painting and cleaning accessories.

patio after

Budget breakdown

White Knight ultra-pave paint – tinted to Timeless Grey and another tin tinted in half-strength Timeless Grey from Bunnings

Stencil –  purchased from eBay (searched “large reusable floor/ wall stencil – Celtic design”)

White Knight ultra pave concrete etcher from Bunnings

Driveway cleaner Chemtech 1l concrete – used with gurney from Bunnings

Concrete-specific roller 

16cm dense foam roller used over a microfibre roller from Bunnings

Favourite part?

My favourite part was right after I had completed the first row and I knew for sure the mammoth task was going to look better than I was expecting.

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