Creating a Stone Mosaic Front Garden Path

8 Materials
$500
7 Days
Advanced

The Mission: Replacing an ugly concrete pathway with a unique and intricate stone mosaic pathway. (Yes I have the Mission Impossible theme in my head)


A lot of hard work but well worth the effort!


⚠️Please research if this will work in your area before attempting this project. I’m in the Pacific Northwest and have mild winters.

It served its purpose but time to go!
It served its purpose but time to go!

Our front path was originally ugly grey concrete that I water stained brown 3 years ago to make it bearable and so it would go with our new siding. Finally it’s time to put in the pathway I’ve dreamt about!

Goodbye old ugly pathway!!
Goodbye old ugly pathway!!

First...I had help removing the old pathway. It was jackhammered, dug down, framed and tamped in 4 inches of gravel for a solid frost friendly base. What a nice clean palette to play with!

So exciting!
So exciting!

Over the past several months, I’d gone to Home Depot and a few different landscape suppliers to gradually build up my stone collection for this project.


I ended up with quite the stockpile of stones in a variety in sizes, shapes and colors. I also started buying 80lb bags of Type S mortar 2 at a time.

A rainbow of stones!
A rainbow of stones!

I used larger flatter stones as stepping stones and lots of smaller stones for the detail work.


First, I had to separate all the smaller stones into color groups. Then I laid out the larger stones for placement and get a sense of how much detail work I was looking at, which was a lot!

This is only some of the stones
This is only some of the stones

laying it out first really helped with the planning!

It’s starting to come together!
It’s starting to come together!

Mixing the mortar was my least favorite part. I was so nervous that I’d mix it too thin! I just had to be patient and add the water gradually and it all worked out.

Not my picture but wanted to show the texture
Not my picture but wanted to show the texture

Each little stone needed to be set by hand so I worked with one bag at a time. I had to work fairly quickly to get them in before the mortar set too much. I lengthened the dry time by working early in the morning before the sun worked it’s way around.


It looked like an unholy mess while I was setting them but I kept reminding myself it would be fine :)

It was scary not know how it really looked!
It was scary not know how it really looked!

As each section dried, I would gently scrub away the excess mortar with a wire brush and rag. I had to be quite gentle because I did not want to dislodge any stones.


Doing it this way made it possible for me to see what I’d done in the previous section and helped deciding stone placement for the next section.

The vision is coming to life!
The vision is coming to life!

In total for a 12’ x 4’ path, I used a 400-500lbs of stones and eight 80lb bags of mortar (phew!). The final steps are letting it cure for a week and spraying it down multiple times a day so it doesn’t dry too quickly and crack.


This part I still need to do..scrub it with muriatic acid to remove any mortar residue rinse really really well. The final step is to use a stone enhancer and sealer. This will make it absolutely pop and look exactly as it does when it wet!

What it looks like now before the acid
What it looks like now before the acid

Wait for it.....BLAM!!

What it looks like wet & look like sealed.
What it looks like wet & look like sealed.

I am so happy with the results!


I keep getting asked how long it took and it’s so hard to pin down with the hours of hand sorting the stones, placing them, letting each section dry and cleaning it before starting the next one, and the controlled curing. I would have to guesstimate not counting the sorting and curing, about 4 hours per bag of mortar.

Love it!! 💕
Love it!! 💕

For the left side of the path, I’m planning to get some large stones and put some purple phlox or creeping rock cress flowers. I’ll add the picture when that part is all done!

After the acid clean and wood frame removal.
After the acid clean and wood frame removal.

 UPDATE: Today the wood framing was removed and the muriatic acid wash was done! Now it really pops!

creating a stone mosaic front garden path

I will be applying the stone enhance/sealer next week!


 NOTE: The suggested materials after this post are not the products I actually used. They were added by Hometalk, not me. I used:

  • Sakrete Type S Mortar (grey)
  • Miracle Sealants Stone Enhancer and Sealer.
creating a stone mosaic front garden path

UPDATE!! It’s finally finished! I can’t even begin to say how happy I am with it!


The perennials I planted by the house are Hoffman Blue Campanula


 Please consider where you live before attempting this project. I’m in the Pacific Northwest so my winters are mild compared to some other areas. You must do a little research and use common sense before doing a project like this to ensure in will hold up in your climate.

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To see more: https://www.hometalk.com/24922042/new-exterior-on-an-old-house

Have a question about this project?

3 of 75 questions
  • Sara Noonan
    on Jan 8, 2019

    Love your idea for the walkway! What an entrance! We live in an HOA neighborhood, a new home that is over a year old. I think I can get away with the rocks I collect and making those path stepping stones like this!! Great idea and so I must hike and collect rocks!! Quick question thou, do you have to deal it every year where you live? Winters here are different every year.. Thanks!!

    • Lee Ann
      on Feb 4, 2019

      I think this is absolutely beautiful. I live in Iowa. I doubt you could keep your walk clean of snow and having no ice on that. I was thinking that just before I saw your question. You could put those heater strips in the masonry like some people do with driveways to melt the snow off. But maybe that would be going too far.

  • Peggy
    on Jan 8, 2019

    You did an amazing job! It's beautiful! But half way through did you ever start to think that you might be a little bit crazy?

  • Rknrbyn
    on Jan 21, 2019

    is it slippery when its wet?

Join the conversation

2 of 906 comments
  • Tami
    6 days ago

    I did a project like this except I used big stepping stones —I used powder Mortor mix 1-2 inches, then put the stone designs in the powder then misted the stones in place-section by section—I was able to avoid muric acid clean up—I live in Seattle and it has held up well—powder worked well because then the water flow off went into the design. FYI—don’t use the poly sand with mosaic-it won’t hold a year

  • Rochelle
    31 minutes ago

    Wow I absolutely love this, great work. I'm planning to make a walk way with broken dishes, blue & white prints. Thank you for sharing 😊

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