Creating a Stone Mosaic Front Garden Path

8 Materials
$500
7 Days
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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!

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

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 61 questions
  • Mary Ann
    on Nov 7, 2018

    Does you get hard freezes where you live? I did this about 12 years ago and we had temperature of 13 degrees for 3 days and it all cracked. The stones along with large chunks of mortar have come up. Didn't know if you had a recipe for the mortar that would hold up to ice and cold?

  • Nancy Connors
    5 days ago

    It’s beautiful!!! So do you put the mortar in and push the stones into it? How do you keep it as level as possible?

    • Kendall K.
      5 days ago

      I used the framing as a bit of a guide then laid a piece of plywood on top and dance on it 😊

  • Esther Paiz
    5 days ago

    Does it get slippery when wet?

    • Kendall K.
      5 days ago

      Not at all. Stones aren’t polished and the sealer just makes it look shiny and as anti slip in it

Join the conversation

2 of 746 comments
  • Pamela Lambert
    3 days ago

    I completely love this, it is amazingly beautiful.

    I really am going to try this for a walkway from my door to my patio.

    Thank you

  • Susie
    6 hours ago

    Thanks for your reply I'm going to see if I can do that same kind of idea on my sidewalk to my door. I don't think I will break up the concrete though but I think I will do is lay out cement with boards on the sides to keep it all in place then take stones and put it into the cement as it kind of starts to dry that way there will be different colors of stones and try to make something like your desire to not quite as beautiful or time consuming. I will probably have to put a split in the sidewalk though so there is room for expansion and contraction and there won't be any cracking. That sealer coat idea I want to find out what that was it is use I like it that is shiny and makes the color stand out. I wonder if you have to keep reapplying it every year or every couple of years.

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