How to Transfer Art Patterns Onto Concrete for Decorative Painting

4 Materials
3 Hours

When painting decorative art on our concrete porch this summer, we worked out some easy ways to transfer patterns. If you'd like to try decorative artwork on concrete, take a look a how we started this project.

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In our video we demonstrate how to transfer art patterns onto concrete with a reverse stencil at 1:34; and by folding paper patterns at 3:19; and with a easy-to-make clear stencil at 5:38.

Painting our concrete was no freehand project! We needed to sketch designs onto the concrete before painting to make sure everything went well. After all, this would be permanent.

This is the concrete where the compass design would be BEFORE we started.

Download the compass pattern here. Save to your hard drive and print out the pattern in tile mode, or use to get the exact size pattern you need. We printed our pattern in tile mode in Photoshop, then taped the tiles together and placed them where they would be transferred. The real compass helped us align the design to true North. The video will show how to create this pattern at: 1:34

We traced the outer circle with chalk. Then by cutting away a little of the pattern at a time, we were able to outline the pattern with an pencil. The video will show how we referred to the pattern to add the rest of the pattern with a straight edge, using the outline as a starting point.

Here's another area of the porch which was grubby and stained that needed some help with decorative painting.

With special paints we created a herringbone brick design. This was much easier to do than we expected. To download the same pattern we used, click here.

Once the pattern was made with paper, we were able to fold it back and use it as a straight edge to create the design on concrete using sidewalk chalk. We roughed in the design, then refined it. The video will demonstrate this technique at: 3:19

We finished the compass design by adding some curly foliage in the green marble area. We chalked the first one, then duplicated it by tracing it onto a clear sheet protector with a laundry marker. The video will explain this in more detail at: 5:38.

Finished! We'll be posting more information on how to create the realistic brick coloring in a future HomeTalk. See you then! -- Stephie

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Stephie McCarthy

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • Babette
    on Nov 26, 2019

    What kind of paint did you use?

    • Stephie McCarthy
      on Nov 26, 2019

      Hi, Babette, I used concrete stain by Behr for the red; chalk paint by Waverly for the white; and primer for the greens, oranges, and pinks, by Kilz. Then I sealed everything with CoverSeal Professional Grade. I'll have the painting technique posted in a few days, so be sure to hit the follow button. -- Stephie

  • Sunny
    on Nov 27, 2019

    This is awesome! It's difficult to see, but did you also paint the entire patio in green, to look like large bricks? Sorry if it shows more in the video. It kept stopping when I was watching and then just stopped, so I couldn't see the end. 😞. Thanks!

  • Karen
    on Jan 27, 2020

    What did you use to prepare or to clean the concrete before painting?

    • Stephie McCarthy
      on Jan 27, 2020

      I used muriatic acid because I was outdoors. It is dangerous to breath (did a post on that in case you need more info). But … I just did a floor inside this month and used white vinegar. It worked great and was basically non-toxic. I have info about that in my post on marbleizing a floor indoors. I will definitely be sticking to using white vinegar in the future to prep concrete. -- Stephie.

Join the conversation

2 of 20 comments
  • Phyllis
    on Jan 31, 2020

    Yes! Been thinkingg about this for a couple years.

  • Tarra Sams
    on Feb 11, 2020

    Wow that is a great idea I'm definitely trying this Thank you so much for sharing this with me😊

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