How to Paint Bricks on Concrete

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Take a look at how we painted realistic bricks on concrete without using stencils.

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Painting concrete is the perfect way to brighten a dull or stained surface, and with these techniques you'll also be able to make it look as if it were paved in bricks.

This is the 'before' shot of one edge of our 60-year-old concrete porch.

Here is the same edge made of bricks which are painted to fool the eye.

Here is the edge of the concrete that faces a garden.

Now it's painted with a terra-cotta compass edged in bricks.

This doorstep into the house was stained and depressing.

Now this doorway is a pleasure to see as you walk in and out of the house. We made a previous video about how to transfer patterns onto concrete like this herringbone brick and the garden compass. We used sidewalk chalk to sketch the designs, not stencils. Chalk helps keep the paint from bleeding and spreading, and it washes away later or if you need to erase or adjust a pattern.

We used Behr Concrete Dye to paint simple bricks onto concrete. Then we mixed tinted primer into the dye to create a semi-transparent 'liquid brick' second coat. The grout effect is the concrete showing through, unpainted.

The concrete dye is Behr Cajun Rose. It's inexpensive and available at Home Depot. A half-quart did 150 bricks. It's also available in lots of other colors.

To make the 'liquid brick' we used two 8-ounce colors of Kilz Primer. Kilz Primer also comes in a lot of colors. We used just a tablespoon each to create 150 bricks.

The formula for 'liquid brick' is 1/4" tsp. of orange (PomPom), 1/4" pink (Berry Punch) Kilz Primer to about 1-1/2 ounces of Behr Dye in Cajun Rose. This mix will be semi-transparent. The dye helps the concrete absorb the primer. When dry, you can still see the textures and shadings of the concrete showing through, but the color is opaque enough to help cover stains.

By painting the brick designs slowly you can control the flow of the paint and avoid painting the faux-grout. BUT, if you should make a few goofs, you can blend the 3 colors of chalk paint above to cover any mistakes. We used a small artist's brush to clean up the finished design.

To create a dimensional effect, we used brown chalk paint to darken one edge and two corners of the bricks. You could also use brown primer. Both primer and chalk paint adhere well to concrete.

The finished bricks were a deep rose instead of coral as we hoped, but by mixing Solomon powder into water, we were able to stain some of the bricks to warm up the overall effect. This is optional for those who like sunny, warm reds instead of cool blue reds which is the effect of the concrete coming through the stains.

On the left are bricks warmed with the yellow pigment. On the right, the bricks are unpainted with the blue-ish cast of the concrete coming through. The compass art shows the blotchy effect of rubbing the yellow powder on dry.

Follow our HomeTalk page for more artist's tips on crafting a country home. You can also see more of our projects in our website archives here.

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Stephie McCarthy

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

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Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Betty
    on Jan 19, 2020

    My kitchen floor needs a paint job how do I get it done

    • Stephie McCarthy
      on Jan 19, 2020

      Hi, Betty, let me know what kind of surface you have and I'll do my best to give you some ideas. If you can't do it yourself the best thing to do is find someone who is a good painter and have them watch the #HomeTalk videos and practice on some out of the way places. If it's concrete, or you can it it down to concrete, or even pour new flexible concrete on top, it's pretty easy to paint it as long as you prepare it and seal it too. -- Stephie

Join the conversation

4 of 20 comments
  • Bonny
    on Feb 14, 2020

    Hi,

    Beautiful work. I'm curious how you used the chalk? Do you have photos to give an idea? Thanks for sharing. I love this.

    Bonny

    • Stephie McCarthy
      on Feb 14, 2020

      Hi, Bonny, here's a closeup of how I outlined bricks I wanted to paint with yellow sidewalk chalk. I'm staining the concrete between the chalk lines with my brush, leaving the chalk lines plain concrete. On the left I had done the same for the lines between the green stain. Since this was outdoors, I let the chalk wear off naturally, but you can also wipe it off when your colors have dried. -- Stephie

  • Connie Pemberton
    7 days ago

    I am so excited to start this project! I have a good size patio of concrete, that just looks horrible. Thank-you!

    • Stephie McCarthy
      7 days ago

      You're welcome, Connie. I am so glad I painted mine. Every time I walk on it I'm happy with it! -- Stephie.

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