Painted Stepping Stones

If you have a kids playground in your back yard or just want to brighten up those boring concrete stepping stones, we have just the idea. Paint them. This allows you to make them any color you like to match any backyard. Plus, if you do it right, they will last for some time to come and not lose any of their grippy texture.


  1. Concrete stepping stones.
    Preferably you will be starting with new stones. You can get them in a multitude of sizes but the most common is the 1 foot by 1 foot square stone. This is also the cheapest one, commonly available for around $1 a stone. If you must use old stones, you will need to dig them up and then pressure wash them to remove the dirt that would interfere with paint absorption.
  2. Paint
    Go with a decent quality water based paint. Choose whatever color or colors that you like. Make sure that you calculate the square footage of the stones you need to paint so that you get enough. Remember also, you do not need to make every stone one color, you can paint patterns, shapes or designs on them. Whatever you want.
  3. Brushes
    The type of brushes that you need will depend on your intentions. If you are just making solid color stones, just get big brushes or even foam rollers. If you are making designs, get thinner brushes for your detail work.
  4. Tarps
    This is going to get messy so get some plastic tarps to put on the ground to protect it. You could just place your stones in the yard and paint them but then dirt could be a problem.

Base Coat

This could be the only step in your process if you are making solid color stones. The first thing that you need to do is prep your paint. As it comes from the store, your water based paint will be quite thick. If you painted your stones with this paint as it comes from the can, you would end up with a stone that has paint dried on the surface. This would be bad for two reasons. One, it is not durable and will chip. Two, it makes the stones very slick when they are wet.

Instead, you need to dilute your paint with water to thin it out. Add about a third of a cup of water to each cup of paint and mix well. This should thin it out sufficiently but if you find it is still too thick, you can add more. Now, apply the paint to your stepping stones. You will find that concrete stones are very porous and will accept the diluted paint very well. Because you have dilutes it, it will sink deep into the stone. This will make for a long lasting color and will allow the stones to still have some traction when they are wet.

Allow the stones to dry overnight before adding other designs or colors.

Decorating Your Stones.

Now it is time to decorate your stones if you choose. Dilute the paint as in the above step. You might find it better to add a bit less water if you are making very intricate designs.

Now, just go to town on your stones. When you are done, let them dry overnight before putting them outside in your yard or garden.

That is it, a simple little project that anyone can do and one that will add a custom touch to your yard for years to come. This also makes a fantastic kids project. Your child will love seeing their artwork every time they play in the yard.