For the past few months now my mom has been bugging me about a “project” she wanted me to do while I’m back. She showed me a photo from Better Homes and Gardens of a woman who painted her concrete patio to look like a rug:
“We have a bunch of leftover paint from painting the rooms of the house — maybe you could do something like this on our patio!” she said enthusiastically. Don’t get me wrong, I am a sucker for an artsy project, but after looking at the magazine photo and the random mix of paint cans in the basement, I was hesitant. What design should I — could I? — do? There was no way I could make a fancy rug pattern. The only colors I had were salmon, turquoise, light green, dark green, light blue, beige, Wendy’s Frostie brown (in my Dad’s words) and yellow.
“Just do a swirl or something,” my mom suggested. So I got out my sketchbook and created failed sketch after failed sketch until I finally turned to the computer and made some designs in Paint. This is the rough design I decided to go with:
And then halfway through painting I realized the dark green wouldn’t look good, so I switched it to yellow. After two afternoons of work, this was the result:
I think I’m actually happy with it. I went into it not knowing what to expect, but the colors actually work together. Some of them look completely different on the concrete than on the walls (for example, Frostie brown looks lilac). We applied a sealant on it so hopefully it will last longer than one summer. I can’t say painting on concrete is easy — it’s hard to make a clean line and my hands and knees ache from sitting and leaning on the ground. Plus, some ants couldn’t get enough of the paint for some reason, and I was forced to paint over a couple. I liken it to the workers who are allegedly buried in the Great Wall because they died while building it… except, of course, it’s nothing like that, because the ants didn’t help me paint at all.