I am so excited to share this post today.  The project was completed over a year and a half ago and still looks great.  Sharing projects that last are the best.  I mean, who has time to do an involved painting project only to have it fail and need to replace it with something else?

From the start, I want you to know that I personally completed the project alone and in one week, painting while my son was in school and letting it dry overnight.  That is not to brag or boast.  It is to encourage you to try it for yourself even if you do not have help.  In fact, it can be rather therapeutic and satisfying to accomplish a home improvement project on your own.

paint concrete pool deck faux rag rugs

Why I Painted Faux Rag Rugs On My Pool Deck

You see, I wanted rugs to bring in color, but they were so expensive.  The sizes that I needed for the area were large and irregular.  Shopping for real rugs proved frustrating because the sizes were almost nonexistent or the price was too high.  If you know anything about exterior rugs, you know that they do not last incredibly long in the sun.  I just could not imagine paying such high prices knowing the rugs would not last.  Plus the rugs I was able to find in the sizes and exterior grade were not in colors we wanted.   So, I really had no other choice than paint them on the concrete myself! 🙂  I have to say my husband was a little skeptical, but he loves me and lets me do just about anything that makes me smile.  I smile every time I walk out on the pool deck or even just look out the sliders.

Oh, a bonus of painting the rugs is that they do not roll up or shift underfoot!

paint concrete pool deck faux rag rugs

Why I Considered Painting My Deck

When we moved into our house, I loved the clean look of the beige pool deck, but turns out it was boring.  My husband kept wanting me to buy new plants, cushions, furniture, something, anything with color.  So to give you an idea of what I was working with, here’s a “Before” picture.  As you can see, even with a pool full of kids and party streamers, it is still boring!

I did some checking on other surface materials like stones, pebbles, tiles.  All would have to be professionally installed because I do not have those skills.  The price for those was more than I wanted to invest, as well.  I’m not cheap, but I do not waste money on things that I can do myself.  You’ll find that about me as we spend time together.

Products Used For Preparation

  • Pressure Washer – I love the compact style and ease of use.  It is powerful enough for the projects I use it for like the pool deck, front porch and driveway.  I can do it myself.  Teddy has a garage full of his tools, this one is mine! 🙂
  • Round Attachment – makes pressure washing as easy as vacuuming the floor.
  • Simple Green All-Purpose Concentrate – Just pour it in full strength the washer mixes solution.  Won’t hurt plants, pets or people.

Products Used For Painting Concrete Pool Deck

  • painted pool deck faux rag rugsBehr DeckOver Paint – I bought mine at Home Depot.  I looked for a link, but they didn’t show the colors I used.  You can go by the store and pickup a brochure with the paint colors and more information on the paint.  They mix it in-store like any other paint.  It is water-based for easy clean-up, which is a big plus in my book!  I used four different colors to achieve the stone colored finish with the variation I wanted.  It comes in Smooth Finish and Textured.  I used Smooth Finish since the Textured was rather sandy or scratchy feeling to me.  I like the choice I made.  It is nice to walk on barefoot.  I’ve seen the Textured on friends’ decks and it is really rough to the touch.  I was concerned about traction on the wet pool deck, but the Smooth Finish has been fine with no slippage problems. 

Note on the consistency of the paint:  It is thick, do not thin it.  Think brownie batter thick!

The colors and quantity I used:

2 gallons Dark Walnut PFC-25; 1 gallon Sage SC-151; 1 gallon Atlantic SC-101; 1 gallon Slate SC-102.

I had enough paint to do this project and the Man Cave for my husband.  I’ll do a post on it soon.

  • Paint Pan Liners – You’ll need several of these and this pack has 10.  They are made to protect metal or heavy duty plastic pans and fit inside, but work fine on their own for our purpose.  We will be using several colors at once so we need several pan liners.
  • Roller Kit – You’ll need a 9″ roller frame with threaded end for adding extension handle and a paint brush to cut-in around trim.
  • Extension Handle – Who wants to bend over to paint, right? This makes it more like mopping than painting.  Wait, mopping?  Just get the stick, you’ll thank me later. 🙂
  • Sea Sponge Roller Cover – I confess that I originally bought the hand-held sea sponge because I did not know that a sea sponge roller cover existed.  It didn’t take me very long to decide crawling around on concrete in the hot sun was not the way to go on this project!  🙂  So I searched high and low trying to find the results of the hand-held one with the ease of a roller.  Hey, they actually make ’em.  I bought mine at Home Depot in the paint section.  It is not listed on their website, but was hanging on a shelf.  It was actually cheaper at Home Depot than any place I could find them online.  It looks strange because it is not smooth and looks like it is missing pieces!  Trust me, you want to get one of these babies.  They make the job a lot easier.
  • Concrete Sealer – I searched for a while to find the best sealer for the job.  We wanted a “wet look” without the problem of slippery when wet, since we are talking about a pool deck.  Of course, it had to be easy to apply and readily available.  I read lots and lots of reviews and warnings! Deciding on the Satin Clear Seal by Seal-Krete was a really good choice.  It is super easy to apply with a paint roller and dries quickly.  Although you should not walk on it until the next day according to instructions, about four hours after I applied I was able to show off the work to my husband and of course, he walked on it.  No problem though, it was fine. 🙂  You will probably want to apply two coats.  One coat seals it, but two gives it a more “wet look”, which deepens the color of the paint. I was not able to find the sealer in local stores so I had to order it online.  Well worth the extra effort.  I read horror stories on some of the other sealers available.  Most stories recounted the difficulty to apply, peeling, yellowing and fading.  Those are more reasons I stayed away from the other sealers and do not recommend any other than the Satin Clear Seal by Seal-Krete.  Be aware they do offer a High Gloss version, but I would not recommend High Gloss on wet surfaces.

Application note:  The sealer is very thin, watery and milky white, which helps see where you are applying.  You want to make sure the surface is completely dry before applying the sealer.  There are some reviews that talk about the milky white appearance remaining after dry.  I did not experience that problem.  I will say that there is a low place where water kind of settles at the roof line and it takes longer to dry normally after a rain.  In that spot, there was a little white water ring that remained a little while on the day I applied the sealer.  However, it disappeared as the full drying time proceeded.

Note:  I resealed it at the one year mark as the instructions say to do.  I noticed the “wet look” was kind of fading.  I just pressure washed it and let it dry. Next day I swept it, which is so much easier with the paint and seal.  Then I applied two thin coats and let it all dry.  Beautiful.

I‘ve gotta tell you that Teddy really does appreciate the painted pool deck as much as I do.  He used to need to spend time each weekend cleaning the old beige painted deck.  It stayed dirty looking no matter what he did.  With the darker finish and the sealer, he never washes it.  I just sweep it every so often and do that yearly re-coat of sealer.  It is good to go!

Products Used For Painting Faux Rag Rugs on Concrete

  • Multiple Colors Acrylic Paint – I bought some of these at the craft store and some at Walmart.  I think any acrylic paint will work.  You’ll seal the whole project with concrete sealer after all the painting is completed to your satisfaction.  Over 18 months later, the colors have not faded and all the paint looks just like it did day one.  I used Liquitex brand in the tubes shown and FolkArt by PLAID.   They worked equally well.  Just choose the colors you want and get to painting!
  • Artist Paint Brushes – You’ll want to have a variety of small brushes for details in the rugs.  Strips in real rag rugs are uneven so choose nice sized brushes and use different sizes to get a more authentic look to your rug.  I also used a large flat artist brush to paint the outline of the entire deck once all other painting was completed.  In the picture below, you can see the edge is not yet painted and the original coat of paint is clearly visible. I mixed the Slate and Atlantic DeckOver paint to get a color to match the pool cage frame. Scroll back one more picture and you can see where I painted the edge to match the pool cage.  It really helps finish off the project.
  • Chalk – Sidewalk or regular chalkboard chalk is fine.  I used both.  Just use what you have or pickup a couple of sticks.  You’ll be using it to outline your rugs so choose a color that stands out against your base paint color.
  • Painters Tape – I do a lot of painting so I have different tape brands in my tool box.  My favorite is Frog Tape because it produces really clean lines when removed, but if you can’t find it use another brand, such as ScotchBlue.  You can see I used the blue tape in my project.  The concrete is textured so it is not smooth enough for a really clean line.  The blue tape was fine for my project.  I did have to touch up a few spots, but these are supposed to be rag rugs and they are meant to be a little messy.  Having too perfect lines would make them look less real.  Although, a clean line is good if you choose to add the tassels as I did on the long rugs.  I decided to leave the round rug tassel-free.

A note on painting the tassels:  First decide how long you want your tassels in proportion to the rug.  Then measure from each end and place a mark.  Run your tape from mark to mark as straight as possible.  Press the tape down well.  I like to use two colors for my tassels for depth.  I chose red and white.  You’ll need a thin artist brush and a loose hand.  Just start from the rug and paint loose lines to and just over the tape.  Don’t be too careful.  Have fun with it.  Loosey Goosey is the best way.  Let the first color dry and then do the second color criss-crossing every so often to give it a more natural look.  Give it just a little dry time, but not too long.  Maybe 30 minutes or so and then pull the tape straight up.  The paint should be dry to the touch, but can still smear so be mindful of that.   See the picture below for the first color.  Then scroll back up two pictures for the two color together.  Looks nice, huh?

paint concrete pool deck faux rag rugs

So, I pretty much told you everything for the how-to while I was giving you the products.  That was kind of sneaky, huh?

Let’s see what I forgot to tell you…

Pressure Wash and let dry….

Oh, I know you probably want to know how to get the stone effect.  Hmm, how about some more pictures?

First paint a base coat, not too dark or too light.  I had the colors mentioned above for the DeckOver paint.  I chose a light, a medium and dark.  Actually, two dark colors because I wanted a gray-blue or slate with blue tinge, but separate at the same time.  Go try to explain that to the paint mixer at Home Depot!  See what kind of look you get.  Us creative types, go figure.

Anyway, choose the medium color for your base.  Here’s what mine looked like once I got the base down.  I’ll warn you, it’s kind of scary!  What’s scarier is Teddy liked it!  Oh, no.  Scroll down.

paint concrete pool deck faux rag rugs

I just rolled it on full strength with a plain thick roller.  Remember I did not have the Sea Sponge Roller Cover at this point.  So you can see this is solid.  It’s the Dark Walnut, but looks kind of Terracotta Red to me.  The swatch matched the brown trim shown around the pool edge.  You can see that the actual paint did not match the tile.

So, once I persuaded Teddy to trust me, I tried the sea sponge hand-held thingy.  Nope, not going to crawl around like that.  Off to Home Depot to find a solution.  Found it!  Back home I started the try-and-see method with the Atlantic (blue) paint.  I used too much paint on the roller and it turned out to be too much blue, but still had a good bit of the red showing through.  I liked the layering and depth.  Thankfully, Teddy agreed I could keep going.

Knowing I had two more colors and attempts to adjust my method, I jumped on it the next day.  Now, if you weren’t scared before, hold on to your britches.  This next step scared even me!paint concrete pool deck faux rag rugs

I just started going willy-nilly with the sea sponge roller cover and several paint pan liners in tow.  No rhyme or reason, just randomly applying the medium and light paint colors over the darker blue color.  If you look closely you can see some of the red peeking through from underneath the blue.  Then the kind of darker brown color is a mix of the Dark Walnut (red) with the lighter Sage (tan-green) kind of mixed together.  Don’t you just love the exact science I use here!

I know you are probably glad I started out with the “After” pictures in this post, because you probably would have run if you saw the “Before” ones first.  Am I right?  I really hated to wait over night to cover this stage up and really, really did not want Teddy to see it.  Oh, but he did!  He just smiled and said he knew it would be okay.  I’m not sure that is exactly what he thought, but he is such a good man.

I had kind of a restless night thinking about how in the world I was going to make this work, but you’ve seen the after pictures and know it did work.

This last step was the most rewarding, I have to say.  Okay, so I pulled out all the paint including the Slate.  I took a paint pan liner and portioned out a pile of each color (do not stir or mix) and using the Sea Sponge Roller Cover, I lightly dipped into all the colors at once!  Yikes.  I know, I know.  Once the roller was loaded with the varied paint colors, I lightly applied the paint to the concrete.  Notice I said, “lightly” twice.  I mean don’t roll too much or you will get a color that you did not want.  Keeping it light will help all the colors keep their integrity while mixing a bit to combine into one piece.

Confused?  Don’t be.  You are just going to need to work with the paint to achieve the texture and color you desire.  The important thing is to  not to get the paint too thick and don’t press too hard when applying it.  I mean the paint is already thick, right?  So just be creative and relax.  Remember the crazy stuff I already showed you.  Those colors need to shine through without looking patchwork, blotchy.  Just smooth the hard edges and go with it.

Painting Faux Rag Rugs - a few specifics

First decide on the size you need.  Mark out with chalk and stand on them.  Place furniture, plants, etc.  Step back and look at ’em.  Once you get the feel is right, go ahead and layout with your painter’s tape.  Hint: Square or rectangle rugs should measure the same diagonally from left corner to right and vice versa.  Also, take into consideration how many colors (stripes) and their width to make sure you can alternate equal amounts of color or just risk it and run out of colors when you run out of room.  Either way is fine, it’s your rug!

I will share how to layout the round rug after we finish with the rectangle ones.  Okay? Okay.

Once you have your outside edges taped, you’ll want to paint the rug base color in acrylic paint.  I chose to paint my base color white to contrast with the dark deck color and help the stripes I would paint stand out.  Also, you may be able to see that I did not fully cover with a solid coat because I wanted the feel of fabric with dips and nap.  Depending on your surface smoothness, you may want to fully coat with the base color.  While we are talking about concrete painting, this paint and method works equally well on wood.


Painting The Stripes

Since I painted rag rugs, I did stripes or strips of color.  You could choose to do a different pattern and I’m sure it would be beautiful.  I mean be creative!  However, since I did rag rugs, I decided the order of the stripes I would paint and alternated the colors so I could paint all the stripes in one color at a time.  This allowed for drying time between colors.  You’ll see what I mean in a minute.

I decided I would use a 1″ artist brush for my stripes.  Looking at my rug paint, I had eight colors, including the white base coat I used as a stripe.  I marked off 8″ increments on the rug to allow for the stripes.  Then I drew a chalk line at each increment line.  This gave me a guide for each section and showed where I would start my repeating section.  I started each section with a red stripe and ended with a beachy teal.

I did two rectangle rugs at once.  So, I would paint all the red stripes on the first rug and move to the second rug.  While working on the second one, the first one was drying.  By the time I finished the red stripes on the second one, the first one was ready for the yellow stripes.  So it went until I finished painting the stripes.

These are very large rugs.  It took me about two days to paint all the stripes.  I also worked on the round rug as I did the rectangle ones, but we haven’t talked about that yet.  Let’s just say, “When I finished the last stripe, I was finished with all the rugs.”  Very satisfying!

Once you are finished with each rug’s stripes, go ahead and remove the painter’s tape.  Check for any areas that need touch-up.  Take care of fixes and let it all dry.

In case you missed it, I addressed tassels previously in this post.  Just scroll up. 🙂

Painting the Round Rag Rug

The instructions for the basic round rug are the same as the rectangle rugs except the application or brush stroke is a bit different.  In the rectangle rugs, we just free-hand the stripes in long strokes.  Easy-Breezy.  Just as easy is the dab-dab-dab method of the round rug.  Basically, you’ll choose a size for the circle.  I used a candle with a pin and ribbon with chalk tied to the end to make my circle.

Start in the center with your chosen color dabbing in a spiral using a slightly rounded artist paint brush.  You want to form rounded tufts of paint to resemble fabric sewn or tied together.  Notice the red starts at the center and moves around growing as the spiral is made, like a real rag rug, as the next color is added where the first color stops.

I used the same order of colors that I used in the rectangular rugs, except I wanted to end with red.  So, I reversed the red and yellow.  I like how the white peeks though the spirals.  When you get to the end, tuck the last row into the rug as in a  real one.

Now that it is all dry, time to seal and enjoy.

I hope you will let me see your creations.