How to Faux Paint Slate on Concrete

Updated February 21, 2017

Slate tiles are a wonderful, natural surface to use for floors in your home. Unfortunately, real stone can be very expensive. Faux finishing your concrete floor yourself is an economical way to achieve the same look at a fraction of the cost. This relatively simple technique involves using rags to create the naturally mottled appearance of stone. You can experiment with different colours or arrangements of stones. For a faster project, select a pattern of larger "tiles" of slate.

Remove all furniture from your work area. Tape off the wall with 2 inch wide low-tack painters tape. Scrape any chipping paint and sand the surface if the concrete floor has been painted previously. Wash any stains with a degreaser.

Select a latex-based concrete floor paint with primer included for your base paint. Decide if you would like a traditional cool blue-grey slate or would prefer a warmer brown-grey slate. Use a cool grey paint for blue-grey slate and a warm grey paint for brown-grey slate. Calculate your paint needs based on applying two coats of paint at a coverage rate of 400 square feet per gallon.

Cut in around the edges with a 3 inch paint brush. Roll out the floor with a paint roller. Allow paint to dry completely before applying a second coat. Allow base coat to dry for at least 24 hours.

Decide on an arrangement for your faux slate. Keep in mind that larger tiles will take less time to tape off. Use a measuring tape and chalk line if you want the look of a grid of standard tiles. Draw a plan on the floor with a piece of chalk if you want an irregular arrangement of rectangles of different sizes. Tape along your chalk lines with ΒΌ inch painters tape to create grout lines.

Mix three parts latex-based glazing liquid with one part base paint in a bucket. Make enough glaze to cover your floor, calculating that you will need approximately one gallon for every 400 square feet. Add black paint tint to your glazing liquid. Add small amounts of tint at a time and stir thoroughly; tints are very concentrated and a few tablespoons will generally be enough for a gallon of glaze.

Apply glaze to floor with a roller, painting small sections at a time. Use a handful of soft, clean cotton rags to gently disperse paint, creating a mottled effect where glaze has been removed. Change rags as they become saturated with glaze. Alternate applying glaze and ragging floor in small sections before beginning a new area to prevent glaze from drying too quickly. Allow glaze to dry completely before removing tape.

Clean your brush with soap and water.


Apply a varnish to your floor to protect your faux finish, selecting a finish based on the amount of sheen desired.

Things You'll Need

  • Painters low-tack tape, 1 roll each, 2 in. and 1/4 in.
  • Scraper
  • Sander on pole
  • Degreaser
  • Latex concrete floor paint with primer added
  • 3 in. paint brush
  • Roller and handle
  • Paint pan
  • Measuring tape
  • Chalk or chalk line
  • Latex glazing liquid
  • Bucket
  • Stir stick
  • Black tint
  • Clean cotton rags
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About the Author

Fiona Fearey has an undergraduate degree from Temple University and a master's degree from New York University. She has been a freelance writer and editor for over five years. She has written for Pluck on Demand and various other websites. Other professional experience includes education, the arts and decorative painting.