How to Use Acrylic Paint on a Stepping Stone

Written by jane humphries
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How to Use Acrylic Paint on a Stepping Stone
Adding colour to drab stepping stones can transform a pathway and add interest. (stepping stones image by cherie from

Changing the look of a stepping stone with acrylic paint is a simple procedure to accomplish. Redesigning the look of a stepping stone is a personal choice with many colours available to allow you to create block coverage or stencil patterns. Acrylic paint consists of a colour pigment bound in a polymer resin that is resistant to rain and cracking, so it is a popular choice for stepping stone and paver decoration. Exterior acrylic paint is more expensive than concrete paint, so choosing the way you use acrylics may be important to create a professional look without breaking the budget.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Hand brush
  • Bucket
  • Water
  • Detergent
  • Scrubbing brush
  • Hard-bristled push broom
  • Plastic decorating sheet
  • Exterior acrylic paints
  • Stir-stick
  • Paint tray
  • Masonry paint roller
  • 1-inch paintbrush
  • 1/2-inch paintbrush
  • Paper towel
  • Stencil
  • Tape
  • Spray polyurethane sealant

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  1. 1

    Use a hand brush and sweep off any dust, dirt and moss from the stepping stone. Fill a bucket with warm water mixed with detergent. Using a hard-bristled scrubbing brush and the detergent water, scrub the stepping stone surface to clean any ground-in dirt and grease marks away.

  2. 2

    Use a hard-bristled push broom to clean the surface of a number of stepping stones to make the process quicker, if you intend to paint more than one. Allow the stepping stone to dry out completely before painting the surface. Expect it to take at least a full day in sunny weather.

  3. 3

    Choose what type of design you want by deciding whether to paint a single colour as with block coverage or having a base colour that you paint over with a stencil design. Place a plastic decorating sheet on the ground and position the stepping stone on top.

  4. 4

    Remove the lid of the exterior acrylic paint and use a stir-stick to mix the solution to a uniform colour. Pour two cups worth into the loading dish of a paint tray and load the paint onto a masonry paint roller. Roll out any excess on the paint roller tray and roll on the acrylic paint over the surface of the stepping stone.

  5. 5

    Paint the side edges with a 1-inch paintbrush and allow two hours for the surface to dry. Roll on another layer of acrylic paint if you just want a single block colour on the stepping stone and paint the side edges with a paintbrush. Allow it to cure for six hours before moving the stepping stone to its site in the yard or garden.

  6. 6

    Use a stir-stick to mix a differently coloured paint after the first base coat if you want to use a stencil. Use a 1/2-inch paintbrush and load the acrylic paint onto the bottom of the bristles. Use a stippling motion and remove any excess paint globules with a paper towel.

  7. 7

    Position a stencil on the top surface of the stepping stone and tape it in place along the stencil edges. Stipple on the acrylic paint over the stencil and allow 30 minutes to dry. Apply different colours to the stencil according to the type of stencil design and allow 30 minutes to dry between different colour applications.

  8. 8

    Allow two hours for the stencil to dry after the final stippling application. Remove the tape and the stencil from the stepping stone surface. Spray polyurethane sealant over the entire surface from a distance of 8 inches and allow it to dry for 30 minutes or according to the manufacturer's instructions. Spray another coat of polyurethane sealant to finish the stepping stone and allow it to cure overnight before moving the stone into its position.

Tips and warnings

  • Use three coats of concrete paint as an alternative to acrylic for a base colour to bring down the paint costs and use acrylic paint for stencilling.

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