How to paint concrete to look like cobblestone

Updated February 21, 2017

Cobblestones are a popular floor surface for patios. Rather than tear out your concrete patio and replace it with real cobblestones, you can create the illusion with a faux paint job. Cement paint is specially designed to adhere to concrete and will last for years. This project can take a week or more to complete due to the drying time of the paint, so plan to do it during a time that you do not need to use the area.

Wash the entire concrete surface with a power washer to remove dirt and debris.

Use a degreasing product and scrub brush to remove any tough grease or oil stains (such as those left by a dripping car).

Paint the entire concrete surface with cement paint in the colour you want for your grout. Use a paint roller, brush or sprayer to apply the paint. You can use ivories, tans or greys depending on how much contrast you want between the grout and the cobblestones.

Allow the paint to dry for 24 hours before applying the next colour. This rule holds true for each layer of paint.

Sketch the cobblestones on the concrete with a pencil. Remember to leave a bit of exposed grout in between each stone.

Mottle a darker shade of the grout colour to the area between the stones for added depth and texture. You can dab the paint on with a sea sponge or tap it in place with the bristles of a paintbrush (wipe most of the paint off on a newspaper to avoid depositing large blobs).

Apply low-tack painters tape to the grout lines, leaving the cobblestones exposed. It is easiest to cut or tear small pieces of tape and build them up rather than trying to curve and bend long strips. This tape will both protect the grout from the next layers of paint and keep the edges of the cobblestones crisp.

Apply the main stone colour to the concrete using a paint roller, brush or sprayer.

Apply a darker shade of the stone colour around the edges of each cobblestone to create depth. Try not to shadow each cobblestone the same way, add more to some stones and less to others to create variety. This will help the cobblestones to look more natural.

Apply a lighter shade of the stone colour to each cobblestone as a highlight. The highlighted area of each stone will appear to be its highest point. Like the shadows, vary the intensity of the highlight from stone to stone for variety.

Hand paint details such as cracks and crevices on some of the cobblestones with a small paint brush.

Carefully remove the painters tape.

Apply two coats of concrete sealer to protect the paint, allowing the first layer to dry for 24 hours before applying the second.

Let the patio sit undisturbed for three to five days before allowing furniture or major foot traffic.


Have UV protection added to the paint if the concrete will be exposed to a lot of sunlight.


Do not paint concrete when it is hot from the sun. The heat causes problems in the adhesion of the paint.

Things You'll Need

  • Power washer
  • Degreasing product and scrub brush (optional)
  • Cement paint in various colours
  • Paint rollers, brushes or sprayer
  • Pencil
  • Sea sponges
  • Painter's tape
  • Concrete sealer
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About the Author

Alex Smith began writing in 2006 and brings a combination of education and humor to various websites. He holds a Master of Arts in theater and works as a professional makeup and special-effects artist.