We are spending a ton of time in our yard this time of year. That means I'm taking more time to "admire" the teal exterior with some sort of upside down check mark awning. However, there are some benefits to Ugly House's exterior if you look away from the house. I mean, I'd have to be completely mad to have bought a house, indebted myself in a mortgage by 25 years or so, and hated everything about it. There's a very pretty tree line in the back of our yard. I noticed there was a bit of a path through the woods to a big tree. I decided that was my daughter and I's "secret garden". Mostly it was me wanting to make a cool hide out. Maybe I shouldn't have told the kids about it, and I could sneak out there to eat Girl Scout cookies without having to share. I guess I'll have to stick with my closet.
We planted some wildflowers around the area, and we're hoping either this year or next, it will be filled with flowers. When I found a pile of pavers behind our shed (there's all sorts of goodies to find on the property, check out my bench and picnic table posts!), I decided I had to use some of them on the secret garden path. I saw an idea on Pinterest last year, and I was excited to try it out. The idea was to use some lace fabric, spray paint and pavers to create a pattern on each paver.
I tried it out, and I'm happy to report that with some specific tips, it worked really well.
Spray Painted Concrete Pavers
Concrete Pavers (I tried several different types of pavers for this project. The best product came from smooth flat pavers. Brick or pebble pavers had too much texture to have a crisp line)
This pebbled stone didn't work out that well. Not nearly as clear as the smooth stone.
1. Clean Pavers
Our pavers were a mod podge of random pavers I found on the Ugly House property. If you don't have new pavers or yours are a bit dirty, make sure the surface is clean. Use a bit of water with some dawn dish soap and a wire brush to clean it up. Hint: You can usually find people want to give away old brick or pavers on Craiglist or Facebook garage sale groups!
2. Lay Lace on Paver
This was the part that took me a bit of practice. I thought I could just lay the lace across all of the pavers and just start spraying. I don't know why I thought that would work since that's not how you would use a stencil. You will want to take a moment to place the lace on the paver so the desired part of the pattern shows up. That means you may want to center it or use specific part of the lace. You will then want to make sure it's flush with the paver. When I did two tone color (which was a product of messing up the first spray and needing to do a second), I found it actually worked better. The first layer was a bit tacky, but not soaking wet. That tackiness kept the lace from moving and kept a cleaner line.
Let's talk paint for a second. I'm not a fan of Krylon spray paint. I keep going back thinking at some point I might like the results. I haven't yet. So personally, I would recommend either Rustoleom or Valspar. On this project, the only paint that didn't create clean lines was the Krylon. Boo!
3. Remove Lace & Let Dry.
I removed the lace immediately after spraying and let the paver dry. It usually only took a half hour or so to get it dry enough to move. I then moved each paver over to the path and let them dry completely.
Our secret garden is turning out well. I'll just have to keep an eye out in 10 years for our daughter to make sure she isn't snogging a boyfriend back there. ;)