I painted my ENTIRE pool deck in a checkerboard pattern! It took me awhile to figure out a method (and a week and a half to get it done), but hey, now I can share the easiest way to paint a checkered floor without tape! This looks like a completely different lanai.
I first had this idea a couple years ago. There comes a point when I stare at a place in my house enough and it becomes a “before picture” in my mind. And then it’s just a matter of time before I have to do it. I WILL do it, it just might take awhile. I’ve been putting this project off for quite awhile, but my husband pressure washed the deck last weekend so decided to seize the day (or days rather) and make it happen!
I actually thought about stenciling the pool deck with the same stencil I used on the front porch, but I decided to go with something more classic for this larger space. Actually, I knew I’ll love it because I painted the same pattern in my bathroom and it still makes me smile.
First, a little before and after:
Quite a dramatic difference, isn’t it? Here are alllll the details:
I found this bucket of paint in the garage and it was 3/4 full! I stirred it up and started to patch some rust spots from some chairs we had. Nothing like a fresh coat of paint to make the dirt stand out on the rest of it!
So yes, I painted the whole pool deck. My father-in-law made this little roller extender for me so I didn’t have to bend down because the one I bought was broken. I use a tray liner so I don’t have to clean the tray. Especially with this waterproof stuff.
It took me about three and half hours, so not too bad!
I do have an entire YouTube showing you how I did the entire process if that helps!
Drawing the checkerboard pattern
It took me awhile figure out my method. Actually, I didn’t figure it out until almost halfway through! I tried tracing the tile around the border of the lanai, but the uneven stucco wall gave me incorrect measurements. I tried a chalk line but it made a mess and bled into the corners of wet paint, creating a bluish gray color. I tried using a level and cardboard the size of the tile for easy measuring, but my trajectory was still off by the time I moved farther down the patio.
Turns out the easiest and most efficient method was to use a tile as a template and a long straight edge to extend the lines.
You can buy a single tile at Home Depot or Lowes. This one is 16×16 inches. And this plastic straight edge was tucked back in a closet from an old set of blinds. You know, technical stuff here. Stick to something man-made or plastic to be sure the edge is perfectly straight. (It tried wood and it was just slightly curved.)
- Long straight edge
- Kneepads are optional. I used my son’s skateboard kneepads!
- Place the where you want to start, making sure the lines sit 45 degrees from the patio’s edge, and trace it.
- Now use the straight edge to extend the lines from each corner.
Remember, the less you move your tile, the less chance for your trajectory to be off.
I butted the straight edge on the side to get the most accurate 90° angle.
So as you continue and place the tile in a new position, you can just go straight down one row (shown in blue), extending the lines all the way to the edges. No need to place it anywhere else. My goodness this saved so much time!
I actually penciled in a section and then painted it before I moved onto the next part to make sure it looked how I wanted and to make sure rain (and kids) didn’t wash away my lines.
Painting the checkerboard
- roller and tray
- sponge brush
- angled brush
What kind of paint should I use?
I used pool deck paint here, but if you’re doing a wood or concrete area without a pool, floor and porch paint is a good option. I used that on our concrete front porch and it’s held up for two years now. See the tutorial here: Porch Makeover.
First I saved some of the white paint in another container in case I needed touchups later. Then I added a little bit of black latex paint that I had on hand to create a medium gray. Just do a little bit at a time. Actually a tiny bit! A little goes a long way. We can always add more, but we can’t go back to white.
After I got the gray I was after, I this is the method that was quickest for me:
- Roll the center. Use thick coats so you don’t have to do two.
- Use a sponge brush for precise corners.
- Use an angled Wooster brush for the edges. If this seems too intimidating, you can use the sponge brush all the way around. It just takes longer.
I did a couple hours every morning this week when it was cool outside and the deck was shaded. I simply covered everything with plastic wrap when I was done and it can last over a week like this.
I’m not sure how long this took overall, especially with videoing and snapping a few photos, but I’d guess about 20-something hours. I’m trying to grow my YouTube channel for another stream of income, but it’s slow-going. You need 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours within 1 year. I’ll get there eventually, but video is quite the time-sucker. And I have to decide whether to shoot vertically for TikTok and Instagram or horizontal for YouTube. One great benefit though, is that I don’t miss any photos for tutorials like I used to because I can use screenshots!
Enough shop talk, here’s the final result:
I know over time it will wear and fade in spots, and I’m ok with that. I even think it will look better over time.
Thanks for being here! I know there’s a lot going on in the world today so this might seem frivolous. But as anxiety is on the rise, it’s therapeutic to work with our hands. Painting, building, gardening, whatever it may be, grounds us and relieves stress by being physical. We receive satisfaction from seeing our creation come to life. I often work in silence so that I can think and process and pray.
See you next time with the lanai fully decorated!