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DIY Patio Makeover on the Cheap

cheap patio makeover

This year, I finally got fed up with dropping $100+ on a patio rug. Over the years we’ve tried several outdoor rugs that either turned green, frayed, or just crapped out. The most we ever got from a rug was two summers. So I went looking for alternatives to patio rugs.

Alternatives to Patio Rugs

1. Painted drop cloth – you can buy drop clothes pretty cheap at bargain outlet stores like Big Lots. If you’re feeling fancy and motivated you can even paint them.

2. Repurpose a roller blind – you know the roll up window blinds that once upon a time were made of what looked like super thin plastic straws, that’s what I’m talking about. If I could have gotten my hands on one, I would have tried that out.

3. Concrete stain – for about $20 you can buy colored concrete stain that can be brushed or rolled on for a cheap pop of color that lasts. Folks, we have a winner!

How to Stain Concrete

how to stain concreteFirst clean your concrete. We used a power washer to get it as clean as possible.

Next, wet your patio. This should be a mist or spritz, not a soaking.

Apply the stain while the concrete is damp. I brushed on in the corners and edges (our canopy is screwed right into our concrete). This would be just like when you do the cutting in when painting a room.

Then I rolled on the rest of the stain.

This was one of those jobs that actually took less time than expected!

Note: if you want to simulate tiles, mask off a grid and apply the stain over it. You can get some really cool effects with this stain.

DIY patio


I also recovered the chair cushions myself. The fabric store sells outdoor fabric, which may seem expensive, with a 40% coupon it’s a real deal. For these 4 chairs the fabric cost $40 (with the coupon). Compare that to buying new cushions and it a huge savings.

So when I say remodeling your patio on the cheap, I’m talking about $60. That includes the concrete stain and reupholstered patio chairs.

Eve of Reduction: Free Seasonal E-Newsletter; Extra tips and wit on Facebook; Reduction Beauty on Pinterest ; The debut DIY lifestyle book (includes 10 upcycling tutorials); and the guide to creative streams of income ebook (only $2.99).



I’m Cristin Frank (AKA Eve). I love all things frugal and crafty. My mindset is always on upcycling, repurposing, reducing waste and saving money – and Eve of Reduction is my roadmap. You might also want to check out my book, "Living Simple, Free & Happy."

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3 Responses to DIY Patio Makeover on the Cheap

  1. Lucy Schmidt June 23, 2014 at 11:09 pm #

    Fabulous idea — and so glad to hear it’s an easy job. I’ve wanted to do the concrete slab in the screened-in back porch area in a quilt pattern. This seems much more doable (and less expensive) than using specialty paint. It’s not on the “gotta do it soon” project list, so it may have to wait and percolate in my head for a few months. Looks great, Cristin!

    • Eve June 24, 2014 at 9:07 am #

      Thanks, Lucy! Yes, the hardest part is power washing. Ours was stained from leaves. The coloring, fun part is easy.

  2. Jenna Pizzigati-Coppola June 24, 2014 at 10:20 am #

    Great ideas- love the tips, thanks for sharing!!

    Jenna Pizzigati-Coppola recently posted…Newsletter: Get into a Summer Mood!My Profile

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