Well, hi there! If you want to know where our patio started 3.5 years ago, here it is:
A pile of bricks! A project that is near and dear to our hearts because it was one of the first projects Mike and I worked on when we were dating!
More than some of our other spaces, our patio has been a process and I think any outdoor project lends itself that way because we relinquish our control to God’s creation – it grows at its own pace.
I do love Pinterest. But, when I dreamed of this patio and was scrolling through all the beautiful patios, I was seeing the “after” for them at a different life stage – comparing to us just starting out. The best project for you and I is the one that fits our budget and our life, because that’s where God has us. It will only harm us (and others) if we compare and covet and throw tantrums: “if I only had that!” There is joy available right in front of us.
A side note to say: Do you ever notice yourself saying, “If we could only finish this project, then I’ll be content…” And then…you finish the project and you’re not! That’s me right there! Fighting for gratitude and a joyful contentment is worth the struggle.
The History: Patio 1.0
Mike and I named different versions of our patios from 1.0 up to 2.5, which has been the process of the last 3.5 years. Haha. Essentially, how it started was NO BUDGET. The goal: getting the bricks off the steps so we could actually open the door – so we thought we may as well put down the bricks! And Mike did that in our dating infancy, about 2 months into dating (I don’t really like playing in the dirt, but Mike does).
There was already sand down from the previous owners, so we just laid the bricks on top of it. It’s not perfect by any means, but very much better than before. Each year, we’ve made little/big improvements that are low cost (but just take our time), especially Mike’s! He’s worked so hard on making improvements, learning as we go. I’m so thankful!
Here’s what I looked like by the summer of 2016. (We always set a goal to finish our projects. And for our “summer projects,” it’s always by our annual 4th of July party)!
The start of 2019:
So far for 2019, we’ve updated our 20 year-old patio furniture with some spray paint and moved the brick patio 1.5 feet away from our house.
When you looked at the back of our house, it was SO MUCH brick. I was thinking through ways we could brighten it up back here. The same weekend, we visited Mike’s parents who whitewashed their brick fireplace like I did to our fireplace! BRILLIANT.
Whitewashing it would be then! There are some differences between our fireplace and our patio. Anytime we DIY, we have to look at the differences in our space compared to the “inspiration photos” or tutorials. Here are a few:
- Our patio doesn’t have grout between the brick.
- The brick is very porous and different textures.
- Since it’s “better than before,” it’s not level.
- It will wear down from the weather.
FINALLY: Whitewashing Tutorial
It’s pretty simple, y’all. Here are the materials you need:
- An outdoor cleaner
- Paint (I used white paint we had left over from another project)
- An old rag
- Small bucket of water
- Paintbrush (quality doesn’t matter)
- Paint tray
How to Whitewash:
1. Clean your surface. For the patio, I used a leaf blower, then went through with a patio cleaner (just follow the directions) to get the dirt and algae off.
2. Thoroughly mix water and paint to thin out the paint. I range from using 1:1 to 1:3 mixture, using less paint than water. (Ratio is a personal preference).
3. Starting in a corner, brush over brick with water/paint mixture. For something as large as a patio, I’d recommend doing larger areas – so I covered 16 bricks before moving onto the next step.
- If you want more coverage, try a 50% water to 50% paint mixture. If you want less coverage, go for a 25% paint to 75% water mixture.
3. Using a damp old rag, wipe off paint. This gives it a whitewashed effect.
- * Since so much of our paint soaked in, I ended up completing the patio without this step. I just painted on the paint/water mixture and let it soak in.
- I go back and forth if I wish I would have wiped off the paint. Right now, our patio is so bright since it’s more saturated than if we would have wiped off the paint. Not bad though!
Here’s a photo of the difference: left side is wiped, right side is not.
4. Repeat these steps, paying attention to your ratio as you may have to replenish your paint/water mixture.
5. You did it! ENJOY! Let it dry for at least 24 hours before adding your furniture back to the patio. Since it’s the summer, the sun will dry it faster than it would inside.
Not bad for a free makeover!! 🙂 Overall, we love it! Just know, the elements (i.e. the rain especially) will wear down the whitewashing – which in our case, we’re excited about!
Stay tuned for more patio reveals! Next up: DIY Pea Gravel Patio. Subscribe to receive all the latest posts directly to your inbox!
If you would like to follow along on more of my home decor, DIY, lifestyle, hospitality, and other posts like this gift guide, I’d love to have you follow me on any of the following: