RE-POST from a couple years ago.

Hello! FINALLY the snow has melted here in Minnesota (aka the frozen tundra) and our yard is looking up.  The lawn has been mowed for the first time and a few new plants have been added to my two existing flower beds.  I even filled the planter on the front steps with a few varieties of leafy vines and bright blooming varieties.   All this freshening up reminded me that I have to share this fun Front Step Greeting DIY with you. I have had quite a few tutorial requests due to our house tour over on Houzz so thanks for your patience while I put this together. 

 Last year our front step was in need of an updating.  The concrete was chipped, warn and dingy.  It was a bit of an eye sore and in need of some freshening up since it is the first thing anyone sees as they visit our home.  It turned out to be a really great, low cost way to update and personaize our entry.

UPDATE: I also used this same technique at the Wind & Willow Home showroom and people seem to be loving it over on Instagram

Materials:

1. Concrete Stain (I used Behr brand from Home Depot) two colors 

2. Paper and Printer (to make own stencils) Or pre made stencils are available from a craft or hardware store or online (I used the moroccan stecil from stensilease.com here)

3.  Foam Paint Brush (for letter details)

4.  Paint roller (for solid portion)

5.  Foam roller (for stencil)

Here we go...

First, I prepared the concrete.  You can use the directions on the concrete stain for more detail since you will need to prepare differently weather your surface is currently coated or uncoated (info. here

Next, I applied the stain with a roller directly to the prepared surface (solid area). Once dry I applied an additional coat to be sure the surface was eavenly coated.

  As you can see in the above picture, I used a pattern for the stoop and the run of the steps.  To achieve this, I purchased this morrocan stencil from stencilease.com.  I laid the stencil on the surface, then used a foam roller to apply the stain directly over the top of the stencil.  Once coated, I moved the stencil so that the one row of the pattern was on top of the most recently painted portion.  This made it easier to line up my pattern.  I kept overlapping the pattern until the entire area was painted.  Be sure to not move the stencil or it may smudge your pattern.

Once the solid area was dry (after 2 coats of stain) I stenciled the words "hello." and "goodbye." on opposite sides of the walkway to welcome friends.  This was the most fun part of the project because I wanted to be sure that it was unique to my house and families personality.  To be sure, I customized my own greeting stencils.

How to make your own stencil.  

First I found a free font that I liked (dafont.com had great free options).  Then I downloaded it and scaled the size to fit my front step area.  As you can see in the below picture I scaled it quite large (2 letters per page).

Then I used an exacto knife to cut out each letter.

Once it was all cut out, I placed the full word on the already painted concrete surface and taped it down.  

I traced each letter with a pencil (instead of painting on top of the stencil) to be sure that my edges were clear.  I also wanted to make sure I liked the spacing of the letters before I started painting.

Finally, I used a small foam paintbrush to paint the letters by hand in a contrasting concreted stain.

Tip: Since I only need a small amount of this contrasting stain I just purchased a sample.

 Yay, fresh and personal.  And as you can see (from my instagram photos), a lot of great memories are made on our front steps.

I hope you have a great time creating your own Front Step Greetings! 

 

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