We’re a couple weeks away from the one year anniversary of the completion of our backyard- and yes it totally deserves “anniversary” recognition because it was no easy feat in the dead heat of the Utah summer! Still to this date, my all-time favorite DIY is our outdoor concrete sofa. I love it just as much today as the day we completed it. Over the weekend I did make a small update to the outdoor seating area and thought it was worth noting for those of you who have tried the DIY or asked questions about it this past year. Click through to see the before, after, and my reasoning for painting the permanent backyard sofa.
Here’s what the sofa looked like before I painted the piece. It weathered the winter really well (read more about that here), and aged exactly as I expected it to. It had also developed a nice “patina” and was starting to fade into a beautiful gray hue. So why exactly did I choose to paint it? Aside from the fact that I love a good experiment and will try anything for the sake of DIY blog content, I wanted to brighten it up in an effort to make the fence feel more cohesive with the rest of the backyard.
The nice thing about a vinyl fence is that it requires zero maintenance- that’s exactly why we opted for this type of privacy fence (see that installation DIY here). I like how clean and crisp it makes our backyard look, but given it always looks bright white- as other elements in the yard age, they can look dingy in comparison. The concrete sectional is one of my favorite features in the backyard and that baby deserves to be the star! However, every time I look out the kitchen window, my eye always travels to the fence and greenery first. I think it’s the stark contrast that demands attention. By painting the sofa a brighter white to match the fence, it feels more balanced and captures my eye in the way I had hoped.
If you’re wondering what type of product I used to paint the concrete, it’s very specific to the material. After all, it has to withstand outdoor weather and bond to cement. The pros at Sherwin-Williams recommended H&C COLORTOP. It’s a water-based stain that provides a long-lasting, durable finish to interior or exterior concrete, masonry, or asphalt surfaces. You pick a swatch just like a regular paint, even though it’s considered a stain.
The thing I like about this product is it also adds longevity and durability to outdoor structures. It colors, fills, and extends the life of stone by sealing it. You can also use it on previously painted concrete surfaces with proper preparation.
See those tiny little lines in the concrete above? That naturally happens over time. This stuff filled them in with perfection, smoothing the surface while preserving the integrity of the stone. I also like that it keeps concrete looking like concrete. I actually like the look of cement, stucco, and concrete textures- especially in an outdoor setting, and I didn’t want to hide the fact that it’s constructed of that material.
I applied the product with a brush, which is recommended… although you can use other methods as well. Being my first time painting concrete, I wanted to follow the instructions exactly to make sure everything holds up as it should. You can tell where I’ve painted in the images above and below- the different is obvious. The product really covers nicely and fills in every single hairline.
I won’t bore you with more process photos, so let’s jump right to the “after” image. It’s really a huge difference how much brighter and better the concrete sofa looked after completion. Here it is drying…
It already looks so much cleaner and is rivaling the fence color. I’m into the monochromatic dimension and separation it adds to the back corner of our yard. The white sofa kind of has a Santorini vibe to it, don’t you think?
I waited 24 hours, just to be safe, but once everything was totally dry, I brought the cushions out of storage. They look exactly like they did the day we winterized the patio and packed everything away last fall. I was honestly a little worried the outdoor furniture covers or shed would leak, but everything weathered the elements with ease.
In regards to other items that survived the winter, the pergola is still in perfect shape and we leave the string lights up year-round. They still work beautifully and are rich black in color. I wondered if they would fade, but splurging for the industrial set that is made to be left out all year was certainly a good choice! You can find all the backyard sources in this post, including the lights.
Do you spy the succulent arrangements on the coffee table? Click here for that DIY! They’re doing really well and have already doubled in size. I love planting them each spring.
I still need to spray off the paver patio and clean some of our other outdoor items, then I’ll shoot the entire space for you guys. I got things set up a bit later than I had hoped this year, but given we were transforming the adjacent carport (which I’m now calling the veranda, ha!), I was pressed for time.
I’d love to hear if anyone has tried this DIY! I still get a ton of questions about it and I’m not joking when I say it is my favorite project to date! I love the way it turned out and I absolutely enjoy lounging out here. I’m pretty pumped to have a few amazing outdoor spaces to hang out in, as well as entertain. Leave me a comment if you have questions!