You are currently viewing How to Paint a Faux Concrete Finish

Do you love the trendy look of concrete? It’s possible to mix and cast your own concrete pots, however we are going to share in our tutorial How to Paint a Faux Concrete Finish. This technique uses a unique ingredient that creates convincing results; it’s not just paint…

Creating concrete pots can be fun, however it takes a fair amount of time and energy.

On the other hand painting a faux concrete finish is quick and easy and can transform an ordinary pot into an extraordinary piece.

We will also share how to create a vintage texture on a pot or other decor piece that will look aged and weathered, just like its been out in the garden for years.

It was Earth Day yesterday after all, so why not think outside the box. (Just a little tid bit Steph learned while playing “Home School” this week.)

Not only is it a great way to reuse and re-purpose a container you already have, but it’s also so fun do it yourself, get your hands a little dirty and just create!

Use this easy faux concrete finish painting technique to create an amazing concrete finish on accessories, furniture and outdoor pieces.

Plastic pot before faux concrete finish

Last week I picked up this beautiful hydrangea at Sam’s Club. I knew it would be perfect for my front porch this summer. 😍

The plant was gorgeous, the pot not so much. It was just cheap plastic, however this was the perfect opportunity for transforming this cheap plastic pot with a faux concrete finish.

If you are more of a visual learner, we’ve created a short video tutorial.

Step 1: Faux Concrete Finish - Saltwash Paint Mixture


Have you tried Saltwash®️ yet? We have used this product on several projects. Not only is it fantastic to create a layered vintage texture on furniture, but it’s also great for adding texture on accents in your home too. Our most popular YouTube video features Saltwash®️ too.

Not only is it easy to get on Amazon, but it’s also very economical. With our can we have made 6 projects and we will have more than 1/2 a can left.

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. As an Amazon affiliate we earn from qualifying purchases. See our disclosure for details.

Mix Saltwash into paint for faux concrete finish

For this project we need 2 shades of grey paint, one that is a light grey and another that is a medium grey. Any type of paint will work for this project. I am using leftover paint samples. If you don’t have the right shade just add a little white paint to get the desired shade.

Any sheen of paint will work as well. When adding the Saltwash®️ additive, it will take the sheen down and make it a matte finish. The light grey I used was a eggshell finish and the medium grey happened to be a flat finish.

Begin by pouring the paint into a disposable container, gradually add the Saltwash®️ product and mix thoroughly with a stir stick.

Saltwash paint faux concrete finish

You will want to gradually add Saltwash®️ until it is thick enough that it barely drops off of the stir stick. This is thicker than we normally mix it for a furniture project.

Saltwash paint mixture faux contrete finish

Apply the Saltwash®️ mixture with an old paint brush. Spread it evenly over the entire surface. My goal was to cover the embossed pattern that was on my pot. Depending on what your surface is you may want to retain the texture.

If the mixture is spread on too thick, it will crack slightly as it dries. That’s fine if that is the look that you want. Just know that if it’s thick it will crack a bit.

Step 2: Smoothing Out the Faux Concrete Finish

Pallet knife faux concrete finish

Once the entire pot is covered with the Saltwash®️ paint mixture, take a wet pallet knife and smooth out the paint brush lines. You can smooth it out as much as you want. I wanted mine to still have a rough texture, I was just removing the brush strokes.

Let it dry completely, it will depend on how thick it is applied as well as the humidity. Mine took about 45 minutes to dry.

Step 3: Apply Grey Faint

2nd coat of medium grey paint on faux concrete finish

Now we are ready to apply the medium grey paint. This layer is just paint, no Saltwash®️ is needed. However, if your paint is not a matte finish you can add a little Saltwash®️ to knock down the sheen. You will not want a sheen on the topcoat of paint since concrete has a matte finish. Let dry.

Paint dry Faux concrete Finish

As the second coat dries, you may see areas that were missed. You can see here that there are several recessed areas on my pot where the first layer is still showing. This really doesn’t matter, because the next step will be sanding.

Step 4: Sanding - Faux Concrete Finish

Faux Concrete Finish

This step is what really brings the pot to life. Lightly sand the topcoat with a fine to medium grit sandpaper. Basically we are just knocking off a bit of the color on the ridges.

Faux Concrete Finish

This is what my pot looked like after I sanded it.  Then I took a damp cloth and wiped down the entire surface.

Step 5: Adding Moss - Faux Concrete Finish

Paint moss on Faux Concrete Finish

This step is optional. Using an old paint brush and a mossy green paint I dabbed on a little green paint around the bottom of the pot.

Paint moss on Faux Concrete Finish

Using a damp coffee filter I blended the edges of the green paint to soften the look. That’s it!

My plan was to place my pot on my front porch. It is protected from the elements, however if you are placing your project out in the elements I would recommend adding an exterior topcoat to seal your work.

Paint Faux Concrete Finish

This faux concrete finish can be used on anything, the sky’s the limit. Are you inspired to try this technique on a piece at your home.

Once my pot was finished, I decided to put it on a plastic obelisk. I had a little leftover Saltwash®️ paint mixture that I didn’t want going to waste. For this piece I pounced the mixture on. I wanted the surface to be a little more textured. I followed the same steps as the pot, but I did not smooth it out with the pallet knife. Then I also added a dark charcoal grey paint in some of the crevices. 

Faux Concrete Finish on a Pot

Thanks for spending some time with us today! We love sharing our project with you each week! And WELCOME to all of our new subscribers!

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And as always here at Sunny Side Design


Pin image Faux Concrete Finish

Looking for more ways to Reuse Repurpose and Recycle? Then see how we created a faux stone look on a thrift store  bunny. We used this same technique to create a stone look pot that will be featured on Hometalk TV, April 30, 2020, 7:00 pm EST.

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We love to Reuse, Repurpose and Recycle thrift store furniture. Check out what we did with a lateral filing cabinet here.

This Post Has 8 Comments

    1. Michelle Dickson

      Thank you, It certainly is, and it’s inexpensive to create as well.

    1. Michelle Dickson

      Thank you Lorinda.

  1. edie burton

    Next time using salt wash, wear gloves to prtect your hands. 🤩

    1. Michelle Dickson

      Good idea Edie, I always wish I had done that after the fact and my hands are dry.

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