One very popular look to today is that of cobblestones. Faux cobblestones, made from cement and poured into molds, run about one-fourth the cost of the real thing you buy from a stone yard. In addition to being far less pricey than what they are simulating, faux cobblestones are also lighter in weight, and the coloring of them can be controlled by the whim and the artistic skill of the person making them.
Molds for fake cobblestones can be found online at a number of retail Web sites that cater to home and garden enthusiasts, or you can almost always find them at the big home improvement/garden centers like Lowes or Home Depot.
Molds run generally around $18 to $20. You can color them one of two ways: You can either add a powdered or liquid dye to the cement as you mix it, or you can paint the faux stones individually after they have been laid along the pathway or as a patio or in whatever situation for which you have used them. Painting faux cobblestone gives a more textured and realistic look to the finished job, and here are a few tips to help you accomplish just that.
Paint: Kind and Colors
First, as you may have guessed, when painting faux cobblestone, you need to use paints specially formulated to be used on concrete. These types of paints can also be online, at brick-and-mortar paint stores, or at your favorite big box home improvement center. Besides the paint, you will need sponges, newspaper (to set sponges down on), several buckets (one for each color of paint), and rubber gloves.
When choosing colors for painting faux cobblestone, of course, you will want to stick with natural hues that reflect the outdoors: browns, greys, tans, and maybe something in a dark or olive green. But you also need to buy small cans of white and black for highlighting.
Be Random, But Careful
Beginning with the lightest of the colors you have selected, sponge the paint randomly onto the faux cobblestones. As you dip your sponge into the bucket to soak up the paint, make sure you keep the sponge well within the bucket as you squeeze it out. This prevents unintentional splattering. Repeat the process with the rest of the paints. Do not use more than three colors of paint to avoid a miss-mash of colors.
After you have finished painting faux cobblestone with your basic, foundation colors, use some of your black and white paint for highlights. You will need to tone them down by adding a little bit of white to black and black to white to make them blend more easily with the other paint colors you have applied.
Take it easy, just a little at a time, to successfully control the shade of highlight you are after. Again with your sponge, dab randomly on a few cobblestones at a time to get the look you want.
You will want to protect everything with a weatherizing sealant after painting, so after the paint has thoroughly dried, go over the entire job with that and you are finished. Stand back and admire your handiwork.