When the tornado blew through Goldsboro in 2011, a huge branch fell across the front yard and blocked the front steps completely.
After the tree was cleaned up, we found a set of concrete steps on Craig’s List, free to a good home. We wrestled them home and dropped them at the end of the porch so we’d have two ways to get into the garden. They’ve turned out to be useful, because they’re closer to the back yard gate. However, they are ugly.
I found a gallon of purple concrete stain in the Oops Paint bin at the hardware store for $5. For that price, what’s not to like? I finally got around to painting the steps this weekend.
I tried removing the remaining gray paint with a paint scraper attachment on a drill, and that wasn’t very effective. I scraped some of the paint off with a heat gun, but didn’t get great results with that, either. For one, the concrete is a massive heat sink that can absorb a LOT of heat and carry it away from the paint; for two, the concrete isn’t in perfect shape and the paint was in the nooks and crannies, safe from the scraper. Eventually, I decided to go with what we had.
The darker color is where the concrete was bare, without any cover from existing paint.
Now we may get around to leveling them. We keep talking about it and haven’t found a Saturday when either of us had the energy to lift very heavy objects. John’s daughter’s boyfriend may get pressed into service when he comes for a visit later this summer.
By the way, I believe that almost anything colored blends better in a garden than almost anything white or gray. I’ll take a picture from the street so you can see how you can’t see these steps as clearly anymore, hidden behind the plants.