Concrete Bowl Paint Techniques

Concrete Bowl Paint Techniques

It’s the end of summer, so time to finish off outdoor projects. I had been busy making concrete bowls so I had a few still needing their ‘design’. Do you cringe when you think of how difficult it can be to get a perfect paint job? Does your hand shake when you have that brush in hand? Don’t worry, these are easy-peasy techniques, step-by-step…

Don’t you just love an empty canvas?! So many possibilities! Seize the opportunity! I have been mesmerized with cool paint techniques lately so here goes:


The designs:

Nowadays you can draw inspiration and reference from the millions of images out there! Pin it, screen-shot it, take a close look. I designed a simple version of these effects.


What you need:

Yes, you’ll see my favourite colours and metallics here:


The technique:

It’s pretty simple actually. Section off a portion of the bowls that you want to paint. I like to only paint one side. You can use elastics(or masking tape) to give you the edge to paint up to. The black background is quite dynamic, but any colour can work. Paint some ‘squiggly’ shapes in a bold colour.


Try to be random, like blobs of paint floating on water. There are no definite rules here. It’s as relaxing as those new fancy colouring books but no lines to stay within.


To make it have more dimension, mix some white into the colour and paint some ‘blobs’ to the middles of the shapes.


Add some ‘squiggly blobs’ of a metallic (like this wonderful copper) or what ever colour you like.


Again, add a bit of white to the paint and add blobs to those shapes.


So simple, but oh so cool!


Yes, you could stop there, but I always go a bit overboard. I added more white to the colour and some smaller ‘blobs’ on top of the other ones. Yes, you really could paint this on anything… hmmmm


The teal is very nice against the copper because they are somewhat opposite on the colour wheel, so they make each other ‘pop’!


Some Squiggles:

The other effect that I like is the look of marbled paper or any natural marble stone . Marbling takes a lot of setup and paint to be able to dip in a thickened paint. And then sometimes it doesn’t perform as wanted. I tend to like control ofmy media. (Aren’t we all control freaks?!) So this has no guess work or big clean up.

Again, start with a dark background colour. This time use a fine brush and run windy rivers of varying thicknesses. Run them next to each other but not too parallel, squiggle along…


Add some of a complimentary colour or metallic.


Since this was a dark grey background the black adds some nice variety. Don’t be hard on yourself, it’s just a design. If your hand shakes, it’s all good! Thin, thick, winding…


Bend the ‘rivers’ over the edges and wind around. It’s almost like tiger stripes.


Cool! I coated the teal ones with some acrylic medium to create a shine. I’m happy to say the ones painted early this year have stood the test of outside wear, many with succulents in them.

UPDATE: (2021) I have not seen any peeling of paint on these and they have been outside for years. I think the key is that they were not completely covered so the concrete can breathe; that is important for longevity.


My intentions are to bring these indoors as it gets cold up here in Canada. So my succulent propagation has helped fill them. Making the bowls, painting and propagating can create awesome gifts. Imagine these also as wedding centrepieces, endless possibilities… Good Job! Enjoy!

See also some more painting to accent these with the Geode Pillows and Chairs


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  1. It looks fantastic!
    How acrylic paint keeps on concrete after time? I’m looking for pains but I found info :Do not use oil-based or acrylic house paints on concrete or you’ll just have to paint it all over again, because acrylic paints peel, crack.
    And i don’t know what to look for.

    1. I generally do not like to paint my concrete. Concrete is porous and likes to breathe so it will ‘push’ off some paints. Oil paints are less flexible and no not allow breathing so they tend to pop off. If I use paint I use acrylic sparingly. I would rather have some natural patina grow on the concrete. I did notice my concrete eggs from last year emerge from under the snow and look the same! There are some acrylic patio paints that are made for outdoor use.

  2. Have you looked into using Zentangle on your works like these? I mean, to be honest, that essentially what they are. 😁 If you have not seen this method yet, Google it. And I apologize in advance. 😂

  3. Your creations are absolutely beautiful 💖 I’d literally pay to shadow you and see how your creativity comes to life. Thank you for the videos, interesting detailed photos you use. Take care, from Loren in South Africa 🇿🇦❤️

    1. Thank you! It’s been a lifelong career of being creative, from illustrating to ad agency to teaching… I think a bit of it all has come together here. Wow, all the way to South Africa!