Several years ago, my mom spilled some paint on the driveway and just went with it. The kids and I joined in with whatever paint we had in the garage until the whole driveway was a colorful ocean-themed picture. It was fun and bright, but our driveway was in bad shape, and the paint faded and chipped at different rates, creating an colorful crumbling mess.
Last summer we redid the driveway; the colorful paint was gone. I missed it. So this year, instead of sealing everything with blacktop (which is horrid for the environment and smells terrible) we decided to paint it again. But this time, it was planned out. All that we needed was four days that we were home and had no rain.
It wasn’t until mid-July that we were able to do the project and we love how it came out! Here’s a step-by-step guide to doing it yourself. It doesn’t have to be a steampunk ship in a cloudy sky; do whatever gets your geek on. And you don’t have to be an artist, just look up images you like and copy them as best you can. Or just do colorful swirls or stripes. Here is my very non-professional design for our driveway.
FIRST STEP: clean the driveway. This is really fun with a group! My driveway is about 30 feet by 30 feet. We used an entire bottle of dish detergent, the hose, and brooms to scrub. I applied the detergent to the greasy spots ahead of time to help break them up. We don’t have any photos of my mom, my kids, and I dancing around with bubbles all over the driveway because we were having too much fun to stop and take photos. But my daughter got me rinsing away the soap.
WAIT FOR IT TO DRY COMPLETELY. This depends on where you live. In the northeast, where it is humid, we had to wait a day in between the washing and coats of paint.
SECOND: Put down your first coat of paint based on what your theme is. We chose blue for the sky. I went to the paint store and asked for latex/acrylic paint. I told the guy about my 30×30 driveway and he predicted that we might need four gallons for a first coat. Second “ha” for this project. In the end it took fourteen gallons. And going back and forth to the paint store made them very interested in my project, making suggestions and comments on my progressively blue splattered self.
WAIT FOR IT TO DRY COMPLETELY. This actually took us a couple of days because we painted a small amount of blue but weren’t sure about the shade. We waited till the next day to make a final decision, didn’t like it, and started all over.
THIRD: Now you can play with chalk. I traced a rough outline of the skyship. I put down circles for where I wanted the clouds to be. Then I climbed on top of my car to survey the placement and made a few adjustments.
FOURTH: Start painting the design. I did the clouds, and smoke from the ship. My son and mom took over the wooden planks of the ship. My daughter did the pipes, gears, and portholes. This took two days because some of the paint would be layered on top of others.
WAIT FOR IT TO DRY COMPLETELY and then wait some more. If you put in that much work and then mess it up by putting tire tracks on it…sad. Actually, what’s really sad is that we now have three cars, a table, and chairs filling up our driveway.
But when I step out of my car, I step onto clouds, making my way to my house, which is really a steam sky ship off on adventures. Added bonus is the paint that splattered on my toes looks like a very fancy nail polish design!
3 thoughts on “Paint a Steampunk Driveway”
14 gallons of paint seems like a lot of paint (and very expensive) for the background – I wonder if there’s some kind of primer or some way to seal the concrete prior to painting that might have reduced the paint usage.
Yup, this was our seal-coating. If you have a driveway that is already seal-coated (blacktop) it will be a much quicker (and less expensive) project.
Another issue was that we were doing this work during a week that was 90+ degrees each day- not ideal conditions, but better than rain. I think the heat made the paint not spread so much either. Since there aren’t many resources for doing this kind of work, I just kept at it. Hopefully it will catch on and better techniques can be found to make it easier!
I love your driveway Becca! And you forgot to mention that when people fly they can easily see your home! So cool.
Comments are closed.