Paint a Monarch Butterfly Stepping Stone

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Paint a Monarch butterfly on a plain concrete paver to create this beautiful garden art. Paint an entire path of butterflies to enjoy year round.

How to Paint a Monarch Butterfly Stepping Stone one stroke at a time.  Easy enough for beginners and kids.  More butterfly tutorials to come so be sure to sign up for our email updates.

concrete paver painted with a monarch butterfly with text overlay, DIY painted stepping stone, easy step by step, Flower Patch Farmhouse


Do painted stepping stones last?

Before I painted and shared these painted paver tutorials I wanted to let them get a good dose of hot summer sun followed by a cold rainy/snowy winter to see how they would hold up over a period of time without having to cart them inside or move them at all.  I was more than pleased with how the painted pavers have held up.
A complete supply list is available at the end of this post.

Base Coat concrete paver

As with my Flower Stepping Stone, I started with Zinser Bullseye sealer paint.  The cement paver is very pitted and the paint just sinks in.  The extra prep is worth it.  Start a day ahead, lay out several pavers and just coat them with the white paint.  A roller is easier than a brush but you can use a brush.

Update: I have found that doing one thin coat works better.  The thicker coat I put on the Swallowtail butterfly stone peeled whereas the Monarch has lasted very well even out in the weather. Also I now use Plaid Folk Art Multi Surface in stead of Zinser. 

Paint a Monarch Butterfly Stepping Stone. Turn a plain cement paver into a beautiful garden stepping stone with paint! Easy enough for kids.

Let your white base coat dry thoroughly.

Sketch in stepping stone design

Draw on your butterfly.  I just free handed this one, and though I can now see what needs changing this is not bad for my first go.

Paint a Monarch Butterfly Stepping Stone. Turn a plain cement paver into a beautiful garden stepping stone with paint! Easy enough for kids.

Outline with your black paint using the chisel edge of your brush and paint in the body.  Let it dry.  As you can see I failed to let it dry and I dragged black into my orange when I tried to fill in the wings.
Save yourself some trouble and let the black dry.  To speed up the drying time use a blow dryer on it on high heat.

Basecoat paver painted design

Paint in a coat of orange, let dry. Add a second coat of orange to keep a deep color.

stepping stone 4

While the second coat of orange is still wet mix a bit of yellow into the orange to lighten it up and let it fade into it as you approach the wing edges, you want it to gradually blend in. The first yellow I used was too mellow so I grabbed a brighter one and liked the effect much better.

Tidy up outlines

stepping stone 5

Go over the black lines again with the chisel edge of your brush, neatening up where you may have gotten orange onto the black.   Keep adding your details lines.

Paint stepping stone details

Paint a Monarch Butterfly Stepping Stone. Turn a plain cement paver into a beautiful garden stepping stone with paint! Easy enough for kids.

Add some white dots with a pencil tip or a liner brush dipped in white paint. Make them randomly casual and not lined up.  Add some to the body as well.

Seal your painted paver

Once this is all dry then you can coat it with the Spar Urethane using a large brush.  Give it at least 3 coats, letting it dry between coats.  Let it cure for a few weeks before exposing it to wet weather.

Update: Plaid FolkArt multi-surface or outdoor paints are self sealing.

There you have your beautiful Monarch Butterfly stepping stone.  Don’t try to go for perfection, the fun and uniqueness of each one is what makes for our own style.

Paint a Monarch Butterfly Stepping Stone. Turn a plain cement paver into a beautiful garden stepping stone with paint! Easy enough for kids.

Flora the Flamingo gives her smile of approval.

Here is a supply list for this project:
Cement pavers (available at Home Depot, Lowes or your local garden supply)

Folk Art Pure Orange 
Folk art Pure Black
Folk Art Wicker White
Folk Art Daffodil Yellow
Rustoleum Spar Urethane exterior

Note: I would use old brushes as the rough cement surface really chews up the brushes
Royal Majestic Wash set (I used primarily the 3/4 in for this project)
Brush Caddy (imperative for getting your brushes really clean)
Loews White Nylon brush set (my favorite brushes for applying the Urethane and for base coating)


For more painting tutorials please see my painting Website: Pamela Groppe Art

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  1. I use Deco Art patio paint. Its stays outside for years.

  2. The painted stepping stone pavers really do add a bit of color especially when nothing is blooming quite yet.

  3. Peggy Williams says:

    I love the idea! Great way to get color into the garden along with the flowers. Thanks for the ideas!

  4. Mary Lou Vickrey says:

    Once again thank you for sharing!!
    Could you share the link on poinsettia! I tried on your Instagram but all I could see was the photograph you painted from! I wanted to do the poinsetta for xmas cards! ON AGAIN THANK YOU!
    Mary Lou

  5. I have painted a few stones and believe me I am no artist. Mine have been outside in the weather for over a year and they are still bright. They have been well walked on
    I do find pre coating them with.a base coat helps them to pop.

  6. I know the green will be just gorgeous. I am looking for those photos now, it was ten years ago so I have some digging to do.

  7. I am not too worried about wear and fading. I left my painted flower stepping stone outside for a year through summer and winter and it surprised me how it looks like brand new. The varathane has a uv protectant in it so that is most likely why it did not fade and if you recoat them once a year the wear would be minimal as well. But even if they fade I can always repaint them. So this is a cheap and easy way to make them look gorgeous for awhile. 🙂

  8. I have seen painted garden step stones around Pinterest so it must work out somehow. I think the vibrant colours in Pam’s butterfly are so eye catching and would add such an awesome feature to the garden but I also think that the eventual fading would look lovely too, like those ancient Roman mosaic garden pavement stones and walls that faded away with time. Oh, so pretty!

    Pam, I would love to see the emerald green butterfly. Green is my favourite colour (along with dark purple). I look forward to seeing it. No pressure! I know you are a very busy lady! 🙂

  9. Ooh, what a great idea. Since my pathways are two pavers wide in my garden that would really work and make a grand statement. Now you have my creative juices flowing.

  10. So pretty, I wonder what it would look like using 4 stepping stones and make the butterfly span over all 4. You’re so talented and this would make a wonderful Mother’s day gift.

  11. Sounds like a plan, Marina. I have a photo of a Swallowtail butterfly to work on and a Blue Morpho. When we were in Florida a few years back, we visited a Butterfly Farm and there was this gorgeous emerald green one. I don’t know the name of it but I am going to scrounge up the photos I have from there and put that one on my list to paint too.

  12. Pam, this is so pretty. Thank you. I have been thinking what to do with the (still to be built) steps leading on to my new shed installed yesterday. At the moment there’s a short shrub right by the door stopping it from fully opening up so I might try moving it elsewhere and replace it with steps, and I think this butterfly step would be perfect. But I will need another three designs for each of the step stones ;-).

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