Stylish outdoor living calls for fresh thinking, and Brian Carter, a decorative painter in Atlanta, knows just where to focus when a front porch, a screened porch, or a sunroom is at play. "Since more thought is going into furnishings and accessories," he says, "why not look to the floor as a surface that can be treated decoratively too?"

Carter, the mastermind behind the porch-floor design in this story (and the others linked below), says keys to a great paint job include dry, pollen-free weather; paints and stains geared for use on floors; and a soft color palette.

Take the Colorful Carpet design here and on the preceding pages. Warm gray is the backdrop for a modern chain-link design filled with patches of pale orange, blue, and green. Carter used a single template and worked freehand—and, yes, his legs did get sore. "Be sure, each time you sit, to switch them from one side to the other," he says.

Shown: Benjamin Moore's floor and patio latex enamel paint in Copley Gray HC-104 (base coat), Palace White OC-100, Orange Blossom 2168-30, Whipple Blue HC-152, and Georgian Green HC-115.

Download and print out the template here.
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    Tools List

    • roller tray
      Paint tray
    • roller frames
    • paint roller with extension
      Roller pole
    • Artist's Brush
      1-inch flat artist's brush
    • scissors
    • paint brush and roller
      Roller and brush for cutting in (base coat)
    • chalk

    Shopping List

    Floor and patio latex enamel Get 1 gallon each of a base color and a border color, plus 1 quart each of three accent colors

    Heavy paper or posterboard

    Roller cover (½-inch nap for concrete)