How to Make Your Patio Look Brand New for Less

Sometimes your patio needs a visual update and nothing short of brand new will do, but then there’s the matter of your budget. You might not want to spend a lot on replacing everything because you’ll face the inevitable urge to go bigger and better. In the age of DIY and upcycling, it’s usually not hard to create something with modern appeal without spending a ton of money; in fact, a lot of DIY projects show you how to upcycle your junk or reuse something in new ways.

Today’s style is a marriage of thriftiness and natural materials, which unfortunately isn’t always the cheapest way of doing things (believe it or not); but if you’re committed and extra thrifty, you can make your patio shine like new well under budget.

Update the walkway or patio material

Maybe you have old or worn stone, wood, or something else altogether that just hasn’t weathered the years. Perhaps you simply need something a little more modern or natural looking than what you have installed already. You can absolutely redo the patio or walkway material without breaking the bank. Upcycled materials like reclaimed wood, pallets, or even recycled glass bottles can be used to create a very contemporary and charming look without going over budget.

If you want to stick with concrete, you can look into texturing it. Stamped concrete patios for example have the look of authentic, natural stone without the cost of something like flagstone or brick. Natural materials tend to be on the expensive side, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get the same look on the cheap.

Of course, you could also settle for scrubbing the patio down and adding a few coats of colorful paint to it if that’s more your speed.

Light up the night

Adding lights to your patio space can emphasize your favorite areas while providing much-needed light for enjoying your yard at night. Hanging lamps, solar lighting, even strings of lights can all be used to add a little illumination. Compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) and LED lighting are all both very eco-friendly options that can help keep your patio well-lit while keeping your monthly utility bill low.

Adding light sources isn’t the only way to mind the light levels on your patio. Sometimes adding obstructions like shade, trees, or coverings can create natural looks that really bring out the character of your patio.

Decorate the walls—or add a new one

If your patio features one or more walls, you can utilize the wall space to hang potted plants, art, lights, or anything else to help bring the décor together. The real estate offered by an unused wall is nothing to scoff at, so use as much as you can to get more out of your space.


If you’re missing a wall, consider adding a low-hanging wall. Even a partial wall can be used to turn a larger open space into a more defined setting, giving the impression of the patio being its own unique place. This is a much more budget-friendly alternative to adding something like a pergola or pavilion, which can cost several hundred dollars, or even a few thousand.

It doesn’t take much to make a patio shine like new, but if you want to create a new experience when you use your patio or evoke new feelings when you and your family gathers there, it’s important to consider what you love and don’t like about your current patio. Seeing its flaws can help you emphasize the space’s strengths and you’ll be better suited to determine what you might need to make it feel brand new. Once you know all of that, it only takes a little creativity to find cheap ways to introduce big changes to your patio.