Not to brag, but I was a fan of oddly satisfying content far before the pandemic led to the soothing videos’ explosive popularity. Activities like paint-mixing, pasta-making, and my favorite, power washing, all have the ability to transfix and soothe. When my neighborhood app pinged with a notification of a neighbor offering to power wash homeowners’ walkways for free, for her own satisfaction and pure joy — I felt that, viscerally. Add home improvement to the mix, and I’m sold.
Enter Driveway Art Co. I discovered this ecologically artful shop while scrolling through satisfying videos on Instagram and very professionally forwarded a post to my editor, nary a punctuation mark in sight, “Ok I’m obsessed.” Driveway Art Co. produces stencils that transform uninspiring driveways, patios, and walkways into stunning works of art, all through the power of the pressure washer. Scrolling through post after post, video after video, I became determined to share this creative curb-appeal boosting product/activity/backyard therapy session with readers.
After feverishly contacting loved ones to ask if I could stencil their driveways, I spoke with the folks at Driveway Art Co, founders who refer to themselves as “Partners in Grime.” Co-founder Torrie Savage quickly confirmed my suspicion that I wasn’t the only one enamored with the product, saying “We got on Tiktok and it blew up — we haven’t done any ads or anything, so it’s just organically happening for us!”
The idea for the designer-quality stencils sprang from Savage’s experience in advertising… and pressure washing
“I did it the first time 100 years ago on my dad’s back sidewalk. I was pressure washing and I drew a flower and I wrote ‘Savage’ because that’s my last name, and was in advertising at the time and thought…why don’t I sell this as advertising,” Savage says. From there, she developed her creative marketing brand #thesavageway, but realized the stencils would be a big hit at home, too. “People need to be empowered to do this themselves and make art,” she thought at the time.
Homeowners (or people obsessed with pressure washing who have the permission of very loving and patient relatives) simply select a stencil design and use a power washer to blast dirt and grime away from the open space, creating a temporary design on outdoor surfaces. Designs range from the classic cobblestone to hip chevrons to mid century modern-inspired flower jax and beyond. For those itching for a bit of whimsy, hopscotch stencils, giant dinosaur footprints, and jungle leaves are also available. The company’s 22” x 22” reusable plastic stencils range from $40 to $45 each, and only one stencil is needed to get the job done.
Adding a pattern to your walkway or turning your driveway into a life-size coloring book for budding chalk artists is a simple, low-stakes, and affordable way to up your curb appeal. “We’re just using water, it’s eco-friendly, you’re just making a contrast in dirt strategically,” Savage says.
Imparting crisp, detailed designs into a driveway elevates the yard’s appearance and showcases the home’s style — which could come in handy if you’re putting your place on the market soon. With spring just around the corner, add a driveway stencil project to your home improvement project to-do list. And who knows — you may enjoy your new design so much that it inspires a more permanent update.
For inspiration, check out Driveway Art Co.’s Instagram page, and if you’re in the Chicago area and would like help tackling your stenciling this spring, call me. I’ll queue up my lo-fi beats playlist and power wash the joint until the cows come home.