How to Finish Concrete

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Whether smooth, textured or set with a design, finishing concrete allows you to create the desired surface you need. Depending on what you use the concrete area for, there are different ways to finish the concrete. Learn how to finish concrete by following these steps.

  • Level the concrete as soon as it is poured by using a float or straight edge. Level the concrete before the water in the mixture comes to the surface or "bleeds." Angle the concrete for water to flow away if needed.

  • Wait until all of the water disappears from the surface of the concrete. Allow all of the sheen to disappear. Finishing the concrete while water is sitting on it can cause dust and blisters to form later. If the weather is hot, dry or windy, the concrete may need to be covered with a plastic sheet.

  • Apply texture to the concrete according to the end use. For sidewalks and driveways, use a push-broom on the surface. This leaves a grainy surface that is not slick when wet. If the concrete is for flooring, use a trowel to achieve a slick, smooth surface. Stamping and using patterns in the concrete can be done now by following instructions with the particular stamping system you use.

  • Cure the concrete as soon as the texture is done. Do this by flooding the surface with water. Keep the surface wet for about a week without letting it dry. If the concrete area is inside and can't be flooded, use a concrete curing compound found in most hardware stores.

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