How to Refinish Concrete

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Bring a dull and weathered concrete surface to life by refinishing it. Ripping up old concrete is expensive and time-consuming. Besides saving money, your newly refinished concrete surface offers you numerous possibilities to establish your own personal style. Refinish your concrete with a skim coat and slip-resistant broom finish, or pour a slightly deeper coat and use a concrete stamp for a more dramatic finish. You can even add color for additional visual impact.

Things You'll Need

  • Gloves
  • Safety goggles
  • 3,500-psi pressure washer
  • Trowel
  • Large squeegee with long handle
  • Drill with paddle mixer
  • Bucket for mixing
  • Hammer
  • Chisel
  • Broom or concrete stamp

Preparations

  • Clean the concrete with a 3,500-psi pressure washer. The pressure washer will remove the top layer of concrete and clean the remaining surface so the new concrete will bond to it. Wear gloves and goggles while working with power tools.

  • Clean out cracks with a chisel and hammer. Chipping loose materials from the edges of the crack will provide a clean surface for a strong bond with the new concrete.

  • Mix the concrete product according to the manufacturer's directions for filling cracks. The cement should be a thick consistency so it does not run out of the crack.

  • Use a trowel to push the thick concrete into the crack. Level the fill material with the surrounding concrete as you work. Follow the manufacturer's directions for drying time.

Refinishing

  • Mix concrete to the consistency recommended by the manufacturer. Use a paddle mixer attached to a drill to mix the concrete in a bucket.

  • Sprinkle water onto the surface to hydrate the concrete and enhance the bond between the new and old concrete. Remove puddles with the squeegee.

  • Pour the cement over the old concrete in a thin puddle. Work in small areas so the product edges do not start to dry while you are still working with it.

  • Use the squeegee to move the cement around the surface and push it into the surface. Some products may have specific application methods, so read the manufacturer's directions.

  • Use a broom, stamp or other technique to finish the concrete. The broom needs to be dragged across the wet surface within five minutes of pouring it.

  • Allow the surface to dry.

  • Apply stain, paint or another colorant of your choice. Alternatively, dye can be added in the mixing stage, or the concrete can be left in its natural state.

Tips & Warnings

  • Refinish concrete in the mornings, evening or in the shade rather than in direct sunlight.
  • Refinish concrete on fair weather days, not while it is raining or threatening to rain.
  • Wear safety goggles and gloves while working with the pressure washer and other power tools.

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