How to Turn Poured Concrete Into a Stone Look

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Add color to concrete to give it a stone effect.
Add color to concrete to give it a stone effect. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

If you have a poured concrete patio or floor, you don't have to live with its plain, grayish-white appearance. It is possible to improve the appearance of your concrete by finishing the surface and making it look like stone. Stains are available that color poured and set concrete surfaces. Choose the right colors, such as shades of brown, gray and red, to create a natural stone-like finish.

Things You'll Need

  • Power saw with carbide-tip blade
  • Painter's tape
  • Concrete stain
  • Water
  • Garden sprayers
  • Long-sleeved shirt
  • Safety goggles
  • Gloves
  • Face mask

Draw out lines on the patio to outline the stones you will create. Stones are natural and free-flowing, so curves, sharp edges and straight lines mixed together are fine. Step back every once in a while as you draw to check your progress. You don't want too much of any one type of line. You also want to make sure the size of the stone shapes you are drawing looks realistic. Having basically all one size is fine, but if you mix different sizes in together, double-check occasionally that you don't have a lot of small shapes together and a lot of larger shapes together. Mix it up.

Carve along the lines, using a power saw. Use a carbide-tip blade to cut into the concrete. Cut down approximately 1/2 inch in depth. Cut at a slight angle along the lines, and then repeat over the same area, cutting at the opposite angle. Your goal is to create a slight V-notch in the concrete to make it look like a gap instead of a perfect sliced cut through the surface. Once they're complete, these lines will look like grout lines between the stones.

Tape the cut-out lines with painter's tape to prevent the concrete stain from getting on them.

Mix one part concrete stain and one part water in a garden sprayer. Repeat with the other colors. For a natural stone look, you want at least three different colors. Try looking at a stone you like and locating the specific colors in it to copy. Put the lids on the sprayers and adjust the nozzles to a fine mist.

Spray the concrete with the main stone color. Spray in a swirl pattern, not back and forth. You don't want to fully coat the concrete fully. You need to leave some room for the other colors.

Spray in a swirl motion with the other two colors. Some of the stain will bleed together to create other colors that will make the stone look more natural. Let the concrete dry for several hours, and then pull up the tape.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wear gloves, long sleeves, a mask and eye protection when working with concrete stain. It contains an acid.

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