A concrete porch can appear merely utilitarian without finishing touches such as stamped imprints or staining, an aspect of concrete that can detract heavily from the appearance of your home. You can completely change the appearance of your concrete porch, though, with a layer of stone veneer mounted to the porch surface. The veneer, made of concrete but molded to appear as natural stone, gives you the opportunity to transform the look of your porch.
Things You'll Need
- Tape measure
- Stone veneer mold
- Mold release agent
- Concrete mix
- Plastic sheets
- Power washer
- Thinset mortar
- Paddle drill bit
- Brick trowel
- Wooden striking tool
- Wire bush
- Grout bag
- Concrete sealant
Measure the surface area of each side of the porch that you’re placing the veneer onto to determine how many veneer stones you need for full coverage. Measure the height and width of each side with measuring tape, then multiply the two to get the area of that side. Add the measurements of all of the surfaces together and then add an additional 10 percent to account for cut stones in order to calculate the entire surface coverage needed.
Create your own stones if you prefer not to purchase pre-made stones by coating the interior of the molds with mold release agent, then filling the molds with concrete. You can add colorant to the concrete while mixing to add color to your stones. Cover the filled molds with plastic sheeting and allow the concrete to set for 24 hours. Remove the veneer stones from the molds, cover them with the plastic sheeting, and cure them for three days before use.
Clean the porch with a power washer to remove any dirt or debris.
Arrange the stones that you’re using on a flat space the same size as each side of the porch in a pattern that provides as much coverage as possible. Maintain a space between stones of about 1/4 inch to leave room for stone movement after application due to weather changes.
Mix a batch of thinset mortar in a large bucket, adding water to the thinset until you have a mortar with the same consistency as peanut butter. Use an electric drill with a paddle bit attached to mix the mortar.
Wet the concrete porch surface before applying the stones to prevent the concrete of the porch from leeching out the moisture from the thinset mortar. Cover the back of the stone veneer with mortar using a trowel, creating a layer of thinset on the stones about 1/2-inch thick. Apply the stones to the surface one at a time, following your set pattern and beginning at the top of the surface for the porch edges and nearest the home’s wall for the porch top. Press the stones firmly onto the porch, squeezing mortar from the rear of the stones and wiggling them slightly to make certain the entire stone is against the porch. Remove any mortar from the tops of the stones immediately with a damp sponge.
Cut the stones to fit when needed by scoring the cutting line in the surface of the stone with the edge of a brick trowel. Place the trowel along the scored line and strike the trowel handle with a mallet to snap the stone along the line.
Wait an hour for the mortar to dry somewhat, then use a wooden striking stick to rake out excess mortar from the joints of the stones. Remove any remaining mortar on the surface of the stones and the edges of joints with a wire brush.
Fill a grout bag with mortar and then fill the joints between the stones with it by squeezing the bag from the rear and forcing the mortar from the nozzle at the bag’s base.
Cover all porch surfaces using the same process, and then allow the mortar to set for three weeks. Seal the stones and grout by spraying the surface with a concrete sealant. Wait two more days for the sealant to dry before using the porch.
- Photo Credit Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images
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