How to Resurface Your Patio

Want to make an old patio look like new? Follow our step-by-step how-to. We'll walk you through the entire process and help you reclaim your patio in just one weekend.

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A wobbly, cracked patio can put a damper on summer fun. Reclaim the space and help it look like new with our resurfacing how-to. We'll guide you step-by-step through the prep work, application, and aftercare—plus offer a few expert tips along the way.

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What You Need

  • Brick chisel
  • Dustpan
  • Push broom or masonry brush 
  • High-strength pressure washer
  • Patching compound
  • Concrete spreader
  • Control and expansion joints
  • Resurfacer powder
  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Drill
  • Paddle mixer
  • Long-handle squeegee
  • Wallpaper brush

Step 1: Crack Loose Mortar

Before you resurface, you'll need to take care of any unstable parts of the patio. Use a brick chisel to break away cracked or loose mortar in areas that were previously patched. Wipe broken pieces into a dustpan and discard.

Step 2: Clean Concrete

Sweep any debris off the patio surface with a broom. Then thoroughly clean the concrete with a high-strength pressure washer. Pay close attention to areas of the patio underneath trees, bushes, or other messy plants—fallen leaves and petals may need a little extra power to dislodge.

Step 3: Fill In the Gaps

Mix up a patching compound per the manufacturer's instructions, and fill any holes or cracks. The mixture should set up about a quarter-inch. Allow the repaired areas to harden. Then section off your patio into work areas that are no larger than 144 square feet. Use control joints and expansion joints to help you define the work areas. Mark any areas that will not be covered with resurfacer.

Step 4: Apply Resurfacer

Mix resurfacer powder and water—following manufacturer's instructions—in a 5-gallon bucket with a drill and paddle mixer. Saturate the patio surface with water, but remove any areas of standing water. Pour the resurfacing compound onto the patio, and spread with a long-handle squeegee. The mixture should be 1/16 to 1/8 inch thick. Use a wallpaper brush to cover corners and edges.

Within five minutes of applying the resurfacer (the surface should be somewhat firm but still malleable), drag a push broom or masonry brush over the work area. Pull the broom toward you, making sure that each stroke goes the full distance of the work area and all the broom strokes go in the same direction. Wait at least six hours before walking on the patio.

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