Want to make an old patio look like new? Learn how to resurface concrete with our expert advice. We'll walk you through the entire process and help you reclaim your patio in just one weekend.
A wobbly, cracked patio can put a damper on summer fun. Reclaim the space and help it look like new with our concrete resurfacing how-to. To give your patio a new lease on life, use a concrete overlay compound that adheres to existing concrete. We'll guide you step-by-step through how to resurface a concrete patio—plus offer a few expert tips along the way.
If your patio concrete is just stained or uneven in color, follow the same prepping process as you would for resurfacing concrete. Clean the concrete with a power washer and concrete cleaners for really tough stains. Then, you have the option to stain the concrete or use concrete paint to paint over stains for like-new decorative concrete options. The process below is recommended for flat surfaces only. Using the compound on stamped concrete patios will cover up textures, colors, and seams.
Before you start resurfacing concrete, 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.
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.
Mix up a concrete repair 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 concrete resurfacer.
Mix concrete resurfacing 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 patio 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 concrete 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 after resurfacing concrete before walking on the patio.