Seeding pebbles over the surface of wet concrete adds visual interest to pavement. Creating an exposed pebble finish on pavement is a do-it-yourself task that only slightly increases the total cost of the project. Pebbled concrete forms a level, slip-resistant surface that suits driveways, walkways or patios. Choose smooth, colorful pebbles that complement existing colors in your yard.
Things You'll Need
How to Create a Pebbled Concrete Surface
Step 1: Measure and Outline the Site
Measure the area and add 3 inches to the sides for the form boards. Outline the site with landscaping paint, tracing the side of a board so the lines are straight.
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Step 2: Dig and Compact the Surface
Unearth the area with a shovel until there's an 8-inch-deep expanse with vertical walls. Press the bottom of a hand tamper over the surface so the loose dirt feels compact.
Step 3: Tamp the Aggregate
Add 3/4-inch aggregate into the expanse and spread it with a shovel. Insert a measuring stick through the aggregate to the compacted subsoil. Tamp the aggregate and add more to create a 5-inch-thick base. The tamped base is flexible enough to buffer the concrete from ground tension and enable water to drain away.
Step 4: Fit Boards
Fit 2-by-4 inch form boards against the inner walls and screw them together with a drill. Brace the boards with wooden posts around the outer perimeter.
Step 5: Mix Concrete
Mix the concrete mix in a large wheelbarrow with water using a paddle and drill. The composition should be thick but spreadable.
Step 6: Pour the Concrete Mix
Pour the mixture over the base using a gauge rake to fill the corners and sides. Place a wood board on the wet surface and pull it back and forth to make it level.
Step 7: Lay the Pebbles
Lay decorative pebbles over the concrete with a shovel. Spread any small piles with a broom for even coverage. Lay a board over top and press the pebbles into the concrete. Wait about two hours so the surface can start to set.
Step 8: Expose the Pebbles
Push off the thin coating of cement paste around the sides of the stones with a soft broom. Expose only the top of the pebbles so they remain firmly embedded in the concrete. Hose off the cement you removed.
Step 9: Cover the Pavement for One Week
Cover the pavement with moist, breathable fabric and keep it moist for a week.
Step 10: Apply Sealant to Finish
Seal the pavement with clear, penetrating sealant using a roller brush to guard against water damage and wear and tear.