How to Create a Pebbled Concrete Surface

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

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.

Advertisement

Video of the Day

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.

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.

Advertisement

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.

Advertisement

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.

Advertisement

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.

Advertisement

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.

Advertisement

Report an Issue

screenshot of the current page

Screenshot loading...