How to Surface Rough Concrete Patios

Strength and longevity make concrete a popular choice for patio floors. Over time, wear and tear, such as from foot traffic and water erosion, can leave your concrete floor looking rough and bumpy. Avoid having to smooth rough concrete with an aggressive concrete grinding machine and choose instead to resurface the concrete. Apply wet concrete resurfacer on top of old concrete to create a smooth overlay that gives your patio a fresh, new look.

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Smooth rough concrete with concrete resurfacer.

Step 1

Scrub the concrete with an eco-friendly concrete cleaner and a scrub brush. Eco-friendly concrete cleaner does not contain harsh acids and is biodegradable. Rinse off the excess cleaner from the concrete with a garden hose.

Step 2

Equip a drill with a paddle mixer bit. Mix a small amount of resurfacer in a large plastic bucket, using a 7 to 1 ratio of resurfacer to water.

Step 3

Re-wet the concrete if it has dried. Fill any large concavities in the patio with the resurfacer applied with a trowel, smoothing it level with the surrounding surface. Let the resurfacer patches firm up for at least two hours.

Step 4

Mist the patio with water, using a garden hose with a sprayer attachment.

Step 5

Mix up a large batch of resurfacer then pour it onto the patio in small sections at a time. Smooth the resurfacer with the trowel held at a slight angle and skate it across the surface in arcing, slightly overlapping motions. Position the angle of the trowel so the uplifted edge points away from the direction in which you're moving it and switch the angle when reversing the direction. If necessary, re-wet the concrete to keep it moist before adding more resurfacer.

Step 6

Leave the resurfacer to cure overnight before walking on the patio.


Mason Howard

Mason Howard is an artist and writer in Minneapolis. Howard's work has been published in the "Creative Quarterly Journal of Art & Design" and "New American Paintings." He has also written for art exhibition catalogs and publications. Howard's recent writing includes covering popular culture, home improvement, cooking, health and fitness. He received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota.