If weathering has made your patio unattractive, you don’t have to rip it up and install new materials to get a brand new look. By resurfacing your concrete patio, you can achieve a brand new look in just a fraction of the time.
Keep in mind that the ideal temperatures for pouring concrete are between 50° and 60° Fahrenheit on overcast days. Extreme heat or cold will affect the curing rate of the concrete. Resurfacing a concrete patio doesn’t require a lot of tools or materials and can be completed by following the steps below:
Mix the Materials
One of the most important parts of resurfacing your concrete patio is to make sure you use the proper stone size in your mix; this depends on the thickness of the concrete overlay you plan to install. For overlays that are less than ¼ inch, a mixture of Portland cement and fine sand will do. For thicker pours of ¼ inch to ¾ inch use a coarse sand mixture. For pours that are thicker than ¾ inch use pea gravel. Mix the Portland cement and sand in a wheelbarrow. The proper ratio is two parts sand to one part cement. To avoid a soupy concrete mix, add the water gradually until you achieve the right mix. The concrete should resemble pancake batter when mixed properly.
Pour the Concrete
Using the furring strips as forms to hold your concrete in place, simply cut the strips to size and brace them to the sides of your patio using landscaping stakes. Set the top of the furring strips to the final height of the new patio surface. To ensure the new concrete bonds to the old surface, mix a bath of cement paint. This mixture is comprised of mixing Portland cement and water until it’s the consistency of paint. Start in one corner and apply the paint, followed by the concrete. It’s important to remember to work in small sections to avoid having the cement paint dry prematurely. You can use the flat-bladed shovel to evenly distribute the concrete and work it into the corners.
Finish the Concrete
Once the concrete has been poured, you can begin to level and finish the surface using the furring strips as guides. The best piece of equipment to finish the concrete surface would be a bull float. The wider the float, the less time required to finish the surface. You can use a hand float for finishing in tight spaces such as the corners. Do not sprinkle water on the surface of the concrete to make it easier to work with. This will weaken the top and will cause surface cracks to appear down the road. Once you’ve finished the surface, cover it tightly with clear plastic to protect it from the elements and to allow the concrete to cure slowly.