How to Smooth Out Rough Concrete

What You'll Need
Trowel, flat steel
Trowel, wood
2x4 sanded and straight

Concrete is a very forgiving substance. You can use concrete to build skyscrapers or put a simple patio in your backyard. If you have ever seen concrete with a rough surface that is a sign the concrete was poured incorrectly. Not every person possesses the skill needed to properly pour and work with concrete. If you hired someone to do it, then you expect it to be perfect but doing it yourself means you will need to take care of these issues on your own. To avoid having rough concrete follow the simple steps below. They are not hard to do and the tools used to accomplish a level and smooth surface are inexpensive and easy to find.

Step 1 – Spread the Concrete

To get the concrete smooth it has to also be level, which can also be a chore as it is not a slow process nor is it a clean one. Concrete will remain somewhat fluid until it completely cures. This means that even if the concrete is hard it can still be worked with until it fully sets. Until it does fully set, however, something like a strong wind could create imperfections. Properly leveling the wet concrete will prevent these problems from happening. Smoothing out the concrete will also level and spread it out. Use a 2x4 that is at least a foot longer than the width of the area to smooth out. Put the board at one of the ends of the fresh concrete. It should be placed on the thin end. Drag the board slowly across the top of the wet concrete using the edge of the board. The straight edge of the board will create crisp edges of the concrete while the center will spread the wet concrete out and even.

Step 2 – Before the Curing Fan the Concrete

Once concrete is dry it is still pliable. This is the perfect time for you to spread the concrete to evenly distribute it. This will create blended edges that are crisp. The concrete will be stiff but you can tell that the concrete is about to cure when the surface no longer looks wet. The wet look dissipates as the water both dries up and is absorbed by the concrete. Since the curing is not complete it remains pliable. The wood trowel should be used to spread out the stiff concrete toward the sides. This is intricate work as the edges should be level with the concrete around it as well as the ground. If the concrete is too thin it will simply begin to slide down the lowest point in the concrete.

 Step 3 – Final Touches

Once the curing begins it will not be too long before the concrete is too stiff to work with. A metal trowel with a straight edge will be used to smooth the surface. Use 3 or 4 passes to ensure the concrete is level and smooth.