Resurface Concrete – Step-by-Step Guide

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Learn How to Resurface Concrete

Over time, exterior concrete surfaces can start to show the effects of weather, traffic and hard use. Spalling, discoloration and surface wear are the most common concrete surface conditions that can make otherwise structurally sound concrete look old and unsightly. Homeowners can easily and economically replace old, spalled concrete with a beautiful, wear resistant surface designed to withstand heavy foot and vehicle traffic concrete surfaces like patios, driveways and sidewalks.

Concrete Resurfacer

QUIKRETE Concrete Resurfacer is a special blend of Portland cement, sand, polymer modifiers and other additives designed to provide a shrinkage compensated repair material for making thin repairs to sound concrete which is in need of surface renewal. It is mixed to a pourable consistency and simply applied with a squeegee on top of a thoroughly clean and structurally sound concrete surface. Using QUIKRETE Concrete Resurfacer will cost a homeowner a fraction of the cost it would require to have a concrete surface demolished, removed and repoured by a professional. The following video offers a step-by-step approach for refurbishing a concrete surface.

Click here to use the site’s Quantity Calculator and Shopping List to determine how much concrete you will need for your project.

The following project instructions accompany the video and provide more detail on how to finish concrete.  When working with cement-based products, always wear eye protection and waterproof gloves. Temperatures should remain above 50 degrees for at least 8 hours and should be protected from freezing for 24 hours after applying.

Step 1 – Prior to applying rigorously clean old concrete to ensure proper adhesion of the new surface.  NOTE: a high strength, 3500 psi pressure washer must be used to remove any dirt, oil, grease or deteriorating concrete.

  • Repair deeply spalled areas and large cracks.
  • Saturate the surface with water and then remove any standing water.

Step 2 – Mix the resurfacer using a five-gallon bucket and a 1/2 -drill and paddle mixer (hand mixing and standard concrete barrel-type mixers cannot be used for this application).  TIP: it is essential that control joints and expansion joints are maintained to allow for slab movement. Weather stripping can be used to prevent Concrete Resurfacer from spilling into the joints.

Step 3 – Measure and add 3-1/2 quarts of clean cool water to a five-gallon bucket to mix one 40-pound bag of Concrete Resurfacer (the resurfacer should be poured into the mixing water).

Step 4 – Mix for about 5 minutes until a lump-free pourable consistency is achieved. If the mix is too thick, add water sparingly to reach the consistency of syrup; if the mix is too thin, additional powder can be added.

Step 5 – Pour the resurfacer onto the concrete in one-foot wide strips.

Step 6 – Scrub the material into the concrete surface using a long handled squeegee.

Step 7 – Evenly spread the resurfacer back and forth onto the slab.

Step 8 – Apply a non-slip finish using a concrete broom after about 5 minutes.  TIP: make full broom strokes across the entire distance of the work area without stopping (all broom strokes should be made in the same direction for uniformity of appearance).

Step 9 – Moist cure with a fine water mist for 24-48 hours in temperatures over 90 degrees.

Step 10 – Concrete Resurfacer will support foot traffic in about 6 hours and vehicle traffic in 24 hours.

Did you find this how to finish concrete guide useful? Find even more how-to videos from QUIKRETE on their website.

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12 comments on “Resurface Concrete – Step-by-Step Guide

      1. Chad

        You’re definitely right that surface preparation is critical, which is why at QUIKRETE we recommend cleaning thoroughly with a 3,500 PSI pressure washer before applying the material.

      2. John S

        Okay good I thought I was going crazy for a second… but yes – it is easy to think cleaning is an optional task, but all of the different oils and gunk over the years really effects the bond

    1. Chad

      QUIKRETE does offer five liquid color cements that can be used with concrete resurfacer–http://www.quikrete.com/ProductLines/CementColor.asp. However, it is critical that the mixing ratio on all components (water, liquid color cement, material) with each batch of Concrete Resuracer is consistent to generate consistent color results.

    1. Chad

      You can patch larger cracks or spalling with a thicker mixture of the Concrete Resurfacer. The patches need so set for 24-hours before applying the thinner coat across the entire surface.

  1. Chip

    Don’t overlook the “saturate the surface” direction. Common to build a dam and let water stand overnight. Remove bulk of standing water with floor squeegee, remaining puddles with leaf blower. Leaf blower greatest invention since the hammer. Don’t leave home without it.

  2. Brian

    Okay, looks easy enough, but what about on stairs, how would you suggest the riser, do you do the whole job at once or would you do say the riser first , let it dry then the platform and treads ?? I will post a picture of whats going on with my stairs front and back, I think the previous owner , who is a contractor did not use the proper MPA for steps, I could be wrong, any help would be great.

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