How to Refinish a Concrete Path

How to Refinish a Concrete Path

If you have a concrete path, driveway, or patio, you have likely noticed that concrete tends to break up over time. These areas tend to chip, crack, and resettle in an unattractive and unsafe manner. Severe weather and daily abuse can take their toll, too. But there is an affordable way to make it like new again.

Instead of paying a professional to come to your home and break up and replace the concrete, you can save a bundle by refinishing it yourself. There’s less mess, less cost, and less hassle in resurfacing concrete with a few supplies found at your local home improvement store. Moreover, a concrete path or small patio can be refinished in as little as a day and for under $50.

How to refinish concrete path step-by-step

Step 1 – Power wash the concrete.

The most important step in refinishing concrete is to ensure the original layer is absolutely clean. Thus, you will need to rent a pressure washer to ensure you have a powerful enough spray to not only clean off the dirt and debris but also remove the outermost layer of old concrete. There’s no need to scrub or chip away at anything on the surface as the pressure from the washer is adequate enough to do so.

Step 2 – Patch thick cracks, chips, or holes.

To guarantee a smooth, even surface, patch any concrete damage with a concrete resurfacer. This is a powder that will be mixed with water until it is a thick paste-like material that patches the concrete together. Follow package mixing and application instructions.

Step 3 – Mist the surface.

Lightly mist the surface with a garden hose to help moisten the concrete. This step is necessary so the resurfacer will bond properly when it is applied.

Step 4 – Mix the concrete resurfacer.

Using the same concrete resurfacer that was used in Step 2, mix to a pancake batter consistency. It will be more watery than it was when the product was used to patch. Again, consult package directions for exact mixing instructions.

Step 5 – Refinish concrete.

Refinish concrete

Work in small areas at a time, approximately 2′ x 3′, and begin pouring the concrete refinisher over the concrete. Smooth it in with a long-handled squeegee until it is smooth and even. While still wet, lightly go over the wet concrete with a push broom or trowel to give the surface some texture. If applying to steps, use a short-handled brush instead.

Step 6 – Repeat.

Move on to a new section and repeat until you have covered the entire concrete path.

Additional tips – When refinishing concrete, be sure you are working on a sunny day with no chance of rain. Low humidity levels are preferable. The outdoor temperature should be at least 70 degrees. Work at a steady pace as the concrete resurfacer has a fairly short dry time.

Refinishing your concrete surfaces can breathe new life into your outdoor spaces without breaking the bank. With a few simple steps and readily available supplies, you can tackle this DIY project with confidence. By power washing, patching, and applying a concrete resurfacer, you’ll not only enhance the appearance of your driveways, patios, and paths but also ensure their long-term durability.

What makes this approach even more appealing is its affordability. For under $50, you can transform your worn-out concrete areas, saving a significant amount compared to hiring professionals. Just remember to choose a sunny day with ideal weather conditions, follow the instructions closely, and work at a steady pace for the best results.

So, if you’ve been noticing cracks, chips, or unsightly wear and tear on your concrete surfaces, don’t hesitate to take matters into your own hands. With a bit of effort and the guidance provided here, you can enjoy a refreshed and attractive outdoor space without the hassle of costly renovations. Give your concrete a second chance, and you’ll be amazed at the transformation you can achieve.

Posted by
James C. Fortune

I have been writing for both print and online media for over 15 years. I also have a keen interest in DIY and Home Improvements, and have written several hundred guides and how-to's on this subject.