Concrete is one of the most hard-wearing accessible structure materials you can use.  If your concrete is worn out, crumbling, cracking and making a bit of a mess, there are a number of ways you can renew it.  Whether the concrete surface is in your garage, on your patio or around your pool, you can have it looking fresh on budget AND in a reasonable amount of time.

How To Make Old Concrete Look Like NEW_

1. Restoration

• Instead of ripping out and replacing old concrete slabs, restoration is the easiest way to make concrete look new.  While the steps are simple enough, resurface-er requires a thorough preparation process.

• Begin by sweeping away loose debris and using a grinder to get rid of old paint.  Make sure you wear a respirator so you don’t breathe any dust in.

• Using a 3500 pounds-per-square-inch power washer will help remove dirt, oil, grease, or deteriorating concrete.  When dry, vacuum any remaining particles and separate the work area into smaller sections – a good size for smoothing out resurface-er before it begins to set.  To maintain control joints and expansion joints, use weather stripping to prevent concrete resurface-er from spilling into these spaces.

• Once the surface is ready, you can use a rapid-set mortar mix and bonding adhesive to fill any voids and cracks.  Your hand may be the best way to push this into smaller crevices and then use a blade to scrape off excess before allowing it to harden.

• It should dry quickly. Brush the surface once more to get rid of further dust and make sure the concrete surface is flat.  From here you can use a bucket for your mix with a drill and paddle mixer until it is the consistency of pancake batter.  Pour water on concrete and brush off excess, so the resurface-er is easy to spread.

• Once your preferred cement with bonding adhesive is applied over the entire area, you can go over it till it is smooth and thin with a broom, making strokes in the same direction.  After 15 or 20 minutes, use an edge-er to clean up the boundaries of the project.  Your new concrete should be ready for foot traffic within six hours and vehicle traffic after twenty-four hours.

2.  Stencil/Stamp/Decorative Overlay

• This method can be complex but will have a more fancy-looking finish.  For basic stencil/stamp and overlay designs you will need to follow the same steps above to clean and prepare the surface.

• You may need to use a primer with your standard paint roller after thoroughly vacuuming any remaining dust and particles.  But before using the cement with bonding adhesive, you can use design tape/painter’s tape, to create a pattern or a cut-out.

• If the cut-out gets caked with paint you can stop to clean this and let it dry in between.  After pulling the tape up from the decorative overlay, you can also scrape or brush away any rough spots to perfect the finished surface before applying the finishing sealer.

• If you are using a silicone stamp to create your design then you can place it on your cement before it dries – when it is still soft but there is no extra moisture.

• Spray with some liquid release agent, then use a tamper to apply even pressure to your stamps.  For any mistakes, use a silicone roller to make small adjustments or reapply the design.  After this dries and you pull the tape away, you can apply the desired color wash by adding a scoop of your colour to water.

• Spray it on the floor generously and use a broom to brush it around.  Once this is even and there are no puddles you can roll your finish on, applying a second coat after it dries.

Step 1: Restoration
2. Stencil/Stamp/Decorative Overlay
Step 3: Staining
Step: 4 Painting

3. Staining

• This is a great way to create a permanent colour on something like a basement or garage concrete floor or outdoor patio.  The stain seeps deep into the pores and creates an interesting translucent look.  While staining offers less protection than painting, it often goes on quicker and dries faster.

• This method of making concrete look new starts off with the basic preparation used in the other methods – thorough cleaning, filling any cracks or dips, and power washing.  Use protection when etching – especially if you are using something acidic.

• If you don’t do this step, the stain will not adhere as well to the concrete.  When the concrete is ready, you can mix your stain in a bucket with water and a drill mixer.  Make sure you are using the right amount of water for the darkness or lightness of your preferred stain colour.

• Your preferred stain can be applied using a brush or broom, roller or sprayer, depending on the size or placement of the surface.  Spread this around with circular or figure-eight motions, overlapping as you go – this will help the colour dry evenly and ensure you are not leaving any puddles.

• Don’t walk on it again till it is dry-to-touch.  Then you can apply a second coat.  Leave this for about 24 hours without wetting the surface.  Applying a sealer at the end will help protect the stain.

4. Painting

• So is it better to paint or stain concrete?  Concrete painting is a great way to make concrete look polished with an opaque finish.  Unlike staining – which needs to be sealed or waxed once or twice a year for best maintenance – painting will need application less often.

• Interior concrete painting may not need repainting for 10 or 15 years.  To begin, make sure you have all the particles and dust vacuumed.

• After preparation – cleansing and filling, like a stain, make sure to etch concrete first, so the paint will adhere to the surface better.

• You can use a grinder if you find power washing doesn’t work as well, and again, always wear the appropriate protective equipment for this step.  You can always power-wash and thoroughly dry, instead of grinding but this will add dry-time to the project.  Use a concrete primer for painting surfaces that will be driven on or paint with a built-in primer for surfaces that will only get foot traffic.

• You can use a primer that is also a sealer if you are working on a project like concrete steps or painting concrete floors.  This will make it more durable.  For high foot traffic areas, remember to add anti-skid to your preferred paint colour.  That way there is some extra grip if the surface gets wet.

For the Do-It-Yourself-ers, restoration, overlay, staining, and painting are all realistic ways to make your old, worn-out concrete look like NEW.  Depending on the size, with the right preparation, equipment, and products, the average project can be done within a day or two.

And if any of these projects seem a little overwhelming and have you Googling “Concrete Painting near me” or have you worrying about concrete painting cost, Home Painters Toronto can make sure your dream comes true.  With over 30 years of experience, we can have your old concrete looking like NEW when the time is right for you!

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