Broom finish, flagstone, color, texture, swirling, and more. All finishes to newly poured concrete. And all finishes anyone can do themselves. Any one particular finishes will give your patio or sidewalk something besides the same kind of look. The questions are, what do you do and how will you do it? However before we get that far, I’m assuming you understand how to prepare, form, mix and pour the concrete. Or even, visit link resource box for information that will assist you. And if you do, read on.
Let’s start with Broom Finishing. It’s fairly simple to do. When the concrete surface is sufficiently set drag a soft broom or brush lightly across the concrete. For only less texture wait before surface has further hardened. With concrete the timing is important. If your initial brooming left overweight a finish you must retrowel the surface to eliminate all traces of the first finish, wait several (or more) minutes and rebroom. If you want the design of the broom finish, but think something extra in the brooming would look better. Try this. As you drag the broom across the surface of your concrete pad move it back and forth sideways merely a little. No more than 2 – 3 inches in each direction. Doing that will put what’s know as a wavy finish to your concrete sidewalk or patio.
Another way to provide your sidewalk or patio a different appearance has been a shell or swirling finish. Each is completed with a wood hand float as the concrete remains fairly wet (again trial and error. The swirling look is completed by randomly moving the wood float across the surface in no apparent pattern. It will rough up the surface and give it a somewhat coarse look. The shell finish is completed in an identical fashion, but, rather than the swirling random strokes, a shell pattern is applied. For the shell finish you hold the wood float on top of the concrete and move the top of the float from side to side while keeping the bottom of the float in one single place. Then move the float right next to your first shell and do another (again trial and error. Keep this up before entire surface has been covered with your shell pattern. You almost certainly must make several attempts only at that before you are satisfied with how it looks. Don’t get discouraged when it doesn’t look’right’at first. Just practice several strokes and it should come to you.
Color is no doubt the quickest and easiest thing you certainly can do to provide your concrete a different look. There are three methods to color your concrete cleaning of facade. The very first is to place color in the concrete mix before it is poured to the forms. The second way is to use it to the surface of the concrete while it remains wet. And the third is staining.
You can buy color and stains for concrete at just about any lumberyard and home improvement store. None of the three color methods are difficult to do. With the first you place the color in the concrete mix before it is poured in your forms. In this case just follow the directions given with the color. In the next method you spread the color uniformly across the surface of your concrete while it remains wet and then utilize the float to spread it around and to the concrete. Then finish the concrete as usual. Staining is the last color method. There are two types of stain. Regular and semi-transparent and both are applied to new concrete after it’s cured. Regular stain is similar to paint. It continues on and covers completely. Semi-transparent stain goes on the same way (use a paintbrush, a spray can, a roller, I saw one completed with a mop and it looked pretty good), but there is a difference. It may be applied in layers. Considering that the stain is semi-transparent the existing surface of your concrete sidewalk or patio will show through the first few layers of stain. The more times you apply the stain to the surface the less the initial concrete coloration below will show up. In this situation it’s all a matter of preference.
A flagstone pattern finish is just a little trickier compared to the others. Here you float as usual and then make the flagstone as the concrete remains workable. Get an item of 1/2 or 3/4″ inch diameter copper pipe and bend it into an S shape. Hold on to one end of the pipe and press one other to the concrete. Then just pull it across the surface. What you are wanting to accomplish is make a falgstone pattern with random geometric shapes on top of the concrete. When you have finished with making the flagstone you will have to refloat the concrete. The ultimate step here is whether you will want boom finish on top of the flagstone or even a smooth one. For a broom finish you follow the prior listed instructions.
Finally there are many other effects you can give concrete. A leaf finish is certainly distinctive. After floating and troweling just press some leaves into the surface soon after troweling. They should be embedded completely, but not covered. Leave them in place before concrete is set and then remove them. Other things could be pressed into concrete for patterns too. You can make round impressions in the surface by using cans. Whatever you think that might will leave a stylish mark on the concrete may be worth considering. Give it a try.
One finish I didn’t discuss is exposed aggregate. I believe it could be too burdensome for a person with limited or no previous experience dealing with concrete.