Resurface Concrete Ideas & How-To Tips (Patio & Driveway)

Many homeowners need help with what to do about their old concrete driveway or patio surface. As concrete ages, it becomes dull and dingy. Cleaning concrete is an option, but what about resurfacing concrete? Resurfacing concrete can make ideas more appealing and open up new possibilities. 

I have successfully resurfaced our home’s concrete patio, and here are a few things I learned about it.

There are two reasons for resurfacing concrete: to repair wear and tear damage and to improve its appearance. There are many patterns and options for resurfacing concrete.

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How to Cover an Old Concrete?

As concrete ages, the surface deteriorates due to wear and tear. Resurfacing a concrete floor in your basement, driveway, or concrete patio can open up a world of design creativity. You can create designs in stamped, stained, and painted concrete finishes.

Or, maybe you’re just looking to:

  • repair a crack or an area of concrete damage
  • resurface rough concrete to provide a smooth surface for flooring

Driveways and patios without coverings can be damaged by bad weather. They may develop small cracks and look rough and discolored over time.

Well, if the concrete is damaged in any way, then you could choose to:

  • repair the concrete damage area only
  • repair the concrete damage and resurface the whole floor
  • remove old concrete and pour new concrete

If your concrete is crack or damage-free, you can clean it using a power washer and a long-handled squeegee. Use a 5-gallon bucket to remove any standing water. Be careful around control joints and expansion joints. After you clean, consider painting, staining, or using epoxy coating on the concrete. This will give it a polished look.

Resurfacing is the way to go if you need to repair concrete or change the color and style.

To cover old concrete, here are three common concrete resurfacing techniques:

Decorative Spray Concrete Overlay Resurface

The technique in this video is best suited to resurface concrete that is in overall good condition. To clean the concrete, use a grinder to remove old paint or epoxy and vacuum up debris.

To prepare the concrete, apply an acid etch. Then, pressure wash to remove the acid before applying the base coat. The base cost is the color for the grout lines and needs 24 hours to dry before taping off the pattern.

Instead of pouring concrete, the overlay is sprayed using a hopper gun. 

Aside from giving the surface an anti-slippery effect, it produces one of the best topical finishes. With a hopper gun, you can achieve diverse colors that delight the eye.

Spray texture is a great way to hide concrete flaws and blemishes. It has a subtle texture that is similar to stucco. It’s a perfect concrete solution popular for resurfacing pool decks. You can also use it for patios, driveways, entryways, and other outdoor surfaces.

How to Resurface Concrete Patio

When resurfacing a concrete patio, it is important first to repair any cracks or damage. Next, the surface should be thoroughly cleaned and prepared for the resurfacing material. To make your patio look smooth and fresh, apply a concrete resurfacer that fills in imperfections.

To resurface a concrete patio, clean it using a pressure washer or water and detergent. Remove loose or damaged concrete, then apply a resurfacer mix using a trowel or squeegee. Smooth the surface and allow it to dry for at least 24 hours before using the patio again.

Concrete Patio Refinishing Ideas

Consider concrete patio refinishing if you want to revamp your outdoor space. To complete this process, you must fix cracks, apply sealer, and add decorative features. You can improve your patio by refinishing it, making it stronger and more attractive.

spray overlay pool

Pool Deck: Spray Concrete Resurface Mimics Brick and Stone

The decorative concrete overlay above this pool deck mimics brick coping and flagstone.

spray overlay patio

Patio: Spray Concrete Overlay Mimics Brick and Slate

This patio’s decorative spray concrete overlay resembles brick edging and slate stone.

spray concrete driveway

Driveway: Spray Concrete Overlay – Brick Edging and Flag Stone

This driveway’s decorative spray concrete overlay has brick edging and natural flagstone.

Now, let’s look at the stained concrete overlay process.

Stained Concrete Resurfacing

Stained concrete resurfacing is like other concrete overlay methods. It uses a special concrete stain instead of wet color mixing. Stained concrete resurfacing goes deep into the concrete and doesn’t peel off like paint.

You must thoroughly clean the concrete and remove all paint with a grinder. The concrete overlay is poured over and troweled to a smooth finish in a two-part process.

The stain is rolled, sprayed, or brushed over the concrete. The above process used a single-color stain. You can layer stains and use an acid etching to break them up, giving them a natural stone or earthy look. They are highly versatile and eco-friendly, oozing out granite and marble’s finishing effect. 

Use a concrete sealer in two thin coats with a wide paint roller to seal the concrete.

stained concrete driveway

Driveway: Stained Concrete Overlay with Border

Adding a stained concrete overlay to resurface concrete driveways can give it a new look and increase the value of your home. You can also add a border to add some extra decoration. There are many different colors and designs so that you can find the perfect one for your home.

stained concrete 2 lg

Patio: Stained Concrete Overlay with Border

One of our favorite projects is a stained concrete overlay on an exterior patio with a border. The patio was in rough shape, with many cracks and uneven surfaces. The contractor fixed all those problems by pouring a new concrete overlay and staining it with a darker border. A patio resurface makeover done right can last many years.

Acid Stained Garage Floor lg

Garage: Glossy Stained Concrete Overlay

A glossy stained concrete overlay is a great way to add extra pizzazz to your garage floor. The overlay can be stained in any color or pattern, protecting your garage floor from wear and tear. Plus, it’s easy to keep clean – sweep or mop regularly.

basement stained concrete

Basement: Glossy Stained Concrete Overlay

A glossy stained concrete overlay is a great way to update your basement without breaking the bank. This relatively inexpensive option can give your space a new look and feel and is easy to maintain. Plus, you can choose various colors and finishes to create the perfect look for your home.

Hubert Miles | Licensed Home Inspector, CMI, CPI

Hubert Miles is a licensed home inspector (RBI# 2556) with more than two decades of experience in inspection and construction. Since 2008, he has been serving South Carolina through his company, Patriot Home Inspections LLC. As a Certified Master Inspector, Hubert is dedicated to providing his expertise in home inspections, repairs, maintenance, and DIY projects.