There are hundreds of pattern moulds for making concrete walkways and a rainbow of colourants that can be added to concrete mix or used to stain the hardened concrete. Molds come in two types. With the first type the mould is placed, concrete is poured into it and surfaced and then the mould is removed leaving the pattern. The second type requires a patterned mould be pressed into the surface at the very end of the finishing process. Colourants come in liquid and powder form and are usually added into the mix or trowelled into the top layer. Stains are used after the concrete has cured.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Concrete mix
- Concrete colourant
- Concrete finishing tools
- Concrete walkway pour moulds
- Moulded concrete stamps
- Concrete stain
- Mortar mix
- Concrete sealer
Choose the colour for the walkway. Home improvement stores will offer a limited number of colourants, so it is best to check with your local concrete supplier or explore online for greater options.
Decide on the type of walkway to be constructed. Molds into which concrete is poured tend to be thin and the finished walkway may not be suitable for heavy traffic or for frequent use with heavy garden equipment. Walkways into which patterns are stamped are constructed conventionally, so they can be any thickness.
Select and purchase or rent the mould pattern. Patterns into which concrete is poured will be limited to brick, field stone and cobble stone configurations. Molds for pressing into concrete are available in hundreds of patterns.
Layout and prepare the bed for the new walkway. Walkways that will have patterns pressed into them can be any thickness and should be formed, reinforced and fitted with expansion joints at regular intervals like any poured concrete projects. Those to be poured into moulds should have bases as level as possible so the top surface stays even.
Order or mix the concrete and colourant. It is best to use a smaller aggregate size than is customary in standard concrete mixes when working with moulds. Concrete suppliers will know how to adjust the mix.
Lay out moulds and fill with concrete. Surface the concrete to the top of a mould. Remove the mould to reveal the pattern. Repeat the process for the length of the walkway.
Pour, float and surface concrete to be stamped in the conventional manner. When the surface is finished and is just starting to cure, press the pattern into the concrete and repeat along the length of the walkway.
Apply concrete stain in the colour of choice once the concrete has cured if a colourant was not used in the concrete mix itself or if a more random and variable look is desired.
Apply a concrete sealer with UV protection to coloured or stained concrete.
Fill “joints” with mortar or sand if desired.
Tips and warnings
- Stamping concrete requires some practice and is time sensitive, since it has to be completed for the whole project before the concrete surface cures too much. It is best to have extra people and one experienced in stamping.
- A mould release applied to the either type of mould may speed progress and make clean up easier.
- It can be a challenge to keep moulds level over long distances, so use this method only for shorter walkways.
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