How to Make Concrete Shine

Concrete is an extremely versatile material. You can completely change the appearance of your dull, grey concrete in a number of ways. It can be painted, stained or even polished to a brilliant shine. Polished concrete is a perfect choice for counters, walls that you do not wish to paint and finished basements. Polishing concrete to a shine will maintain the colour and aesthetic of the concrete while still providing you with a finished appearance.

Combine one tablespoon of dishwashing soap and water in a large bucket. Dip a mop or sponge into the soap. Wring out most of the water. Scrub the concrete to remove dirt and grime. Clean the sponge and wipe down the concrete with clean water to remove the soap residue. Let the concrete dry completely.

Put on protective eye wear, a mask and gloves. Put the coarsest grit, diamond sanding pad on an orbital sander. Purchase six to seven sanding pads that attach to the sander. The pads should range from coarse to fine grit.

Press the sander firmly into the concrete and move the sander in a back and forth and up and down motion. Polish the entire space.

Switch to a finer grit sanding pad and sand the area again. Continue to switch the pads until you use all but the finest grit pad.

Pour concrete hardener into a pump sprayer. Apply the hardener to the wall with the sprayer. Move the sprayer back and forth, overlapping each pass of the spray. Let the hardener dry.

Attach the finest grit pad to the sander and sand the entire space a final time. Continue sanding until the wall shines.

Vacuum the space to remove all dust and small concrete particles. Wipe the area with a damp towel to remove the dust.


An orbital sander is perfect for counters, walls and small areas of the floor. You will be on your hands and knees to polish the floor. Consider using a drum sander for polishing large areas of flooring.

Things You'll Need

  • Dishwashing soap
  • Water
  • Low-tack painter's tape
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Orbital sander
  • Diamond polishing pads (6 to 7 pads from coarse to fine grit)
  • Pump sprayer
  • Concrete hardener
  • Protective eye wear
  • Gloves
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About the Author

Lisa East Hunter is a consultant and freelance writer in Phoenix. Her background in marketing and technology led her to explore all avenues of writing. She is currently dividing her time between freelance writing and her consulting business. Hunter has a Bachelor of Science in management information systems and marketing.