How to make concrete sidewalks glitter

Updated February 21, 2017

Concrete is one of today's most common building materials when it comes to sidewalks. But, as a purely functional, industrial substance, concrete is cold and lifeless. Prevent dreary sidewalks by adding glittery silicon carbide to the surface of freshly poured cement. Whether it's from the sun, moon or a nearby streetlamp, the crystalline specks of silicon carbide will catch the light, dazzling all those who step upon your walkway.

Calculate the needed amount of silicon carbide. Acquire 11.3 to 22.7kg. per 100 square feet, depending on how much sparkle is desired.

Screed the freshly poured cement by dragging a board across the top of the sidewalk form. Allow the cement to stiffen slightly, then smooth it by skating a bull float back and forth across the surface.

Allow the cement to stiffen further, until it can sustain some pressure but is still impressionable.

Sprinkle the silicon carbide evenly across the surface of the cement.

Embed the particles into the cement by working a hand float across and around the surface, applying medium to firm pressure.

Add any desired texture. Edge, cure and seal the concrete as normal.

Things You'll Need

  • Screed board
  • Bull float
  • Finish-grade silicon carbide
  • Hand float
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About the Author

Mason Howard is an artist and writer in Minneapolis. Howard's work has been published in the "Creative Quarterly Journal of Art & Design" and "New American Paintings." He has also written for art exhibition catalogs and publications. Howard's recent writing includes covering popular culture, home improvement, cooking, health and fitness. He received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota.