How to create a pebble finish on concrete

Concrete is a durable construction material chosen more for its strength and versatility than for its raw appearance. It's also more affordable and fitting for a do-it-yourself project than natural stone. After pouring and manipulating concrete so it's smooth, you can press a stamp over the surface while it's wet to give it a pebble finish. Consider applying a coloured sealant to embellish the patterned surface with a complementary colour.

Clean off the concrete surface with a hose and a scrub brush if you are adding the finish to an existing concrete surface. Use a power washer if the surface is weathered and has dirt embedded in the cracks. To create a pebble finish on old concrete, you'll need to pour a fresh layer of concrete over the top so you can impress the pattern with a stamp.

Coat the old surface with a layer of bonding adhesive according to the instructions on your package.

Rub a thin layer of mould release agent over the concrete stamps so it doesn't stick to the surface.

Mix enough concrete to add a 2-inch layer over the old surface or enough to pour a 4-inch-thick slab if you're pouring a new walkway or patio. Use a concrete mixer or a wheelbarrow and blend until the mixture is thick but spreadable.

Pour the concrete over the old surface or into forms. Spread it by dragging a long 2-by-4 board across the top. Go over the surface with a long-handle squeegee to fill in any flaws and smooth it out.

Press the pebble-pattern stamp into the concrete within 15 minutes of pouring it.

Ensure that each stamp is aligned with the previous stamp before you press it down. Tap the stamp with a rubber mallet to press it evenly on all sides, then lift it straight up by the handle or handles to remove it.

Use a spray pump or roller brush to coat the surface with penetrating sealant. The sealant will fill the pores to protect it from water damage.

Things You'll Need

  • Hose
  • Scrub brush
  • Power washer
  • Bonding adhesive
  • Mold release agent
  • Concrete mix
  • Concrete mixer or wheelbarrow
  • 2-by-4-inch board
  • Long-handle squeegee
  • Pebble-pattern stamps
  • Rubber mallet
  • Spray pump or paint roller
  • Concrete sealant
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About the Author

Aurora LaJambre is a writer and editor living in Brooklyn, N.Y. For over five years she's covered topics in culture, lifestyle, travel, DIY design and green living for print and online media. Her publication credits include "WOW Women on Writing," "Six States" and She graduated from New York University in 2003 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in creative writing.