If your concrete patio surface is crumbling and scaling, you can resurface it with a variety of concrete overlays. Innovations in decorative concrete also make it possible to go further than a simple grey concrete resurfacing project. With a fresh layer of wet concrete, you can add stamps, tints and dyes for a truly unique patio.
An overlay is a thin layer of concrete that can effectively resurface your patio. You can even make the resurfacing material yourself. Clean up any crumbling spots, and sweep the surface clean. You will need cement mix, sand and water. To determine the amount of concrete you need, decide how thick you want the surface to be. If it's thicker than one inch, consider adding some pea-sized gravel to the mix. Consult with a home improvement specialist before tackling the job.
Give your patio some visual interest by creating a decorative aggregate border or a geometric pattern within the patio. Aggregate is the heavier rock material in concrete. Try an aggregate botanical mosaic, such as a leaf or tree pattern in the centre of your patio, in shades lighter or darker than the surrounding concrete. Aggregate stone can be set as individual pieces of rock, or mixed into a separate concrete mix, and poured. To reveal the aggregate rock after it's dried, use a pressure washer.
Concrete Roller Stamps
Use a concrete stamp roller to create a repeating pattern of cobblestone, slate or brick on your concrete overlay. A stamp roller resembles a push mower, with a long handle. The roller is covered in rubber stamp material, which allows the installer to roll brick or stone impressions into the wet concrete in a steady, single movement.
Turn your patio into a beautiful, earth-tone surface with acid stains. Acid stains react to the salt and other chemicals in the concrete to create a mottled surface that resembles the look of natural stone. They're applied to dry concrete overlays and come in a variety of natural colours. Stencils and mosaics can also be created with acid stains, creating a two- or three-color acid stain surface.
Consider a concrete overlay that's been blended with acrylic materials. Acrylic overlays are a good choice for a patio, because they're said to be twice as strong as ordinary concrete, with good slip resistance. They can also be stamped to resemble brick, stone or any other surface material. See Resources for more information about acrylic overlays.