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Broom finish, flagstone, color, texture, swirling, and more. All finishes to newly poured concrete. And all finishes anyone can do themselves. Any some of those finishes can give your patio or sidewalk something besides the same old look. The questions are, what can you do and how will you get it done? However before we get that far, I am assuming you understand how to prepare, form, mix and pour the concrete. If not, head to link resource box for information that’ll assist you. And should you choose, read on.
Let’s begin with Broom Finishing. It’s quite simple to do. When the concrete surface is sufficiently set drag a soft broom or brush lightly throughout the concrete. For even less texture wait before surface has further hardened. With concrete the timing is important. If your initial brooming left fat a finish you must retrowel the top to eliminate all traces of the very first finish, wait several (or more) minutes and rebroom building façade cleaning. If you like the appearance of the broom finish, but think a little extra in the brooming would look better. Try this. As you drag the broom across the top of your concrete pad move it back and forth sideways merely a little. No more than 2 – 3 inches in each direction. Doing that’ll put what is know as a wavy finish to your concrete sidewalk or patio.
Another way to offer your sidewalk or patio an alternative appearance has been a layer or swirling finish. Each is completed with a wood hand float while the concrete continues to be fairly wet (again trial and error. The swirling look is completed by randomly moving the wood float across the top in no apparent pattern. It will rough up the top and give it a fairly coarse look. The shell finish is completed in the same fashion, but, instead of the swirling random strokes, a layer pattern is applied. For the shell finish you contain the wood float on top of the concrete and move the the surface of the float from laterally while keeping the bottom of the float in one single place. Then move the float right next to your first shell and do another (again trial and error. Keep this up before entire surface has been covered with your shell pattern. You most likely must make several attempts only at that before you are satisfied with how it looks. Don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t look’right’at first. Just practice several strokes and it should come to you.
Color is undoubtedly the quickest and easiest thing you are able to do to offer your concrete an alternative look. There are three approaches to color your concrete. The very first is to put color in the concrete mix before it is poured into the forms. The second way is to apply it to the top of the concrete although it continues to be wet. And the third is staining.
You can purchase color and stains for concrete just about any lumberyard and home improvement store. None of the three color methods are difficult to do. With the very first you add the color in the concrete mix before it is poured in your forms. In this instance just follow the directions given with the color. In the second method you spread the color uniformly across the top of your concrete although it continues to be wet and then use the float to spread it around and into the concrete. Then finish the concrete as usual. Staining is the past color method. There are two kinds of stain. Regular and semi-transparent and both are applied to new concrete after it’s cured. Regular stain is similar to paint. It continues and covers completely. Semi-transparent stain goes for a passing fancy way (use a paintbrush, a spray can, a roller, I saw one finished with a mop and it looked pretty good), but there is a difference. It can be applied in layers. Since the stain is semi-transparent the prevailing surface of your concrete sidewalk or patio will show through the very first few layers of stain. The more times you apply the stain to the top the less the original concrete coloration below will show up. In this case it’s all a matter of preference.
A flagstone pattern finish is really a little trickier than the others. Here you float as usual and then make the flagstone while the concrete continues to be workable. Get a bit of 1/2 or 3/4″ inch diameter copper pipe and bend it into an S shape. Retain one end of the pipe and press the other into the concrete. Then just pull it throughout the surface. What you are wanting to do is make a falgstone pattern with random geometric shapes on top of the concrete. After you have finished with making the flagstone you should refloat the concrete. The final step here is whether you will want boom finish on the surface of the flagstone or perhaps a smooth one. For a broom finish you follow the prior listed instructions.
Finally there are several other effects you are able to give concrete. A leaf finish is unquestionably distinctive. After floating and troweling just press some leaves into the top right after troweling. They should be embedded completely, however, not covered. Leave them set up before concrete is set and then remove them. Other things may be pressed into concrete for patterns too. You possibly can make round impressions in the top by using cans. Whatever you believe might will leave a nice-looking mark on the concrete may be worth considering. Give it a try.
One finish I didn’t discuss is exposed aggregate. I think it would be too difficult for a person with limited or no previous experience working with concrete.