How to Resurface Concrete

Concrete cracks, splinters and wears down: whether it's a sidewalk, driveway, or patio, it'll need to be periodically resurfaced. Although the strength and style of concrete mix you use will vary based on your specific project, the basic steps of how to resurface concrete are universal. Try to resurface on a day that's not too hot or dry, leave ample time for the concrete to sit in the sun, and you should be able to finish your project in only a few hours.


  1. 1
    Clean the concrete to be surfaced. Remove all debris, break off any loose pieces of concrete and fill any cracks with caulk.
  2. 2
    Place wooden planks around the area to be resurfaced. These will act as a frame to keep in the new concrete. Ideally, the frame should be as high as the new level of concrete.
    • Add rocks or other large weights against the outside of the planks so that the frame doesn't move under pressure from the concrete.
    • Choose an appropriate concrete mix for your project. If you only want to add a thin layer of concrete, be sure to choose a mix that doesn't have large rocks. If you want to add a significant amount of concrete, a coarser mix might be the best choice.
  3. 3
    Mix concrete in your wheelbarrow.
  4. 4
    Take a small amount of the concrete mix and add water until it attains the texture of paint (the concrete mix itself should be substantially thicker).
  5. 5
    Apply this thinner mixture to the surface of the concrete in a thin layer.
    • This thinner concrete mix serves as a paste to make the adhesion of the new concrete mix to the old concrete easier and to avoid cracking. Only a very thin layer is necessary and can be applied with a brush.
  6. 6
    Begin pouring the main concrete mix from the wheelbarrow onto the concrete surface. Even with a trowel as you go along. Pour concrete slowly and evenly using less concrete than you think you might need.
  7. 7
    Pour concrete right up to the frame and stop when you get to the desired height.
  8. 8
    Go over the new surface with a brush to add texture.
  9. 9
    Let the new concrete surface sit for at least half a day.
  10. 10
    Remove the frame.


  • If you are resurfacing an area that is divided into concrete slabs, cover the gaps between the slabs with duct tape at Step 2. These gaps are designed to prevent the concrete from cracking, so you want to preserve them. Pour concrete over the duct tape, then remove it after Step 8.


  • Do not let any time lag between Steps 5 and 6. The thinner concrete mix will dry and provide an uneven texture to your surface. In general, pour concrete as soon as possible after mixing it and keep a fresh batch mixing as you pour so that the concrete doesn't have too much time to dry until the entire surface is complete.

Things You'll Need

  • Concrete mix
  • Wooden planks
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Trowel
  • Caulk
  • Brush
  • Duct tape
  • Gloves

Article Info

Categories: Concrete