Concrete Patio Resurfacing: Preparation

A concrete patio.
  • 1-4 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-300
What You'll Need
Large broom
Stiff bristle brush
Hot water
Dish detergent
Paint thinner
Concrete repair kit
Pressure washer

Your concrete patio is usually a place where you, your family and friends can hang out and have fun. But over time, your patio can become less than nice due to weather, use, and animals. One solution, other than redoing your patio, is to acid-stain it or paint it. Regardless of which method you choose, preparation is a key factor when you resurface your patio. This article will show you how to prepare your concrete patio for resurfacing.

Step 1 - Clear the Concrete Patio

Before you can stain, paint, or acid-wash the surface of your concrete patio, you must clear it of any debris that may otherwise ruin a good resurfacing job. First, remove any furniture on your concrete patio. Place the furniture in an area where it will be safe from splatters and mistakes.
Next, use the large broom to sweep away leaves, gravel, rocks, and fine dirt. If you wash the concrete before this step, you run the risk of creating stuck-on mud that you may not notice until later.

Step 2 - Thoroughly Clean the Concrete

long narrow patio

Removing debris and furniture is just one step to ensure a great resurfacing experience of your concrete patio. Concrete cleaning is another important step. You can purchase expensive cleaners that will do a great job, but many household cleansers work fine here as well. Fill a bucket with hot water and detergent. Use your stiff bristle brush, dipped in the soapy water, to scrub the concrete edges, in cracks, and between slabs. A wire brush can damage the concrete.

If your patio contains other damage such as adhesive, use paint thinner to dissolve it. If grease or oil has been spilled on the surface, you can remove that with a decent degreaser. Finally, use the pressure washer to remove any soap residue or excess dust. You may have to touch up some areas of the concrete.

Step 3 - Repair Cracks

Before continuing with the resurfacing, you'll need to make sure the concrete has dried completely. Drying can take up to two days or more, depending on the weather. If you find any cracks or breaks in the concrete, you'll need to repair them before moving forward. Even the smallest pits and cracks can cause an issue when you resurface the concrete patio.

Open your concrete crack repair kit and follow the instructions to the letter. Be sure to fill all the cracks, small holes, and pits in your patio. If you are satisfied with your patch job, you can sit back and wait for two days for the concrete to cure and set. Finally, use the sander to remove any excess concrete. Continue until the surface is flat. When you're done, power wash the surface to remove concrete particles and dust.