Decorating Options For A Concrete Overlay

Posted on: 26 April 2019

If the concrete on your driveway or patio is looking a bit old and worn out, there's no need to go through the time and expense of ripping it up and starting again. You could just resurface it and take advantage of decorative concrete treatments to produce something beautiful.

Textured Stamped Surfaces

With stamping and colouring techniques, your concrete can resemble natural stone, brickwork or even timber planks. If you want a look-alike stone surface, for example, particular stamps or moulds can impress the unset concrete with the characteristic definition and texture of a particular stone, granite for instance. A stamp can create the ridges between the 'stone chunks', and multiple moulds can mimic the surface texture of variable slabs. Powder pigments, stains and antiquing agents can additionally colour the concrete to mimic organic variances. 

Because concrete is so adjustable, you can enhance it to fit in with any environment with a level of control not possible with many other materials. In the same way that a painter can paint a wall virtually any colour imaginable through mixing an infinite number of colours, a contractor can control the concrete surface to produce many different looks because of the vast options available. 

Stencilling Treatments

Another treatment that can combine with stamping or else work alone is stencilling. This involves a contractor applying colour to the concrete, using a stencil or mask to control which parts take on the treatment. Even without stamping techniques to create texture, stencils can create beautiful designs. With a base colour already covering the concrete, a contractor can use a stencil to spray-paint the surface with a second colour to produce different patterns such as a geometric diamond design. 

Exposed Aggregate Effects

Exposed aggregate is another possibility. Different aggregates such as pebbles, stones, shells, coloured glass or other elements combine with the cement colour to create a rich, nuanced texture. You can control the overall complexion by adding pigments to the cement and also with your choice of decorative pieces. You also control the final effect with the size of the aggregates. Larger embellishments create a chunkier look, while smaller gravel gives a finer appearance.

One proviso with resurfacing concrete is that the existing concrete needs to be in reasonable condition. You can often repair minor cracks and damage, but significant cracks can be problematic because if you apply a concrete overlayer, this might crack as well later on.