Asked on Mar 16, 2014

I'm in need of ideas /suggestions on redoing surface of my porch.

AlisaTraceyCraig G


Help!!!! I hate the surface of my front porch! It is rough and rocky and painful to walk on in bare feet, and makes rocking in a rocking chair a not so pleasant experience.
I need a very inexpensive solution, and would love to have lots of ideas to pick from.
I would love to do something with it before I start putting plants out and fix it up for spring and summer.
Very rocky , some with sharp edges. 
What was whoever did this thinking?
Very rocky , some with sharp edges. What was whoever did this thinking?
This is a close up of a part of it.   Isn't this just a sad excuse for a porch surface.
This is a close up of a part of it. Isn't this just a sad excuse for a porch surface.
20 answers
  • Adrianne C
    on Mar 16, 2014

    I think I'd pour and spread cement on it and smooth it out. Then paint.

  • Well the cat seems to like it. lol What has happened to your deck is caused by the concrete not being installed correctly, They used to much water and worked the concrete to much. This brings the cement part of the concrete up to the surface. And cement alone is a very soft material. This results in chalking, and every time its washed to float some more of the material away. After time the stone part of the concrete mix is exposed leaving the small stones that you now see. Repairs can be anything from a complete removal, to an epoxy coating that would level and smooth the deck out. Only thing is, is that the deck needs to be checked to determine if its to soft to accept such a repair. I would get several estimates and ask the mason contractors for their opinion of how to fix. I would assume all of them will suggest a compete removal and replacement, which I am sad to say may be the best course of action as it may cost less and get done faster. What you do not want is a thin coat of mortar floated over the top. It will fail. Might look fine for one or two years, but it will crack and fail. The last method of repair is to get an outdoor tile and have a tile contractor install tile over the cement deck. They make several colors and sizes, perhaps a pattern, that will look great and last a very long time. Here is a link to a company that sells products to seal and refinish concrete floors. They have some useful information about floors and the several types of flooring failures. Floors and decks are the same. Just put in a different location.

  • Jeanette S
    on Mar 16, 2014

    DO NOT PAINT CEMENT! It chips and peels on porches even if you use porch paint. I would talk to a concrete finisher because concrete does not always stick to has to be treated first. Don't rush into this or you will greatly regret it. Color should be added to any topping you chose to put down. For the time being until you can get a good solution, use rugs. You can get synthetic rugs at a great price. I use a $30 cotton rug for the past 2 years on mine and will use it again this year. Mine is basically for color. But I once had a thick braided rug out there.

  • Moxie
    on Mar 16, 2014

    Your surface may have become this way with wear or improper installation; however in the late 70's and 80s this type of surface was very popular and was created by gently washing down the concrete surface during original placement with water to expose the aggregate in the concrete mix on purpose and create a non-slip surface. I suspect this is the case with your surface as opposed to wear or improper installation because of the color and size of the aggregate. Normal concrete usually has limestone or grey colored stone in it. When they plan to expose the aggregate, they pay extra for the multi colored aggregate to provide color when it is exposed. Finding a cheap solution will need some serious creativity. The options I know of would include grinding down the surface - there are companies that do this (subcontractors that place terrazzo flooring and specialty concrete companies have the bid grinding equipment = look at the new floors in JCP stores and you will see what ground down, stained concrete looks like) - it would basically grind down the aggregate to a smooth surface and I think is the best option for you. You could install wood over the concrete by placing sleepers attached with concrete anchors and then attach deck boards over them in the opposite direction - but check your door threshold heights to be sure you have the room to do this. Again if you have the elevation height available, you could have a concrete topping placed over the existing concrete (but they have to scarify the existing concrete first, then place new concrete over - won't be cheap). The grinding would probably be the cheapest and long term hold up best. Depending on your weather climate area - you may be able to consider some type of epoxy topping that would render a smooth surface as well = but not outside in cold areas. Good luck with your project whatever you do.

  • I was thinking the same thing @3 results are available, use up and down arrow keys to navigate.Moxie, but when you look up close to the slab it appears that there is a lot of sandy material that appears loose, which is typical of the incorrect install as opposed to the non-skid type of install. Not so sure also abut the grinding of this surface as well. Normally I would say go for it, but I would be concerned about the amount of exposed stone on the surface. Normally this type of surface uses only sand stone which when exposed is soft to the feet, this exposed stone is sharp and rough. Wood which I did not think of is also a great option. Just be sure to allow or water run out along the edges. You do not want water to collect under the decking surface.

  • T Vaughn
    on Mar 16, 2014

    Thank you all for the helpful info and ideas. I think you're right Moxie, my hubby and I think they meant for it to be like that, but sadly this house is only about 17 yrs old! I think the people that built this house are just way behind in their thinking and style, because the colors they chose for the inside were also dated looking as if they did it in the 70's or 80's. lol But thank you all for the suggestions, maybe we can work on it soon I hope. The picture at the top in only half of it , it has that much on the other side and then goes around a corner, it's a nice size porch and a shame it has such a horrible surface.

  • Terra Gazelle
    on Mar 16, 2014

    There is a epoxy paint that works well with will also keep the pepples and cemnet from lifting, while giving it a smoother feel.

  • Moxie
    on Mar 16, 2014

    just keep in mind concrete is a chemical cocktail of sorts..the wrong mix can cause issues along the way but I am guessing with the exposed aggregate the surface caught debris over the years showing "sand".we can all guess by only the person who mixed up the concrete knows what went in it...after 17 years if it is still in place I would not jump to improper install (placement is the proper term for concrete --you don't install it, it gets placed) however if less than profession made up the mix ...who knows.. I only responded as another thought is they have new outside tiles that are made to sit above the subfloor a bid for drainage and some of them are pretty cool looking - they snap together and can be moved to. Check out Dek-n-go or Flex deck for ideas or google "deck tiles" -- good luck whatever you do!

  • Melissa Leach
    on Mar 17, 2014

    Can you do a section at a time with pressure treated wood and then stain?

  • If your choosing the wood deck route, and want to do a small area at a time, you can build small 2 foot or 4 foot or any size for that matter sections using 2x4 boards laid on their sides as the base and then using deck boards fasten them to those boards. This allows you to pick up and remove if need be an can be stained on saw horses then placed on to the patio. If you turn them 90degrees each you will get a pattern. We use that method when covering a roof deck. It allows the home owner to pull the sections up and remove any leaves or debris or keys that may fall between the spaces in the boards. this is really an easy job, just takes a bit of time cutting the wood. But the local home center can pre-cut the lengths for you leaving the only task of screwing and or nailing the squares together.

  • Janet Smith
    on Mar 17, 2014

    The "washed aggregate" surface is frequently used on sidewalks and driveways, but not usually on porches. Contact a decorative concrete contractor to make certain the surface is stable. They can add a layer of new concrete with a smooth or stamped finish that will be easier on the bare feet and on the "eye!"

    on Mar 17, 2014

    Use a self-leveling top coat and then go over than with an exterior grade quarry stone or tile.

  • Val Pieroni
    on Mar 18, 2014

    Annie Sloan paint is supposed to work on cement and not chip...she also sells sealer

    on Jun 23, 2014

    Yes epoxy is your best option.

  • T Vaughn
    on Jul 3, 2014

    Thanks Dr Handy, I still haven't done anything with it yet, I'm still trying to finish up other projects. But this sounds like it would work. thanks

  • Fran Bacak
    on Jan 2, 2015

    Thanks for all the great ideas.

  • Lis1050935
    on Jan 4, 2015

    Look into Designer rock Floor. It's an overlay on your patio. Go to or

  • Craig G
    on Feb 12, 2015

    Get a couple bags of non shrink grout and a bottle of concrete adhesive along with a floor squeegee. Mix a small amount according to directions. Make sure surface is clean (pressure wash best). Do a small test area out of the way. You can add a water base pigment for color. Very important lock up the pets.

  • Tracey
    on Aug 6, 2016

    Lowe's has concrete resurfacer by quikcrete just for that

  • Alisa
    on Sep 4, 2016

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