The Easiest Way to Make Your Tired Concrete Look Brand New Again!

Mitch Couch
by Mitch Couch
3 Materials
2 Hours

This project is sponsored by CTS Cement.

An easy and inexpensive way to resurface old concrete!

I have an old, beat-up section of concrete in my backyard where I store my garbage can. I want to give it a fresh makeover, and Rapid Set by CTS Cement has a fantastic product that will do the trick. I went to my local Home Depot and picked up a 25-pound box of NewCrete Concrete Resurfacer

Along with this box, I picked up a floor squeegee, our primary tool during the spreading process.

As with any type of exterior or concrete work, the first step is to move all objects from the area and start cleaning the surface of the area we want to look like new. You can see it is pretty dirty here, so I cleaned the larger pieces of dirt by sweeping. Surface preparation is essential as it must be clean, sound, and free from any materials that may inhibit bond, such as oil, asphalt, curing compound, acid, dirt, and loose debris. Roughen the surface and remove all unsound material. Next, I used my pressure washer to remove all the dirt and gunk stuck to the concrete.  

This process can take some time, but it is essential to ensure that the NewCrete Concrete spreads and adheres properly to the surface we want to refinish. I will go back and forth with the nozzle of the pressure washer, making sure that all of the grime is removed. If, by chance, you have any oil spots, wipe up the excess oil with a rag or cat litter to absorb it. Next, use a bit of dish soap and a brush to scrub the stain, then rinse clean with water. 

Once the concrete has been cleaned, the next step is to prepare the NewCrete for mixing. All you need is a five-gallon bucket, a box of the NewCrete, a mixing tool as shown here, and two and a half to three quarts of clean water.

The best way to mix this product is to pour the water into your bucket first. Next, slowly add the NewCrete powder into the bucket, mixing as you go. I have my drill at a slower speed and mix about one-third of the product simultaneously.  

Once the powder is mixed with the water, which generally takes two to three minutes, I go to my work site and start spreading the mix. The mixture has around a ten-minute work time, depending on the outside temperature.

I pour a little at a time, careful not to overpour. Next, I use the floor squeegee to spread the mix all over the area I want to look like new. The mixture can be spread up to ⅛ of an inch at a time and up to ½ an inch if any holes need to be filled. Slowly and evenly, I spread the mixture, careful not to splash it on any surface I don’t want to cover, such as the side of the house or the fence. If you have hard-to-reach areas, using a smaller hand tool will be great to get the job done, especially along the edges.  

When using the floor squeegee, you want to work a back or forth motion, working the new product across the concrete.  

Once the surface area is covered, your next task is to give the new surface a broom finish. This will keep the new area from being too slick when it rains. You can use a concrete broom or, like I did, a regular household broom. Simply skim the surface of the area lightly, working in one direction. After two to three hours, the surface is able to be walked on. As you can see, the area turned out better than I expected. This run-down area looks like a brand-new concrete slab compared to what it looked like just a few hours before. If you are looking to transform your worn-out concrete slab, driveway, patio, or sidewalk, NewCrete by Rapid Set is the perfect solution for any DIYer.

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Frequently asked questions
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3 of 6 questions
  • Carol Harris Carol Harris on Feb 02, 2023

    will this work for driveway cracks?

  • Hes80591191 Hes80591191 on May 06, 2023

    Can concrete stain be added to this product?

  • Kay Kay on Feb 01, 2024

    You did an amazing job. Will this work on stairs or will it just run down? I need to do the up and down sides of stairs as well.

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2 of 3 comments
  • Penineche Penineche on Jun 01, 2023

    Thanks for sharing your experience with resurfacing old concrete. It's awesome to hear that you found a fantastic product, the NewCrete Concrete Resurfacer by Rapid Set. Giving your tired concrete a fresh makeover is a great way to spruce up your backyard!

    Preparation is key, and it looks like you took the time to clean the surface thoroughly. Kudos to you for removing all the dirt and gunk with a pressure washer. It might take some effort, but it's worth it to ensure proper adhesion of the NewCrete Concrete.

    If you ever need professional assistance with concrete work, you might want to check out concrete contractors Lafayette LA. They can provide expert advice and services to help you with your concrete needs.

  • Mary Ann Mary Ann on Feb 01, 2024

    Will this new surface eventually crack and chip off?

    I would love to do a little at a time on my driveway!!!!! one section at a time….fill any small cracks starting to appear!!!!

    Will it withstand the weight of a car and high traffic?