Turning a Bland Concrete Patio Into Something Special

Alicia W
by Alicia W
4 Materials
2 Days
We have a concrete patio off of our deck that was begging for a makeover.
Begin by sweeping all of the loose debris off of the concrete.
Using plain water, wash the concrete area.
Working in small sections, pour Fast Prep onto the wet concrete. It will foam and bubble.
Using a stiff brush, scrub Fast Prep into the concrete. You will be able to see it removing any stains.
Rinse the area with plain water.
Once the entire concrete slab is cleaned, allow to dry for 24 hours.

Measure the concrete to determine the center point. This will also help you to decide how many rows of "tile" there will be.
I used 12"x12" tile but you can use any size.
Using a chalk line, snap two lines that intersect at your center. These are your starting lines.
Using 1/2" tape, run the tape along your first lines.
Meaure off the next line from the outside edge of the tape.
Using a chalk line, snap a line and place your next line of tape.
Continue to measure, snap a line, and apply the tape.

FYI - 1/2" tape is really hard to find. I used 2" Gorilla tape. I tore the tape in half giving me 1" wide tape, then I tore it in half again giving me 1/2" wide tape.
Gorilla tape is very sticky so tear off shorter pieces of tape so they don't stick to each other.
After you've taped the entire concrete area, apply the stain using a 3/8" nap roller.
Remove the tape to reveal your grout lines.

When I pulled off the tape, this is what it looked like. The stain had bled underneath the tape so there were areas where the "grout lines" were indistinguishable.
I believe the reason was because our concrete was not a smooth surface so the tape, while very sticky, could not cover all of the texture of the concrete.

After a few choice words and feeling sorry for myself, I decided to fix it.
I mixed a small amount of the stain into white exterior paint because I didn't want bright white grout lines.
Using a small brush, I painted the grout lines onto the concrete following the outline of the tape marks.
After the paint had dried, I applied two coats of concrete sealer to the entire patio to assure that the paint wouldn't wear off.

Even though this project didn't turn out the way I had hoped, it did give the patio the affect that I wanted so the next time you have a DIY fail, cut yourself some slack. You are a DIYer, after all, so you have what it takes to fix any mistake :)

Suggested materials:
  • Valspar Fast Prep   (Lowe's)
  • Valspar concrete stain   (Lowe's)
  • Valspar concrete sealer   (Lowe's)
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Frequently asked questions
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  • Ro Ro on Aug 10, 2017

    not sure how long this paint would last with weather, traffic. is this an every year task?

  • K_a6056411 K_a6056411 on Aug 12, 2017

    Would that work for concrete that has marks from a house fire? I want to cover them up of course, I'm back in my home now and don't want to be reminded of it.

  • Genie Medlin Genie Medlin on Oct 29, 2017

    is the finished surface still porous enough to absorb water or will it pool up after a rain shower?

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