Pouring concrete is one of the easiest ways to create a new patio. However, you might find the idea of a concrete slab to be rather dull. If this is the case, there are tools and applications that can turn a boring concrete patio into an exciting outdoor space. You can play with the texture of the concrete in a couple of ways that will provide the patio with more dimension and visual appeal.
A simple way to add texture to your concrete patio is to use a broom on the slab before it dries. After you pour the concrete, use a trowel and smooth the surface. Allow the concrete to dry to the point where it is no longer runny. Then dampen a broom and pull it over the top of the concrete toward you. Pushing away could disrupt the poured concrete. Keep repeating this process until all of the lines in the patio are even. This pattern will supply traction to a concrete slab that can be slippery when wet
You can also add stones on top of the concrete to give it a more interesting look. This works well if you choose a stone aggregate that contains striking colors. To tackle this project, you will need to pour the concrete slab in sections. You can divide the work area into sections with 2x4s. By doing this, you can work on one section at a time before the entire surface dries.
Lay wire mesh over the area, and pour the concrete. Leave half an inch visible at the top of the section. Smooth out the area with a trowel and then sprinkle the stones evenly. You can pat the stones into the concrete with a shovel, but make sure the tops are still visible. Finish off the section by spraying a curing agent over the area. Cover the area with a piece of plastic and let it dry for 24 hours.
If you’d like to put a pattern in your concrete slab, you can use concrete stamps. These stamps look like cookie cutters and come in a variety of designs to help the slab look like a series of bricks or cobblestones.
Keep the dimensions of the slab in mind. You will need to press the stamp in the middle of the slab and work outwards. You may get to the end of the slab and have only enough room for half a stamp. To use the stamps, the concrete will need to be stiff. Let the concrete dry a little bit, and then press the stamp into the concrete about one inch deep. Once you remove the stamp, place it right next to the shape you just made and continue on.
Another option is to use a jointing tool to draw a flagstone pattern in the concrete. You’ll need to do some research on how flagstone patios look and their color. You will also need to use a dry concrete pigment to create the color of flagstone. After the concrete has been poured and smoothed out, this pigment is dusted over the entire slab in even amounts. Then a trowel called a magnesium float is used on the slab. The float is used like a regular trowel and will help to even out the color over the patio. Once the color is set, use a jointer to draw the flagstones.