Revitalizing Worn Concrete: How to Resurface It

Over time, concrete surfaces, such as walkways and driveways, can show signs of wear and tear, including pits and crumbling. In the past, the solution often involved extensive repairs or even complete replacement. Fortunately, modern techniques offer more practical alternatives. One effective method is resurfacing with a concrete resurfacer, a blend of Portland cement, sand, and polymer additives. In this guide, we will walk you through the process of resurfacing worn concrete, providing step-by-step instructions and essential tips for a successful project.

Why Resurface?

Before diving into the process, let’s understand why resurfacing is a viable option. Concrete surfaces develop pits, known as spalling, when excessive water weakens the concrete mix. Resurfacing allows you to address these issues without resorting to more invasive and costly repairs.

Project Details

Skill: 3 out of 5 (Moderate) – Handling the heavy bag and mastering trowelling techniques require practice.
Cost: Approximately $22 for a 40-pound bag of resurfacer.
Estimated Time: 6 to 10 hours

Preparing for Resurfacing

Step 1: Clean the Concrete

Proper surface preparation is crucial for a successful resurfacing project.

  • Wear heavy boots and protective glasses.
  • Use a gas-powered pressure washer with a minimum of 3,500 psi to blast away surface dirt.
  • Attach a 25-degree fan tip to the wand and clean the concrete with slow, even sweeps.
  • For mildew or algae, use a concrete wash.

Step 2: Patch Spalled Areas

Address any divots or spalled areas on the damp concrete surface.

  • Mix 1 part water with 7 parts resurfacer in a 5-gallon bucket using a paddle mixer attached to a corded drill.
  • Fill the recesses with the resurfacer and smooth with a finish trowel.
  • Proceed to the next step when the patch can bear weight without indenting (approximately 2 to 5 hours).

The Resurfacing Process

Step 3: Spread the Resurfacer

Prepare the concrete surface for resurfacing.

  • Fill walkway joints with peel-and-stick foam weatherstripping.
  • Dampen the concrete if necessary.
  • Work with half a bag of powder mixed with 5½ cups of water at a time.
  • Pour the mixture onto the walkway.

Step 4: Trowel Out the Resurfacer

Achieve a smooth and slip-resistant finish.

  • Spread the resurfacer until it’s between 1/8 and ¼ inch thick.
  • For slip resistance, wait 5 minutes, then sweep a nylon-bristle concrete broom across it, perpendicular to foot traffic.
  • Remove weatherstripping after 20 minutes.
  • Wait 6 hours before walking on the resurfaced surface.
  • Cover only if rain is expected during this time.


Resurfacing worn concrete is a practical and cost-effective way to breathe new life into aging surfaces. By following these step-by-step instructions, you can successfully revitalize your walkway or driveway, enhancing its durability and aesthetic appeal. Remember to consider weather conditions, surface temperatures, and drying times for optimal results. With moderate skill and careful execution, you can enjoy a brand new, uniform concrete surface that withstands the test of time.

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