Repairing Your Cement

How To Use Basic Concrete Techniques To Redesign Your Walkway

When your concrete walkway is looking worn out and old, you can revitalize it with a few basic techniques. The benefit of using these methods is that you do not have to replace the entire walkway to change and enhance the way this area looks.

Cutting Options

One technique for changing the appearance of your concrete walkway is to cut the surface to make a design. The concrete cutting options differ depending on the type of design you are trying to achieve.

For example, a checkered design requires several horizontal and vertical cuts to create the pattern. The worker will make several shallow cuts at first to help reduce the chances of damaging the surface during this process. It may take several passes to create a design that uses straight lines, but this effort helps preserve the areas of the concrete you do not want altered.

Some contractors also make custom patterns that can include rounded shapes like swirls. Instead of making straight cuts to create the design, the work will draw out the pattern and then use it as a guide for the saw. As with any cutting technique, the worker may need to make a few shallow cuts to create the design if they are worried about the concrete breaking.

Etching the concrete is another cutting method that some concrete contractors offer. This process uses a small cutting implement that allows the worker to remove portions of the concrete to create a very specific image. Each cut needs to be very small and precise, because the etched design is supposed to look closer to a drawing instead of deep cuts when creating the image.  

Color Techniques

Another way to enhance the walkway is to change the color. Concrete is typically grey, but it can discolor over the years. You can add color to the surface in a few ways, the easiest method is paint designed for concrete. As with any type of paint, you apply it with a brush or roller, but you must use painted specifically for concrete, because other types will crack or peel off over time.

The other coloring method is a type of stain that soaks into the concrete. Water-based stains for example, seep into the surface to alter the color.

Another stain is an acid-based product that changes the surface color when it interacts with the minerals inside the concrete. This type of stain creates a wavy design similar to natural stone, because it reacts differently to each type of mineral in the concrete.

Changing the appearance of an old concrete walkway takes a little time and creativity. Luckily, many concrete contractors can help you achieve your goal, and they can offer several other design options that may suit your outside decorating desires.