Instructables
Picture of How to Finish Concrete
Have you ever seen a sidewalk poured with new concrete and watched someone finish the concrete? You probably didn’t pay a lot of attention but you noticed someone down on their hands and knees with a trowel moving around the concrete surface. Like everything else that is done by someone with experience, it looked easy. Guess what? It’s not that easy unless you have done some homework. Sakrete is here to provide you those tips and instructions on how to finish concrete like a pro.







 
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Step 1: Pouring the concrete

Picture of Pouring the concrete
screeding.jpg
After thoroughly mixing the concrete pour it into the forms slightly overfilling them. Then take a straight board (a 2x4 piece of lumber works great as long as it isn’t bowed) and simply level off the concrete. Using a board that is longer than your pour is wide and using a sawing motion work back and forth until the concrete is level. You really need someone on the other side to help with this part. This is called “screeding” if you are trying to learn new words with which to impress your friends.



clazman1 year ago
At times, I like the "exposed aggregate look". But how and when to do this is " touchy" no?
dchall83 years ago
Thank you for your series in making concrete projects. Every now and then someone wants to make a casting project with a concrete and a mold. Sometimes the "top" of the final project will be the shape of the mold (flipped over after curing) and sometimes the top will be the top surface of the dried concrete. Do you have recommendations for making smooth surfaces when casting flat or curved concrete? The projects I'm thinking of would be smooth enough to apply wax for a perfect shine.
Sakrete (author)  dchall83 years ago
As you well know concrete mixes are usually very porous once they set and that is mainly due to the gravel aggregate in the mix. The top of the mold area can easily be floated or troweled to a somewhat smooth surface but the bottom of the mold is much harder to control. The aggregate will fall to the bottom of the mold. My suggestion would be to allow for the top of the molded concrete to be the top of the project piece as it is the only side you can consistently control the surface of. If it is necessary for the bottom to be used as the top of the project, you may want to look into using an additional resurfacing material which dosen't contain the large aggregate such as the Sakrete Top N Bond Concrete Patcher. The patcher can be used once the concrete piece is set enough so that it is undisturbed when applying the Top N Bond. Hope this helps..The Sakrete Team