Need to Know DIY Tips for Polishing a Concrete Surface
Concrete is one of the strongest and most durable building materials to exist. Assuming that it’s properly used and maintained, it can last for several decades. Unfortunately, it isn’t as overwhelming in looks as it is in durability.
There are ways to improve the look of concrete by properly curing the surface. This isn’t too difficult of a task but does require patience. Finishing a concrete surface will not only increase its appeal, it also lowers the amount of maintenance required to keep damage from occurring. This article is for do-it-yourself enthusiasts.
Need to Know Basics
The basics are actually quite simple. In fact, it’s almost the same process as sanding wood. For starters, diamond-impregnated tips are used to grind down the concrete surface. This is known as lapping.
A grinding machine is required to polish the surface. It’s an upright tool and is equipped with a section on the bottom for attaching the diamond pads. It’s almost identical to a sander. The trick is to smooth away all of the imperfections in the surface and level it out.
Finishing a concrete surface takes numerous steps, using a finer grit diamond pad with each pass. The rule of thumb is to double the grit size each pass. For example, do a pass with a 32-grit pad. Sweep the dust from the surface and then change to a 60-grit pad. Finally, use a 120-grit pad.
This process is to level the surface and clean up the imperfections. After which you need to begin polishing. This requires diamond resin pads. Start with a 50-grit and keep going up until you reach 3000-grit.
It’s important to note that when grinding, always work in small circles – just as if you were cleaning a surface.
Technique for Polishing
Okay, the polishing process is a little different from the initial grinding phase. During the grinding phase, you have to sweep the dust from the surface. However, during the first pass of the polishing phase, you want to leave the dust on the surface. Then spray it with acrylic tile adhesive before the second polishing pass.
This will fill up the small air holes with dust and create a shiny. Smoother surface. After the second pass, spray the surface with reactive concrete hardener. This makes the surface harder and much easier to polish.
Once you make several polishing passes, you will need to apply a polishing compound on the surface. It will give it that extra shine. As an added bonus, it will also make cleaning the surface really easy. Also, you can apply dyes in order to add extra color to the surface. This is of course, optional.
Once you achieve a look of your polished concrete that you’re thrilled with (and not before) you can apply a sealant in order to protect the surface from any damage that might be incurred through use.
Epoxy makes the surface durable and will provide years of protection. It also enhances the shine even more. Now you’re set. You can stand back and enjoy your spectacular finished surface.