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LornaLove's avatar

Can I do anything on a budget to improve concrete slabs?

Asked by LornaLove (9926points) May 14th, 2018

I am loving the garden this year, particularly this new garden, since the snow which was 20 ft deep has gone!

Anyway, the concrete slabs are an eyesore and I don’t have the money to replace them. There is an area at the top of the garden where I have placed my tables and chairs and a few other things on top of the slabs. I wish I could improve the look at them. They are dull, had some moss, which I’ve scraped off and look a bit broken and old.

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11 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

My builder painted my concrete patio and it looks great. It’s not my first choice in terms of beautification, tile or pavers would look more elegant, but the paint is very inexpensive relatively speaking. It comes in a lot of colors. My choice was in the beige taupe family, and the colors seem to be lighter than the swatches. I was worried it wouldn’t be scratch resistant enough, I have my patio furniture on it with chairs being moved back and forth, but so far it’s been no problem.

My patio they actually texturized (similar to a knockdown finish) before painting, but it’s not necessary. There might be cement stains you could use also instead if paint.

You have to use acid first to etch the cement a little.

The paint he used was special for cement, a sherwin Williams product I believe. I can pull it out of my file later today if you want the specific name.

I don’t remember what country you are in? If you’re in America I would go to Home Depot or Lowe’s and spend time talking to the paint people and garden people about options.

elbanditoroso's avatar

You could get people in with a pressure washer; pretty inexpensive, and the water would make the slabs look bright and clean again.

One thing to watch out for – pressure water can be with water (only) or with a chemical detergent mixed in the water for cleaning. If they use a chemical, make sure that it is not toxic to plants.

zenvelo's avatar

Get some large planters and plant a mix of small trees and seasonal flowers.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

You can just pressure wash them. Even a cheap $100 electric modelSeasonalOutdoorLivingPressureWashers_-50353388:Greenworks&CAWELAID=&kpid=50353388&CAGPSPN=pla&store_code=1544&k_clickID=6041d781–417f-4d66-b7ec-5c702d0400ed&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIz9yXl8SF2wIVFo7ICh0qhQ6XEAQYASABEgJ-A_D_BwE works fine.
For patios, sidewalks and slabs.

chyna's avatar

You could throw an outdoor area rug over the area where your table and chairs to draw the eyes away from the grungy areas.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I love the painting idea, but what my plan is, is tile! They have beauiful outdoor tile that is cheap, takes little work, and is gorgeous! Here we have a re-store, or you could possibly get seconds in the back of Lowe’s or Home Depot for a VERY good deal.

stanleybmanly's avatar

20 feet of snow??? I thought you were in Australia.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
LornaLove's avatar

@stanleybmanly I wish! I was in South Africa most of my life and now in Scotland.

LornaLove's avatar

I really love the ideas thanks so much @chyna that is a cracking idea will look at that, if affordable. @JLeslie I went to the garden shop yesterday and saw some brilliant paints with concrete in them and thought of you. They had a nice antique colour. I’m not 100% sure yet though. I had gone to buy some plants, so I’ll take another look. @zenvelo Yes, I also like this idea, I tried putting some thyme in the cracks, but they were a bit small, although large to my mind, but I want to try again with this. Love this idea. Maybe I should take a before and after? @KNOWITALL a great possibility, I wonder if we have such a store here. Also loved the pressure water ideas, I have heard it can dull them even more after time?

JLeslie's avatar

The paint in my patio wasn’t even a concrete mix, that probably is a little more expensive, and might take a little more talent to apply, but it sounds like it would be better at staying put and filling cracks.

If you can get tiles or pavers cheap that probably would look fantastic. Here we usually use half pavers over cement. The perimeter pavers get mortared in place, and then we fill the rest of the space in with a pattern of pavers, and sand. Luckyguy did it himself on his patio, he would know how it’s done. If you do tile or pavers you’ll have to cut them to fit, unless you have space around that it doesn’t matter if you go a little beyond the cement now. The cutting to me always seems like that would cause me to get a professional, but here I think you can rent the machine that does cut.

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