How to Install an Indoor Decorative Concrete Overlay
Concrete overlays are decorative fine coats of concrete used to transform once unattractive concrete surfaces into works of art (if everything goes well). Overlays are most typically applied to floors, but they may be applied to vertical surfaces also.
When you have all the tools, products, and the right set of instructions, the process is fairly easy to do on your own. If you are considering doing this project yourself, here is the basic process you will want to follow:
- Clean the area off thoroughly. Use a broom and scrape away all loose material – you don’t want to start off wrong and ruin your overlay right away! Keep in mind to use painter’s tape to protect the edges of your walls. You may also need a couple of feet of plastic to protect the bottom portion of your walls.
- Spray or pour polymer on the floor, and make sure it is distributed evenly across the surface. Polymer is poured and mixed in a 5-gallon bucket – you will mix it to approximately the consistency of pancakes. The whole process takes about an hour for an area of 500 square feet. Allow the polymer to dry, which takes approximately 1 hour, or perhaps a little longer, just to be safe.
- The next day, prime the whole floor again and allow it to dry. While the floor is drying, set up your mixing area. You will need a drill, mixing paddle, 2 five gallon buckets, a 5-foot by 7-foot tarp to protect your floor, knee pads, and a squeegee to spread the mix.
- Pour the recommended amount of polymer into one of your buckets. Add the color you desire and mix for several seconds. Slowly add concrete and mix both products until no lumps are visible.
- Once the mix is at the right consistency, pour a 2-3 foot diameter of product on your floor. Spread it evenly and thin. A 500 square foot floor should take about an hour to complete. Allow the floor to dry for 5 hours.
- If you observe any drip marks or high spots, sand them down with 100-120 grit sandpaper. Apply the second coat of product, but make sure it is finer and wetter.
- On the last day, apply 2 coats of concrete sealer – acrylic works best. Sealers work best when using a sprayer and applying thin coats. Allow 2-3 hours of dry time between each coat.
- Apply your finish or wax coats. If your finish coat is 30% solid, you will need to apply 2 coats. If your finish coat is 25% solid, you will need to apply 5-6 coats. Each coat takes approximately 20-30 minutes to apply.
For a 500 square foot floor, figure about 5 total hours of actual work, with lots of dry time in between. The total cost of all tools and products involved is approximately $1.50 per square foot.
Anyone can do this!
If you are even the slightest bit handy and can follow instructions, you have the ability to renovate that unattractive concrete floor of yours. Good luck to those weekend warriors who decide to give it a try!
This post was provided by Elite Concrete Restoration, a company that specializes in custom concrete coatings. Concrete restoration is a growing trend in America, and our goal is to help you achieve the result you desire.
image by Stained by Design