How to Smooth a Rough Concrete Patio

How to Smooth a Rough Concrete Patio

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Maybe you have just built a new concrete patio and it is still a little to a little too rough. Or, maybe you have a very old one is worn down. In either case, something you might need to do is to smooth it out. Now, smoothing out concrete that is already dry can be quite difficult and definitely fairly time-consuming.

However, if you follow the steps as outlined below, it should make the task as easy and efficient as possible.

How to Smooth a Rough Concrete Patio

Let’s go over and in-depth step-by-step process on exactly how to smooth a rough concrete patio by yourself. As mentioned earlier, while it is possible, with your next one, you should consider finishing the concrete before it dries.

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

The first thing that you will need to do here is to gather your materials, which include an epoxy resin duct tape, a floor grinder, a mop, plastic sheeting, concrete sealer, protective gear such as a face mask, goggles, earplugs, and rubber gloves, as well as a shop vac.

Step 2: Prepare the Area

Remove all furniture and items from the concrete patio. Anything that cannot be removed should be covered with plastic sheets to avoid being damaged and covered with concrete dust. At this stage you will also want to mop the concrete floor to remove any and all dust and debris. Allow the floor to dry and while you are doing so, divide the floor into smaller zones so you can focus on smaller sections at a time.

Step 3: Start Sanding

You will want to start with either 30 grit or 60 grit sandpaper. Attach the sandpaper to your floor grinder and start sanding the concrete patio in one corner. Make vertical passes along the concrete patio floor with each pass covering half of the previous pass. If there are any bumps, carefully go over them to completely remove them.

Step 4: Fill Cracks

If the concrete patio happens to have any large cracks or divots, you will want to use the epoxy resin to fill them. Make sure that the epoxy resin is smooth and then allow it to completely cure before moving on to the next step.

To learn more about fixing concrete cracks, read this article.

Filling Cracks in Concrete Patio

Step 5: Continue Sanding

Once the epoxy resin is completely cured, you will want to continue sanding. You will want to start at the far corner where you finished, and then keep going until you end up where you started. Continue doing so until you have passed over the same area at last four times, with the second set of two passes seeing you working horizontally or side-to-side, as opposed to sanding in vertical lines.

Step 6: Apply Concrete Sealer

Now it is time to apply a good layer of concrete sealer to the area that has just been sanded so thoroughly. Always follow the instructions on the label of the product and ensure that the concrete sealer has enough time to dry.

If you don’t have one, make sure to check my list of the best concrete sealers.

Step 7: Continue Sanding

Now, you will want to repeat a few of the previous steps, but first, switch the sandpaper in the grinder to either 80 grit or 120 grit. Going back to step three, make vertical passes with the grinder, making sure to cover half of the last pass each time, smooth out bumps, fill divots with epoxy, allow the epoxy to dry, then continue sanding by starting in the far corner and working your way back until you have reached the starting point, followed by a set of two passes with the grinder (working horizontally).

Step 8: Clean the Floor and Continue

Clean the floor using a mop and then allow it to dry. What you need to do now is to keep switching to progressively finer grit sandpaper until you reach around 1,500 grit or even finer. All you have to do is keep cleaning and mopping the floor and then keep switching to finer sandpaper until you reach the ideal smoothness for your concrete patio. Once you have achieved the desired smoothness, you can give your concrete patio one last mopping and cleaning.

Mistakes to Avoid, Tips & Tricks

While the above should give you a good idea of what you need to do, below are some additional tips to make the process smoother (no pun intended…):

  • Seeing as you will be working with things like concrete sealer and epoxy resin, this is a task that you will want to perform on a relatively nice and warm day.
  • If possible, connect the hose of the shop vac right to the floor grinder, as this will save you a whole lot of mess.
  • Beware that concrete dust is very harmful to human health when inhaled, so wear a face mask when working with it, or even a full-scale respirator if possible.
  • If the concrete patio is very uneven, to the point where sanding it down is not a realistic option, then you may want to resurface the concrete by applying a resurfacing agent overtop the original concrete patio.


As you can see, smoothing a rough concrete patio, although it is going to take a whole lot of time, it’s not overly difficult. It’s more time consuming than it is hard to do. With a bit of patience and hard work you can get your concrete patio smooth and looking like new.