Concrete Resurfacing DIY Project Guide – Dos and Don’ts

Thinking of resurfacing your driveway? Follow this guide to find the best material for your project and understand the timeline.

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Starting Your Project

Driveway resurfacing is one of many DIY projects that can improve the curb appeal of your home, protect your property value, and keep your entries and exits smooth and easy.

Although traditional asphalt and concrete driveways are too challenging, or impossible, to do yourself, you have other options with stamped concrete and concrete stain. Not only are these driveway resurfacing projects easier to do on your own, but they also provide a unique look that you can customize.

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Chapter 1

Driveway Resurfacing Options

When weeds start to poke through the cracks in your driveway, it might be time to think about resurfacing it. Cracks naturally happen in asphalt and concrete driveways as changing temperatures cause the surface to expand and contract over the years. These cracks don’t look great, and if left alone, they will eventually make the surface of your driveway bumpy and uneven. 

You have several options when those cracks inevitably appear: Leave them alone, repair them, or resurface the driveway. If you choose to go the driveway resurfacing route, you have another decision to make about the type of surface. Of course, each alternative comes with pros and cons, so think about all of your options before you call in a pro to do it for you.

Asphalt and concrete

If you have an existing asphalt or concrete driveway, the natural response might be to repair the cracks. Unfortunately, the repairs are often visually obvious, making the driveway appear less consistent. You could also choose to resurface it with the same type of material. However, if you go this route, it will eventually crack and need to be repaired or replaced again in the future. 

On the plus side, the installation cost is relatively low, but on the other hand, this isn’t a DIY project for the average person, which means you’ll have the expense of hiring professionals to do most or all of the work. Additionally, because the surface will eventually need to be repaired or replaced again, the long-term costs can actually be higher than with other options.

Most installations typically require a three- to five-day curing period, which means your driveway could be out of commission for almost a week. Depending on the neighborhood, how many cars you have, and your parking options, this could be quite disruptive. 

Concrete resurfacing and stencilling

This type of surface is created by stenciling textures into a concrete overlay that can be applied on your own. The concrete stencils can look like pavers, natural slate, wood, seashells, and cobblestones, giving you many more options than with traditional asphalt and concrete. 

Colors can also be integrated into the concrete overlay itself, but it’s important to know that if one section has to be replaced in the future, it can be difficult to get the colors to match. Stencilled concrete can also be stained, which is a better approach for future color matching.

Steniclled concrete offers the benefits of high compressive strength, a slip-resistant surface, and resistance to freezing and thawing. It also has a relatively short curing period and could be ready for foot traffic within just a couple of hours. 

Staining existing concrete

If your existing driveway is in good shape and you just want a change, you can transform dull, gray concrete into a more striking colored finish. This approach is more cost-effective than fully resurfacing the driveway, especially if there is no damage. Concrete stain can be applied in just two days, elevating the look of your driveway with a minimal investment of time and money, making it a great solution for quickly boosting your curb appeal.

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Chapter 2

The Driveway Resurfacing Process

If you decide to go the DIY route, applying stamped concrete and staining the existing surface are the two most accessible options, and Duraamen offers attractive solutions for both. 

Resurfacing and customizing

One of the best Duraamen DIY products for exterior surfaces such as driveways, patios, and decks is Uberdek. This single-component product is easy to mix because all you have to do is add water—no measuring multiple components. The finished surface is naturally slip-resistant, and you can add a top coat if you want it to be even more textured.

Start by cleaning the driveway so that it is free of loose debris, oil, paint, or any other contaminants that could affect the bonding between the concrete and the new surface. This might require pressure washing, depending on the condition of your existing driveway. Allow sufficient time for the surface to dry before application. If the driveway has any cracks, repair them with a cement-based patching compound and allow sufficient time for curing.

When the surface is ready, mix the product with the recommended amount of water, pour it on, and spread with a squeegee or trowel to create an even surface. At this point, you can either allow the surface to cure or apply stamps to create the desired look. A water-based sealer can also be applied after a few hours.

After you apply Uberdek, it is typically safe to walk on the surface within a couple of hours, and you can drive on it after eight hours, making it a DIY driveway resurfacing project that can be completed in a single day. 

Concrete stain

If your existing driveway is in good condition and you just want to spruce up the color, Pellucid Dye, which is solvent-based, and Aquacolor, which is water-based, are both good options. Unlike paint, both Pellucid Dye and Aquacolor allow you to create color patterns that will not chip, peel, or crack. They are also UV-resistant, so they don’t fade. Both products require a clean, dry surface prior to application.  

Pellucid Dye, which comes in 20 colors that can also be combined, is applied using an acetone sprayer and typically dries in about 15 minutes. Mix the product with the recommended amount of acetone and apply it in even circles to achieve a uniform look. A spray-on sealer can be applied after the product has dried. The curing time then depends on the sealer used. 

Aquacolor is available in 19 colors that can also be mixed or applied in various concentrations to create a subtle color wash or deep, brilliant hues. Mix the product with water, depending on the depth of color you desire, and apply it with a garden pump sprayer or high-volume, low-pressure (HVLP) sprayer. Create a unique look by applying multiple colors or using a texture roller or sponge. Apply a sealer for maximum longevity.

Resurface Concrete Driveway | Duraamen | Duraamen Engineered Products Inc

Chapter 3

Driveway Resurfacing Timelines

If time is of the essence, the driveway resurfacing method you choose makes a significant difference. Resurfacing with concrete or asphalt typically takes 3-5 days, not including the time required to schedule a professional installer. Depending on the product you choose, the stamped concrete curing process could take 2-24 hours for light foot traffic, and eight hours to five days for full use. Pavers are usable immediately after installation, but they could take longer if a stain or sealer is applied. Concrete stain can be ready in as little as a single day, depending on the type of sealer used after the stain has been applied.

concrete resurfacing for driveways Resurface Concrete Driveway | Duraamen | Duraamen Engineered Products Inc

Chapter 4

DIY Driveway with Duraamen

If you want an economical driveway resurfacing solution that also looks great, consider one of Duraamen’s solutions. Whether you need to patch cracks and resurface the entire driveway or just need to spray on some Aquacolor to create a unique style, our DIY products allow you to get the look you want without breaking the bank.

1. How can I find a local dealer who does driveway resurfacing?

To find a local dealer who specializes in driveway resurfacing, it is recommended to contact experienced, professional licensed contractors. These contractors have the expertise and knowledge to perform the resurfacing task effectively. Contact one of our flooring experts today.

2. How should the resurfaced driveway be cured and sealed?

After the overlay has been applied, it needs to cure properly. Once the overlay has cured, a sealer should be added for additional protection. The sealer preserves the look of the driveway, enhances its stain resistance, and makes it easier to maintain.

3. How can patterns and texture be added to the resurfaced driveway?

To add patterns and texture, various specialty tools can be used such as hand-trowels, rakes, stamps, and other tools. These tools allow for the creation of unique patterns and textures on the resurfaced driveway.

4. What techniques can be used to apply the overlay?

Depending on the desired look, the overlay can be applied using spraying, rolling, or troweling techniques. Each technique provides a different finish and texture to the resurfaced driveway.

5. How should the concrete surface be prepared before resurfacing?

Before resurfacing, it is important to make the concrete surface porous. This can be done by etching, grinding, or shot blasting. Additionally, any cracks or existing damage should be fixed prior to resurfacing.

6. How much does it cost to resurface a concrete driveway?

Resurfacing a concrete driveway typically costs anywhere from $3 to $20 per square foot on average. However, the actual cost can be influenced by various factors such as the condition of the existing surface, any additional additives you wish to include, the number of colors you select, and the complexity of the design work required. These elements can contribute to fluctuations in the overall resurfacing expense.

7. How can resurfacing be a cost-effective and efficient solution for enhancing the look of a concrete driveway?

Resurfacing is a cost-effective and efficient solution for improving the appearance of a concrete driveway because it allows for the application of a new coating directly onto the existing surface. This process saves time, effort, and money that would otherwise be spent on extensive removal and replacement methods.

8. How long does concrete resurfacing last on a driveway?

Concrete resurfacing on a driveway can have a long-lasting effect when carried out using the correct application techniques and supplemented with regular maintenance. By properly applying a concrete overlay and protecting it with a sealer, you can expect your resurfacing project to endure for numerous years, even under conditions of frequent and heavy vehicle as well as foot traffic. It is important to note that in order to maintain the longevity and appearance of your resurfaced driveway, it is crucial to stay proactive with maintenance efforts, including periodic reapplication of sealer as needed. By consistently implementing these essential care measures, you can ensure that your concrete resurfacing will continue to preserve and enhance the overall aesthetics and functionality of your driveway for an extended span of time.

9. How can I make my driveway look better?

To significantly improve the appearance of your driveway, there are several effective techniques you can use. A great starting point is to thoroughly clean the concrete by power washing it, removing any dirt, grime, or stains that may have accumulated over time. Afterward, carefully assess the surface for any cracks or damages and promptly repair them to ensure a smooth and uniform driveway.

To further enhance the aesthetic appeal of your driveway, you may consider resurfacing or staining the concrete. Hiring a professional contractor who specializes in driveway renovations would be beneficial, as they can assess the condition of your driveway and recommend the best course of action. Resurfacing involves applying a new layer of concrete to the existing driveway, which not only improves its appearance but also strengthens its structure. On the other hand, staining the concrete can provide a fresh look by adding color that complements your home’s exterior.

10. Is epoxy good for driveways?

Epoxy coatings are widely known for their durability and strength, making them a popular choice for indoor applications like garages. However, for driveways, there are certain considerations to keep in mind. Epoxy driveways may not be as ideal as other options due to factors such as longer curing times, susceptibility to moisture-related issues, and the tendency to yellow when exposed to UV light. Driveways are constantly exposed to outdoor elements, making it challenging to maintain the ideal conditions for applying and preserving an epoxy coating. This can lead to issues such as reduced adhesion, discoloration, and potential damage from natural elements like rain and sunlight. Therefore, while epoxy coatings excel in indoor spaces, they may not be the best choice for driveways where they may face challenges in maintaining their quality and appearance over time.

11. What are the potential drawbacks to watch out for in concrete coatings for driveways (e.g., harmful VOCs)?

Potential drawbacks to watch out for in concrete coatings for driveways may include high levels of harmful VOCs, which can impact indoor air quality and pose health risks. It is essential to choose coatings with low VOC content to minimize environmental impact and health concerns.

12. What are the important considerations when choosing a coating for a concrete driveway?

When choosing a coating for a concrete driveway, important considerations include abrasion resistance, compatibility with the desired design aesthetics, ease of application for DIY projects, fast curing time to minimize disruption, strong adhesion to the concrete surface for long-lasting performance, and low levels of harmful VOCs.

13. What are the signs that indicate driveway replacement may be necessary?

If a driveway has minor damage like small cracks or chipping, it may be repairable and suitable for resurfacing. However, signs such as significant damage, severe uneven areas, or deep cracks may indicate the need for driveway replacement rather than resurfacing. Consulting with a professional contractor is advised to assess the extent of the damage and determine the best course of action.

By following these steps, you can transform your driveway into a visually appealing feature that enhances the overall curb appeal of your property.

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