How To Make Cement Floor Smooth?

How To Make Cement Floor Smooth
How to Smooth Rough Concrete Edges – The edges of concrete often remain rough after finishing because the focus is on the upper surface. However, that does not mean that you want rough edges and they may be very rough if they were blocked using a frame or other reasons.

Typically, you can sand them smooth enough using an orbital sander, but the grit that you use will help you achieve the desired results. If the edges are uneven, that may require a concrete grinder. For smoothing out mildly rough concrete with little to no noticeable imperfections, 40 to 60 grit may be sufficient.

For more substantial irregularities, you may have to use 80 to 120 sandpaper and for very smooth edges, superfine sandpaper from 200 and up grit may be used. You may also need to use a specialized diamond disc in some cases.

How do you make a concrete floor smooth?

Sand the Surface and Wash the Concrete – How To Make Cement Floor Smooth For this finishing process, we recommend you use an orbital sander since the idea is not to lower too much. Start with medium sandpaper to remove the most noticeable irregularities. Finish by fine-tuning with light sandpaper, until the surface is perfectly smooth.

How do you smooth an uneven concrete floor?

In the beginning, when a concrete floor is poured and floated, each project turns out a bit different. So many factors can make a big difference in the outcome of a concrete floor, such as temperature, humidity or the quality of the cement mix used. Therefore, no concrete floor is totally perfect, and each surface can have a problem or two that needs correcting before floor polishing can take place.

On the Level One major problem with a lot of concrete floors is whether they are level or not. Some floors slope noticeably from one side to the other, while others can slope from the middle outward or vice versa. Either way, this sloping can cause various problems for the occupants in residential homes or commercial buildings, such as desks and tables that wobble.

Fortunately, the problem of a sloping or uneven surface can be remedied in most floors. Don’t Attempt a Repair An uneven concrete floor is a problem that a do-it-yourself person should not try to fix. Without sufficient knowledge and experience, you could unintentionally create an even bigger problem with your floor that can cost a lot more money to repair.

  1. Call a floor specialist if you want professional results.
  2. Topping Concrete Floors With uneven concrete floors, the quickest and most effective remedy for the situation is to use a self-leveling compound that fills in the low spots and makes the floor completely level.
  3. Floor topping can fix a great many problems floors to create an aesthetically pleasing surface for floor polishing.

When a concrete floor is topped with a self-leveling compound, this procedure automatically corrects many other floor defects besides an uneven surface, such as minor cracks, scratches or gouges, small holes and rough spots. The result is a flat, level surface free of all blemishes and perfect for floor polishing or floor staining.

  1. We Can Help! At ACT Restoration, we specialize in helping residential, and business owners in the Twin Cities area improve the condition of their concrete floors with concrete floor resurfacing, floor polishing, floor staining and dying.
  2. When it comes to floor restoration, we not only polish concrete floors, we also restore terrazzo and natural stone flooring.

Since 2012, ACT Restoration has reached a new level of excellence in our community with superior customer service and high-quality craftsmanship. We’ve dedicated ourselves to producing the best quality flooring restoration at affordable prices. Contact us today at 612-750-5360 and speak with one of our knowledgeable floor specialists or visit our website and fill out our convenient Contact Form. Comments are closed for this post, but if you have spotted an error or have additional info that you think should be in this post, feel free to contact us.

How do you level a bumpy concrete floor?

The first step to making the most of any basement is to achieve a level floor. Happily enough, leveling uneven concrete slabs has an easy fix that won’t sacrifice your headroom. The easiest way is to use a self-leveling compound, also called liquid floor underlayment or floor resurfacer, within sections of level-cut rails.

  1. The material flows out like thick syrup, then hardens into a smooth, perfectly level surface, sometimes in less than an hour.
  2. The only places you’ll lose any appreciable headroom will be in the slab’s low spots.
  3. For basements, you should use a compound that contains Portland cement rather than gypsum because it won’t be affected by moisture.

Before you pour, give the existing slab a thorough cleaning with a degreaser to remove any contaminants that might interfere with achieving a strong bond.

Can you smooth down concrete?

Sanding by Hand – You can sand concrete by hand. However, doing so likely depends on the amount of space you need to polish. How big of a space you’re willing to do this in is up to you. Working with 30 to 60 grit sandpaper, use smooth, even strokes to sand down the target area. How To Make Cement Floor Smooth

What is the cheapest way to level a concrete floor?

There are self-leveling coatings designed to fill gaps and cracks. You could also try using vinyl floor tiles to make the transition more gradual. Probably the easiest (and cheapest) thing to do would be to get a big diamond grinding wheel and bevel down the lip.

What can I do with rough concrete floors?

Step 4 – Fill the damaged areas with epoxy resin to the surface level of the surrounding concrete floor. Use a putty knife to fill the crack or hole in the concrete, and then level the top of the resin with the floor using the knife. Allow the patch to dry overnight.

How do you make concrete smooth and shiny?

How to Make Concrete Shiny & Smooth (for Cement Crafts) Yes! You can easily make concrete shiny! Do you love the look of a smooth and shiny concrete finish? Are your concrete planters or other concrete crafts still coming out with the matte finish that you weren’t hoping for? Not only does a shiny finish have aesthetic appeal, but it also increases the durability of your concrete. Getting shiny smooth concrete, with a mirror-like finish can be achieved in a number of ways. Some are time-consuming and a bit pricey. But I’ve got good news, there is a very simple and low-cost solution to getting both a glass-like sheen and a smooth concrete surface.

  • A mechanical polish is done using a hand grinder, like an angle grinder.
  • It’s not necessarily a common tool to have on hand, but can be rented from a hardware store.
  • It requires the use of grinding discs with metal bond diamonds.
  • Metal bond diamonds are industrial diamonds that are manufactured for use in concrete.
  • The grinding process can produce good results, but it will take a lot of time because it’s a multi-step process.

The process includes starting with a low grit level disc, making many passes on the concrete’s surface. Eventually you work your way up to a higher grit before finally finishing.

  1. While this is feasible for flat objects like concrete tables, stools, or even coasters, it’s hard to apply it to round objects like planters.
  2. I do believe you can get grinding accessories that work with Dremels and Multi-tools that may work better for curved objects.
  3. As a whole, diamond polishing doesn’t sound like an easy DIY project and doesn’t make a lot of sense to me when it comes to working with concrete crafts.

You can also apply an epoxy resin coating to the surface of the concrete. In the photo above, I colored the epoxy, but a clear one would have the same glistening effect. If left in the sun an epoxy that isn’t UV resistant may get dull, cloudy, or yellow over time. But inside, it will hold its sheen and clarity.

  • If it’s exposed to water, like in a planter application (even if it’s inside) will also make it cloudy.
  • Although I haven’t used it to say from experience, UV-resistant, marine-grade epoxy is manufactured to help prevent yellowing and cloudiness.
  • Epoxy coatings have a couple of benefits, not only do they add an incredibly great shine and protect the entire surface, but they also are great for smoothing a rough surface.
  • In many ways, it’s the perfect finish, but it’s not very friendly on the pocketbook.
  • Epoxy resins can be pricey and are not necessarily cost-effective for use in concrete crafts.
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Acrylic sealers come in matte, satin and glossy. A can only attain a certain level of sheen. If you start with matte concrete/cement and apply a sealer with a high gloss finish, it will provide a sheen. But unfortunately, it won’t produce that same great shine you would get from epoxy treatments or the polished concrete look.

  1. You can see in the photo above, the comparison between some I made.
  2. The planter on the left is an unsealed matte concrete and the planter right has a gloss sealer applied.
  3. The effect is more of a satin appearance or at best a semi-gloss.
  4. Here’s an article with details on when and why you,
  5. There is one surefire way to get your concrete to be as shiny as glass, smooth as well every time –but there is a caveat to this, so please read on.
  6. First, the can play a factor in both shine and smoothness, but not as much as you think.
  7. You can get just as much of a high sheen from a mix with large gravel in it as you can a mix with fine powder.
  8. However, the mix can play a part in how smooth of a finish you get.
  9. The reason for this is that when larger aggregates are in the mix, like large gravel, it can make it more difficult to get the air bubbles out when vibrating.
  10. The aggregates may trap the air and when this happens it will cause air pockets that tend to rise to the surface of the piece, leaving either small or large holes or both.
  11. So, the first step is to make sure you are using a mix that only has sand as an aggregate, or has very small gravel as the aggregate.

This may not be avoidable if you are working on a larger project. In that case, just be aware it will require your due diligence in vibrating the mold fully before it begins to set. Here’s an article with information on which for certain projects. Now the secret to how to make concrete shiny is to use a shiny mold, that’s right, that’s all.

  • Cement and concrete will mirror what it touches, so not only does it become the shape of the mold, but it also becomes the texture of the mold.
  • For best results, cast the concrete in a mold that has a high sheen.
  • These molds tend to feel slippery to the touch, and/ or have a reflective surface.

A great mold surface that will give you a shiny and smooth finish every time is glossy plastic (not matte). Take caution, some plastics can trick you.

  1. For instance, some water bottles have a bit of a texture to them and may result in more of a matte appearance when cast against.
  2. Tupperware plastics often have a rough texture as well that will not give you the look you are hoping for.
  3. If you take a good look at your Tupperware, you’ll notice that many also are a bit dull looking, not shiny clear.
  4. Those are typically the ones that will make your concrete/cement come out matte.
  • The photo above shows a piece of high gloss film and a piece of a flexible plastic cutting mat that had a dull and slightly textured surface.
  • I used them to cast concrete coasters –for two different projects.
  • The tops of the coasters were touching either the film or the plastic mat.
  • The acetate film made and the plastic cutting mat resulted in,
  • For more info, here’s an article on the types of, and which materials are best to use based on the project.

, have a relatively dull-to satin texture. But since they are 100% smooth they can sometimes produce a slight sheen.

  1. *Now here’s the caveat I mentioned about producing a shine every time.
  2. The length of time the concrete cures in the mold will greatly affect whether it comes out matte or shiny.
  3. You can cast a concrete planter, using the smoothest mix in the shiniest plastic mold around, and still get a matte finish.

Why? Because concrete needs time to get to know its new self. It will take on the properties of the material it’s cast against. If you remove it too soon, the chemical reaction that is taking place while it’s curing hasn’t finished, and so the crystallization process has happened. This examples shows concrete left to cure for different lengths of time before demolding. The mold was a shiny plastic ball. I removed the magnetic cement planters on the left before they had fully cured. I left the planters on the right side sit at least an hour past the one hour cure time that had been specified by the manufacturer.

  • This comparison shows sealed concrete and concrete that sat in the mold past its cure time.
  • You can see that the long-cured concrete on the right is still shinier than the sealed concrete.
  • Now you can always use this handy fact in reverse.
  • If the mold I happen to be using is shiny, but if I desire a matte finish instead of shiny, then I will often remove the piece early from the mold.
  • But only if I’m sure it won’t weaken the final product due to the shorter curing time.

Don’t you love it? You get to skip the final step in your project because you simply cast your cement crafts piece against the right mold material. No laborious polishing, no epoxy expenses, and no lackluster feelings from only getting a semi-shine from a sealer. Some of the links on this page have been provided as a convenience for finding materials. These links may also be affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases, at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products I’ve used and loved, unless otherwise stated. : How to Make Concrete Shiny & Smooth (for Cement Crafts)

What tool is used for smoothing concrete?

Power Screeds – While concrete is being poured, a screed is used to smooth concrete and pull the excess off the back of the form. Depending on the size of your pour you can use a wooden screed board or a power screed. Utilizing vibratory screeds will achieve the best results, while saving you time and back fatigue.

Can you buff out rough concrete?

The first thing to understand is that concrete is not a uniform product! Each job will present different conditions and challenges that may require you to modify your normal procedures. – Almost any structurally sound concrete floor, whether new or old, can be polished. How To Make Cement Floor Smooth Polished concrete is a concrete floor that has been chemically treated and ground down to a smooth, shiny surface with progressively finer diamonds.

Can I level a concrete floor myself?

What Is it? – Self-leveling concrete is a type of cementitious mixture that looks and functions much like traditional concrete. Unlike concrete, however, the material flows much easier and sets up faster. Mixed with water, self-leveling concrete is pumped or poured and then spread evenly using a gauge rake.

Once it has fully spread out, the mixture continues to spread evenly until it eventually levels itself out evenly. Depending on the product, self-leveling concrete can set up smoothly within only 1 to 2 hours. After around 6 hours, it can be completely ready for use, depending on the type of flooring material installed on top.

Self-leveling concrete is most often used as an underlayment for carpet, tile or other floor coverings. Self-leveling concrete is unlike traditional concrete because it contains a high amount of polymers, which are unique, glue-like molecules that bond the substance together.

  1. Traditional concrete also requires a lot of water to become fluid enough for pouring.
  2. Self-leveling concrete maintains its fluidity without the need for large quantities of water.
  3. While self-leveling concrete is essentially more expensive gallon-for-gallon, it is a versatile substance that can help homeowners avoid having to demolish or replace existing damaged concrete.

Instead of having to tear up old concrete, you can use a half-inch layer of self-leveling concrete to restore the surface and immediately rejuvenate its aesthetic.

Can you put self-leveling concrete over existing concrete?

Self-leveling toppings and self-leveling overlays are for use over existing concrete substrates that are rough, uneven or unattractive. Here Westcoat’s Level-It was used on a floor at the Gamma Alpha Phi sorority house at San Diego State University. You’ve seen concrete interior floors in such bad shape that your first thought was to rip them out and start over.

  1. But there’s an easier approach.
  2. You can pour self-leveling toppings or self-leveling overlays over concrete surfaces you didn’t think were salvageable, saving time and money.
  3. It’s faster and easier than pouring new concrete,” says Paul Koury, president of Westcoat Specialty Coating Systems.
  4. Westcoat manufactures the Level-It family of self-leveling toppings.
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“If you get the right mixer, the right gauge rake and the right roller, it’s quick and easy to apply this stuff,” says Joe Zingale, flooring group specialist at CTS Cement Manufacturing Corp., referring to his company’s Tru line of self-levelers. This Florida patio made using Increte Systems’ Level Top SP in a base color quickly followed by two integrally colored mixtures. The highlights were applied very quickly and hit once with a magic trowel/squeegee to achieve this polished marble-like surface. “I would venture to say that 75 percent of designers aren’t aware that you can put down a quarter- or half-inch cement topping and then polish or grind it and seal it like you can with concrete,” says Koury.

Can you sand down concrete floor?

Wrap Up – Today, sanding concrete floors is a common practice among homeowners. Perfectly sanded concrete floors look way better than fancy stones and woodwork. However, sanding concrete must be done professionally. If you plan to sand your concrete floor, take this write-up as a reference guide and follow the steps mentioned here.

Is there anything that softens concrete?

Easily remove concrete from your tools and equipment with Mean Klean 22 oz. Concrete & Mortar Dissolver. The advanced liquid formula dissolves and physically breaks down concrete by attacking the Portland cement, eventually reducing it to mush that is easy to clean off with a hose or pressure sprayer.

Can you put cement over cement?

Can You Pour Over Old Concrete? – Pouring concrete over existing concrete is possible as long as you do so properly. When the old concrete serves as the foundation for your new pour, it needs to be a solid one. Before you begin, ensure that you’re prepared for potential issues:

  • Minimum required thickness: The concrete slab must be thick enough to hold up against the weight and pressure it supports. Several factors will dictate the minimum thickness of your concrete overlay, including your application method and the size of the aggregates in your concrete mix, Adding concrete over an existing slab will add anywhere from another 25 to 100 millimeters,
  • Bonding restrictions: Concrete is composed of sand and aggregates held together with cement. Since cement lacks any natural bonding agents, newly-poured concrete won’t naturally bond to the existing slab. You’ll need to either use a bonding agent to adhere the two layers together or use an unbonded overlay method,
  • Condition-affected life span: Properly installed concrete can last for over 50 years, However, the existing concrete’s condition will impact how well the newly poured concrete holds up. Ensuring the initial concrete is in good shape can help safeguard your new overlay’s life span.

contact us for concrete pouring services

How do you level an extremely uneven floor?

Uneven flooring surface can be frustrating, especially if it is clearly visible. It is one thing to have an imperfect floor and another it to be visible. Nobody likes it. Fortunately, you can easily fix your uneven floor surface. You can use floor patch products or various other methods.

The floor is one of the most important parts of your house. Which is why taking care of them is important. Uneven floor can happen due to various reasons and the sooner you address the problem, the better it will be. Uneven surfaces not only ruin the aesthetic appeal, but it can also lead to accidents.

Walking on uneven floor is not easy or safe. So, it is important that you address the issue as soon as possible. What is an Uneven Floor? Uneven floors are uneven surface, which means they are sloppy or sagging in some areas. Or there are dips and cracks that creates an imbalance in the whole flooring structure.

Excess Moisture

The presence of extra moisture is one of the most common reasons for uneven flooring. Water damage from a leaky pipe or underground water can affect the flooring as the excess water can make the sub-flooring to warp. Poor drainage is another side effect of excess moisture. Sometimes, excess amount of water can also result in damage to the foundation of the building.

Movement of the Soil

Soil movement is another reason why floors can become uneven. Soils do move over time and water presence can make it expand and shrink when it dries. This movement of the soil can affect the foundation of the floor. This can happen if the soil hasn’t been compacted at the time of construction.

Old Houses

If your house is very old, this issue can happen. Old homes are built with different foundation and over a period of time, the movement of the soil can affect the quality of the foundation. Redoing the whole flooring can help you create a stronger flooring for the house.

If the flooring was not done correctly in the first place, the problem of uneven floor surface can happen too. Make sure to get your house inspected before getting any renovation work done. These are some of the most common reasons why your floors are even. Addressing these issues can help prevent future issues.

Also Read: LVP/LVT CRITICAL FLOOR PREP | DRY, SMOOTH & FLAT Fixing the Uneven Floors There are many ways to fix an uneven floor. Depending on what type of unevenness our floor has, you can choose one of these solutions. You can either do it on your own or hire a professional.

Floor Patch Product

One of the best ways to fix the issue of uneven floor is to use floor patch product. It can be used in concrete subfloor or wooden subfloor. It is best for leveling floors that has dips, slanting issues, cracks and chipping problems. Whether you are repairing, renovating or installing a new floor, you can easily use this product to level the uneven floor.

  1. Using a floor patch product is easy as they come in powder form and all you have to do is mix water with it in a bucket.
  2. The thick paste that forms is then applied on the floor with the help of a troweling.
  3. It is smooth and can easily spread on the floor.
  4. It dries quickly and will give a smooth and even floor surface.

You can then install any type of flooring system you want.

Use Plywood

The next option is installing plywood on the subfloor to create an even surface. You can install the plywood to create a new, smooth floor surface on which you can easily install your flooring. This method is only applicable if you have wood subfloor. It can be used on concrete floor but you have to be careful.

Grinding

If your floor unevenness is due to large or smaller lumps on the floor, you can grind them down with machine. This can help you reduce the unevenness of the floor and help you create an uneven floor surface. Use the easiest and the most practical method to create an even surface.

The Bottom line Floor patch products are one of the best ways to address the problem of uneven floor surface. It is easy to use and provides a very practical solution for your problems. Make sure to use high-quality products for the best results. Floor Prep is your one-stop destination for buying the best quality flooring products at the most affordable prices.

We bring you the best floor products like floor patch products to address the issue of uneven flooring. Call us at – 1-800-227-3434 or email us at [email protected] for more information.

Is it cheaper to level concrete or replace?

The greatest advantage to raising and leveling concrete with polyurethane foam compared to replacement is cost. While the price for each job varies, a good rule of thumb is that raising and leveling concrete is usually around 50%-80% less than cost of replacement ! So in example a typical $4,000 concrete driveway replacement may cost around $800 – $2,000 to raise and level.

How do you make concrete smooth and shiny?

How to Make Concrete Shiny & Smooth (for Cement Crafts) Yes! You can easily make concrete shiny! Do you love the look of a smooth and shiny concrete finish? Are your concrete planters or other concrete crafts still coming out with the matte finish that you weren’t hoping for? Not only does a shiny finish have aesthetic appeal, but it also increases the durability of your concrete. Getting shiny smooth concrete, with a mirror-like finish can be achieved in a number of ways. Some are time-consuming and a bit pricey. But I’ve got good news, there is a very simple and low-cost solution to getting both a glass-like sheen and a smooth concrete surface.

  • A mechanical polish is done using a hand grinder, like an angle grinder.
  • It’s not necessarily a common tool to have on hand, but can be rented from a hardware store.
  • It requires the use of grinding discs with metal bond diamonds.
  • Metal bond diamonds are industrial diamonds that are manufactured for use in concrete.
  • The grinding process can produce good results, but it will take a lot of time because it’s a multi-step process.
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The process includes starting with a low grit level disc, making many passes on the concrete’s surface. Eventually you work your way up to a higher grit before finally finishing.

  1. While this is feasible for flat objects like concrete tables, stools, or even coasters, it’s hard to apply it to round objects like planters.
  2. I do believe you can get grinding accessories that work with Dremels and Multi-tools that may work better for curved objects.
  3. As a whole, diamond polishing doesn’t sound like an easy DIY project and doesn’t make a lot of sense to me when it comes to working with concrete crafts.

You can also apply an epoxy resin coating to the surface of the concrete. In the photo above, I colored the epoxy, but a clear one would have the same glistening effect. If left in the sun an epoxy that isn’t UV resistant may get dull, cloudy, or yellow over time. But inside, it will hold its sheen and clarity.

  • If it’s exposed to water, like in a planter application (even if it’s inside) will also make it cloudy.
  • Although I haven’t used it to say from experience, UV-resistant, marine-grade epoxy is manufactured to help prevent yellowing and cloudiness.
  • Epoxy coatings have a couple of benefits, not only do they add an incredibly great shine and protect the entire surface, but they also are great for smoothing a rough surface.
  • In many ways, it’s the perfect finish, but it’s not very friendly on the pocketbook.
  • Epoxy resins can be pricey and are not necessarily cost-effective for use in concrete crafts.

Acrylic sealers come in matte, satin and glossy. A can only attain a certain level of sheen. If you start with matte concrete/cement and apply a sealer with a high gloss finish, it will provide a sheen. But unfortunately, it won’t produce that same great shine you would get from epoxy treatments or the polished concrete look.

  1. You can see in the photo above, the comparison between some I made.
  2. The planter on the left is an unsealed matte concrete and the planter right has a gloss sealer applied.
  3. The effect is more of a satin appearance or at best a semi-gloss.
  4. Here’s an article with details on when and why you,
  5. There is one surefire way to get your concrete to be as shiny as glass, smooth as well every time –but there is a caveat to this, so please read on.
  6. First, the can play a factor in both shine and smoothness, but not as much as you think.
  7. You can get just as much of a high sheen from a mix with large gravel in it as you can a mix with fine powder.
  8. However, the mix can play a part in how smooth of a finish you get.
  9. The reason for this is that when larger aggregates are in the mix, like large gravel, it can make it more difficult to get the air bubbles out when vibrating.
  10. The aggregates may trap the air and when this happens it will cause air pockets that tend to rise to the surface of the piece, leaving either small or large holes or both.
  11. So, the first step is to make sure you are using a mix that only has sand as an aggregate, or has very small gravel as the aggregate.

This may not be avoidable if you are working on a larger project. In that case, just be aware it will require your due diligence in vibrating the mold fully before it begins to set. Here’s an article with information on which for certain projects. Now the secret to how to make concrete shiny is to use a shiny mold, that’s right, that’s all.

  • Cement and concrete will mirror what it touches, so not only does it become the shape of the mold, but it also becomes the texture of the mold.
  • For best results, cast the concrete in a mold that has a high sheen.
  • These molds tend to feel slippery to the touch, and/ or have a reflective surface.

A great mold surface that will give you a shiny and smooth finish every time is glossy plastic (not matte). Take caution, some plastics can trick you.

  1. For instance, some water bottles have a bit of a texture to them and may result in more of a matte appearance when cast against.
  2. Tupperware plastics often have a rough texture as well that will not give you the look you are hoping for.
  3. If you take a good look at your Tupperware, you’ll notice that many also are a bit dull looking, not shiny clear.
  4. Those are typically the ones that will make your concrete/cement come out matte.
  • The photo above shows a piece of high gloss film and a piece of a flexible plastic cutting mat that had a dull and slightly textured surface.
  • I used them to cast concrete coasters –for two different projects.
  • The tops of the coasters were touching either the film or the plastic mat.
  • The acetate film made and the plastic cutting mat resulted in,
  • For more info, here’s an article on the types of, and which materials are best to use based on the project.

, have a relatively dull-to satin texture. But since they are 100% smooth they can sometimes produce a slight sheen.

  1. *Now here’s the caveat I mentioned about producing a shine every time.
  2. The length of time the concrete cures in the mold will greatly affect whether it comes out matte or shiny.
  3. You can cast a concrete planter, using the smoothest mix in the shiniest plastic mold around, and still get a matte finish.

Why? Because concrete needs time to get to know its new self. It will take on the properties of the material it’s cast against. If you remove it too soon, the chemical reaction that is taking place while it’s curing hasn’t finished, and so the crystallization process has happened. This examples shows concrete left to cure for different lengths of time before demolding. The mold was a shiny plastic ball. I removed the magnetic cement planters on the left before they had fully cured. I left the planters on the right side sit at least an hour past the one hour cure time that had been specified by the manufacturer.

  • This comparison shows sealed concrete and concrete that sat in the mold past its cure time.
  • You can see that the long-cured concrete on the right is still shinier than the sealed concrete.
  • Now you can always use this handy fact in reverse.
  • If the mold I happen to be using is shiny, but if I desire a matte finish instead of shiny, then I will often remove the piece early from the mold.
  • But only if I’m sure it won’t weaken the final product due to the shorter curing time.

Don’t you love it? You get to skip the final step in your project because you simply cast your cement crafts piece against the right mold material. No laborious polishing, no epoxy expenses, and no lackluster feelings from only getting a semi-shine from a sealer. Some of the links on this page have been provided as a convenience for finding materials. These links may also be affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases, at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products I’ve used and loved, unless otherwise stated. : How to Make Concrete Shiny & Smooth (for Cement Crafts)

What tool do you use to smooth concrete?

Power Screeds – While concrete is being poured, a screed is used to smooth concrete and pull the excess off the back of the form. Depending on the size of your pour you can use a wooden screed board or a power screed. Utilizing vibratory screeds will achieve the best results, while saving you time and back fatigue.