Concrete truck

Mix up your own version of decorative concrete to turn functional surfaces in the landscape decorative.

 

 

There was a time when the permanent parts of a landscape (hardscapes) were pretty much limited to flat areas of gray concrete. But things have changed. Cement surfaces don’t have to be either plain or gray any more. Not only can concrete surfaces be colorful and textured when laid new, but even old, dreary surfaces can be updated.

Here is a list of some of the interesting things you can do with newly poured cement to create decorative concrete surfaces and enhance the beauty of your landscape.

 

 

 

  • Texture the surface of moist concrete by using a broom to sweep or stipple the surface with patterns.
  • Use a stamp to press designs or textures into the soft cement before it sets hard.
  • Mix coloring into the concrete to give it a tint.
  • Use acid stain to create designs, pictures or color effects on the surface of concrete.
  • Press stones into the soft surface for a pebbly texture or designs.
  • Add tumbled glass into the cement mixture and smooth the surface so the glass shines through.
  • Draw or paint your own art designs with stains or powdered pigments.

Use these suggestions to cheer up your concrete surfaces or consider them a jumping off point for other creative ideas they may help you discover.
To give old cemented surfaces a facelift, here are some methods you and use to create new effects.

  • Add a layer of low profile stone, rock, brick or other materials over the old surface if you have the extra space to add a bit of elevation.
  • Retreat the surface with an acid stain.
  • Paint over the top with an ornamental epoxy coating.
  • Rough up the old concrete to form a textural surface.

Again, these are just some suggestions. See what works best in the space you are designing. There is no need to have boring driveways, walls, countertops or patios anymore. Re-surfacing concrete, pouring interesting new cement textures, pressing in artistic materials and applying coatings are just some ideas. Add decorative concrete surfaces to permeable paving and cast concrete and there is no limit to the exciting effects you can get with non-living materials in your landscape.