Concrete patios are cheap and sturdy, but they aren't the most attractive of patio options. Luckily, there are a few easy ways to renovate your concrete slab and improve the appearance of your yard. Some of the methods can be done by any homeowner, while others are best left up to the professionals.
Here are three easy ways to renovate your concrete patio.
This is the easiest and likely cheapest method. Purchase a few large outdoor-safe rugs and place them strategically around your concrete patio. Try to put the rugs in open spaces where there isn't furniture or a fire pit covering the slab already. Rugs can blow away in inclement weather so you may want to store them inside ahead of a storm. You can also set a heavy rock on each rug -- out of the way of foot traffic -- to keep it in place during wind gusts.
Outdoor rugs have the advantage of being easily changed. If you tire of a certain design scheme, you can simply roll up the old rugs and replace them with a new scheme.
Semi-Transparent Concrete Stain
Many major paint companies sell semi-transparent concrete stain to cover up that basic gray. Why semi-transparent? A thick outdoor paint such as one used on wood floors will look starkly artificial on a concrete patio surrounded by yard. Stains allow for a more natural looking finish.
Follow package directions when applying the stain. Use a paint sprayer to ensure even coverage and apply a sealant after it dries for protection. If you're artistic, you can use more than one color for a textured appearance. You can also use painter's tape to mark out designs ahead of spraying. This can result in the appearance of cobblestone or brick for those skilled at painting.
Stamped Concrete Overlay
If you can't paint your own brick or cobblestone, turn to stamped concrete overlay. However, this method is best left up to paving professionals. How does it work?
The paving professional will apply an overlay material made of cement, polymer resins, and aggregates over your existing patio. This material is smoothed down and then imprinted using stamps. The imprints can be made to resemble a number of other building materials including bricks, stones, and wood. Once the overlay dries, paint is applied to make the stamp look natural. Then the whole thing is sealed for protection.
Note that your concrete needs to be in decent condition to qualify for an overlay. A few tiny cracks are fine, but huge chunks missing won't work.