If you’re hoping to get a more finished concrete surface on your home’s concrete floors, countertops, or patio, concrete sanding may be a great solution for you. Using hand sanding or power tools, you can sand your concrete surface to a smooth, professional finish that enhances the look of your home or business.
Whether you’ve purchased a precast concrete countertop or are daring enough to try pouring your own, you’re probably noticing small imperfections and wondering how to sand concrete.
They may not even be visible to the naked eye, but unnecessary roughness is revealed by running your hand across the surface. Roughness you want to go. So you’ve probably wondered, “How do you smooth out raw concrete?” ,
Depending on the look you want, it may be possible to sand it by hand, grind it, or you may need a specialist or a concrete polisher. Read on to find out, either way, method, and tools needed, how to sand concrete for the exact finish you want.
Reason on one must sand concrete?
Concrete is an extremely strong material made by mixing coarse gravel (sometimes called aggregate) with water and cement. After the concrete has cured, there are often sharp edges or imperfections such as raised aggregates or high spots.
Removing Paint or Stains
If your surface is stained or painted and neither cleaners nor strippers help get rid of it, sanding is the last resort. This also applies to glue removal. In this process, you will remove the affected layer from your surface thus restoring the original appearance of the concrete.
The most common reason to sand concrete is to sand to achieve the desired look. It is common practice to sand the concrete before applying a coat of stain or paint. This provides the desired surface profile that will enhance the adhesion of the coating or stain.
Removing Sharp Edges and Protruding Aggregate
Even if you pour the concrete carefully and work the corners, there are likely to be sharp edges and raised aggregates. If someone touches this spot by mistake, you need to remove these defects to avoid accidental injury. If you have a concrete driveway, you may also want to consider the risk that sharp composite can damage your tires. Additionally, removing these imperfections improves the overall appearance of the surface.
Concrete sanding tools
Portable Concrete Grinder
Using a hand grinder or orbital sander is a great option for sanding a concrete counter or small area. The smaller surface area of the sander will allow you to have more control over hard angles or corners of the concrete.
For a large surface like a floor or an outdoor patio, a walk-behind concrete sander is your best option. When sanding a large surface with a walk-behind sander, it is important to be consistent with the amount of sanding at each point.
Sanding concrete with an angle grinder
While it’s not always the first option you consider, you can sand concrete with an angle grinder. This option is best if you only have a specific spot that needs to be sanded, as the angle grinder wheel will only sand a small surface area.
Concrete sanding with hand
You can sand the concrete by hand and the right grit sandpaper will help you get the job done. Don’t forget that when sanding concrete by hand, you will still need to minimize the amount of concrete dust produced. Keep your work area moist and consider wearing a face mask or dust mask to keep the dust down.
You can get cheap hand buffing pads or use a sanding block with concrete sandpaper wrapped around it. Polish the surface with long strokes and apply even pressure throughout the stroke. As you remove high spots, the polishing surface area will increase. Keep polishing until you touch the entire surface evenly.
Way of sanding concrete
Rinse the work surface with water, then run a squeegee over it to remove any grit or other particles on the surface. These can cause gouges when you sand them.
2) fill in the blanks
Fill any blemishes or holes with patching paste before polishing. Patching pastes are available in different colors to match or contrast with your countertop.
3) Polish the surface
Start by buffing with the thickest pad you have. Be sure to cover the entire surface for an even, smooth finish. Keep the polisher level and ensure that there is a constant flow of water through it.
4) Polish the surface with a fine pad
After buffing the entire countertop with your thickest pad, take it up a notch and buff it again. Repeat this process with each tampon you have.
Between changing pads, it’s a good idea to wipe down the countertop again to remove dust and other debris. This gives you a better view of your work area and prevents imperfections from forming.
There is no hard and fast rule for how much polishing is needed or how long to use each different grade of the pad. Use your judgment and use caution. You can always go back to a counter, but repairing a concrete counter that is overly sanded is impossible.
If there are areas that can’t be reached with the grinder, it’s time you start sanding the concrete by hand. Using the pad, you can sand the areas where they’re needed with strong, smooth strokes, just as you did with the polisher.
5) Let it dry
Once the counter is dry and you have the finish you want, allow it to dry before applying sealer to protect and seal your hard work.
6) Apply sealant
Apply a concrete sealer to sanded concrete. This will help protect the surface from stains and other wear.
Surface finishes after sanding concrete
The easiest finish to achieve is a smooth finish. You can also do it by hand, or with an orbital polisher. With this finish, you are not removing any concrete. Simply buff the topcoat to make it smooth and glossy.
Salt and pepper finish
This is an intermediate finish where a small amount of the topcoat is sanded down. Thus, the sand beneath the top layer is allowed to be exposed without revealing any aggregates.
Exposed aggregate finish
This is a complete surface sanding, in which a lot of material is removed. Keep in mind that this is very difficult, if not impossible, to achieve without a power sander or polisher.
Hopefully, you now understand how to sand concrete and know everything you need to do to achieve the perfect look for your home.
With a little care and attention, you can achieve the precise finish that can adorn any room. The best part is that you can do it all yourself. Hopefully, this article will help you with the topic of sanding concrete.