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154 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
re: re: refinishing concrete steps at the front door


I have concrete steps and a small porch above the steps that has to be resurfaced/refinished.

The homeowner made a patch (doing a sloppy job) and used a penetrating sealer over the concrete. The penetrating sealer has left a small amount of efflorescence (you can see it in the attached photo). I am not sure if the penetrating sealer was done at the same time as the concrete repairs. the penetrating sealer was applied over the steps but not the porch.

I have a solution for this job, but I am not sure if it is a good method. Originally I was thinking of powerwashing the old penetrating sealer off, but I am not sure if it would work.

Here is the method

1. chip away any really high spots with a chisel.
2. flatten out the rest of the high spots with a grinding wheel. (it has a flat bottom).
3. remove debris, and spray area with a garden hose.
4. apply parging mix and add glue
5. cover with tarp.

6. one month later apply SW armour seal tread flex.


1. the homeowner is concerned about the parging "sticking" and asked for glue. what is a better choice, parging mix, or sand mix. If I should add glue, what type?

2. Should the old penetrating sealer be removed with a grinder? or covered with some sort of primer?

3. my flat grinding wheel is very heavy, maybe 4 pounds. rated 7500 rpm max. ($30!). my grinder is a single speed 11000 rpm no load 7amp (bosch 4 1/2"). I was wondering if the extra weight of the wheel would slow it enough to 7500 rpm. I don't want to buy a variable speed grinder if i can.

4. Though Sherwin williams armour seal treat flex was recommended, I wanted to match the concrete a little better to the stone wall. Is there a GOOD speckle stone product or something else that matches as a top coat.

5. is there some sort of primer that needs to be used?

6. I would like the finished surface to be a little rough to the touch. the owners are seniors and I am concerned about the paint being slick. I am probably going to put on anti slip strips, but I still want a paint that is "rough"

in the photos, some of the dark spots are actually shading from a tree.


NACE Coating Inspector
524 Posts
looks like a pretty easy fix with a grinder. the problem is what type of sealer was used. if it was a water based sealer, your method above seems good. if it was a xylene based sealer you will have problems getting anything to bond to it except for more sealer. from what i can see in the photos, the high build up areas are the main obsticles that can be taken care of with the grinder. the small holes can be grouted with hot patch mud and floated. mix small amounts of hot patch because it will kick off fast. acid etching will not help you much in this case since a sealer has already been applied. i dont think that you will be able to get away with using a clear coat due to all of the patches and future grinder work. as far as recoating, we need to know what type of sealer is on the concrete now to give any recommendations.

6,734 Posts
7" & 4" grinders will solve the prep issue,,, we prefer the turbo style wheels - 12 segs work faster & 24's leave a better finish,,, your best bet's applying a polymer-modified cementitious coating - we use eliteCrete,,, it can be tinted w/sher-wms wtr-based tints OR the eC colors,,, impo, nothing from the apron/vest stores are suitable.

the best sealers are generally solvent based - we use eC's 'css' which is laced w/methylmethacrylate.

pressure washing might work IF you use 4,00psi @ 4gpm & sand injection
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