This is an old concrete patio (photo above left) in Royal Oak, Michigan, in the Spring of 2018, that the homeowner had enlargened the previous Fall by adding a separate, poured slab of about the same size. The new slab - white - did not match the old slab - tan. We installed an integrally-colored, thin cement overlay and then acid-stained it, to bring everything together.
We began by pressure washing and acid-etching the concrete surface (above left) to clean it, and provide a mechanical profile to maximize the overlay's adhesion. Once the concrete was dry, we applied two layers of the taupe-colored overlay (above right) to establish a uniformly colored base. The transformation appears less dramatic because the concrete above left is still damp.
After allowing 24 hours for the overlay to dry and cure, we applied a walnut-colored acid stain for accent purposes, and to provide a more "mottled" look to the concrete. The photo above left shows the patio from a different direction, after pressure washing and before the overlay. Photo above right is the patio after applying acid stain to the cement overlay.
We then applied 3 coats of clear sealer to the decorative finish to deepen the color and protect the surface. The sealer prolongs the durability of the finish, and makes it easier to clean, which is important in a backyard, like this one, with a lot of trees and constant bird droppings. In these photos, you can also see the decorative saw-cutting we did, and the matching back porch.
These two photos show another perspective of the patio's dramatic transformation. Above left, we had just run out of a batch of material while applying the first layer of overlay. Above right, you can see the finished look of the patio in the sunlight, after applying taupe-colored cement overlay, acid stain, and clear protective sealer.