Sidewalk Looking Pretty Bad? DIY Instructions For Resurfacing Your Sidewalk

7 October 2015
 Categories: , Blog

Has your sidewalk seen better days? Are there too many chips, cracks and stains to count? Is a totally new sidewalk completely out of the budget right now? If you said yes to any of those questions, you may want to consider concrete resurfacing.

Resurfacing will give a whole new look to your existing sidewalk without the time, mess or expense of replacing it. Here are the step-by-step instructions you'll need to resurface your sidewalk.

Before You Begin

Before you begin this project, there are some supplies you'll need to gather. Since cement can dry out quickly – and become unusable – it's important that you have everything you need before you start.

Supplies You'll Need

  • Broom
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Paint brush
  • Paint roller with extension pole
  • Square-nose shovel
  • Cement groove edger
  • Gloves
  • 2 x 4s
  • Garden stakes
  • Hammer
  • Vegetable oil
  • Bonding adhesive
  • Concrete mix
  • Water
  • Concrete float

Prep Work

The prep work will create the surface you'll be working with. The first thing you'll need to do is scrape the surface of the sidewalk with your shovel. This will loosen up the debris that could be hiding in the cracks. Once you've loosened the debris up, sweep the sidewalk clean with your broom. You're now ready for the final prep work.

Clear a Path

If your sidewalk has grass on either side, you'll need to clear a path. The path will be used for the framework that will be placed on either side of your existing sidewalk. Use your shovel to remove about 3" of grass down each side of the walkway.

Lay the Frame

Once the sides have been cleared, you'll be ready to lay the frame. You'll use your 2 x 4s for this portion of the project. Before you start this portion of the project, use your paint brush to apply a thin layer of vegetable oil to one side of each 2 x 4. The oil will prevent the concrete from sticking to the wood as it dries.

Now that you have the wood coated with vegetable oil, lay one 2 x 4 so that it rests up against the sidewalk. Place one garden stake against the board and hammer it into the ground. Continue laying 2 x 4s until the entire sidewalk is framed.


Concrete placed on top of existing concrete will not create a permanent bond unless it has something to help it. That's where the adhesive bond comes in. Pour the concrete adhesive bonding agent directly onto the existing concrete. Use your paint roller and extension pole to apply a thin layer to the entire sidewalk. Allow it to set in while you prepare for the final stage.


Concrete can dry out your hands, so put your gloves on before you begin this portion of the project. Pour your dry concrete mix into your wheelbarrow and mix it according to the package instructions. Use your shovel to scoop the concrete mix directly onto the surface of your sidewalk.

Spread the concrete down and pack it down as tightly as it will go. Use your float to smooth out the surface. Finally, take your concrete groove edger and run it along the edges of your new sidewalk. This will create the smooth edges and finish the project. Allow your concrete to dry overnight before removing the 2 x 4 frame.

You don't have to have a new sidewalk poured just because your old one is worn out. Use these easy-to-follow instructions to resurface your existing walkway. If your concrete walkway has extensive damage that you can't repair by yourself, you may need a new sidewalk. Contact a concrete contractor. To learn more, visit a website like