Do you love the look of a slate finish, but can’t afford to hire a hardscaper to install it? Create your own faux slate finish on a walkway or patio and save yourself hundreds of dollars!
DIY Slate Walkway
We really wanted a slate walkway, but when we contacted a hard-scape company to give us a price, I nearly passed out when he said $1,975 dollars; for a little curved walkway paved with concrete (Not GOLD!).
How Much Concrete?
To begin with, you’ll need to determine what size area you want to create, and how much concrete you’ll need for that area. This will be dependent, of course, on the size of your walkway and the thickness of the concrete. Here’s a free Concrete calculator to figure it out to ensure you have the correct amount!
Choose Your Edging
To create the form for your walkway, you’ll need to choose an edging. If you want a straight walkway, simple boards will do. If you want a curved walkway, like the one we installed ourselves, you can use flexible lawn edging and use stakes to hold in in place.
Gather Your Materials
Bags of Sakrete (concrete) (this is going to depend entirely on how much of an area that you want/need to cover)
Sand- for leveling the area
Edging- we used flexible lawn edging to create swerving effect
Wheelbarrow & hose (to mix your concrete in!)
Bonway Texture Pad or Roller Pad – whatever pattern you like
Bonway Release Agent – whatever Color you want
First, you’ll need to level the area that you’re working with. We marked off our area using flexible lawn edging that we had lying around in the garage. This serves 2 purposes, it gives you a uniform thickness in your walkway (so it won’t crack & break apart later on) and it gives you the style edge that you want.
You could use 2×4’s if you want a straight edged path. Pound some wooden dowels or rebar pieces into the ground to secure the edging in place, like this:
Then add enough sand to level the area, packing it down as you go. Once you’ve packed it down as tightly as possible, spray it with the hose to further compact it.
Next Mix your sakrete (concrete) according to the directions on the bag and pour it into your (formed) walkway.
You’ll have to move quickly to get the concrete poured evenly. Then Smooth is using a trowel so that it looks like this:
Next, you have to wait until the majority of the water on the top of the concrete has dried. Then dust it liberally with the Bonway release agent. This is what literally keeps your concrete texture pad from sticking. (Sorry, this was my job, so no picture!)
Since we were going to be doing our entire driveway using this method, we purchased the Roller. For small walkways, you can use the 24″x24″ texture pad. Lay the pad down and tamp it down with your feet, step off, line the pad up and repeat until you’ve applied the pattern to your entire walkway.
If you’re using a roller, you just do this:
This is what the texture will look like when you’re done rolling or stamping it all out:
Let it cure overnight, then sweep it thoroughly the next day. Be forewarned, the Bonway release agent contains high amounts of silica and is completely waterproof. Water will just POOL on it. So it won’t do you a bit of good to spray it down first to “keep the dust down”. It can be swept up and reused. This is the finished walk, before sealing:
Sorry about the shadows, I can’t control the morning sun!
After a few weeks, you should apply a concrete sealer, but you must wait 2-3 weeks to give the concrete plenty of time to cure. The best part about the sealer is that it gives the textured concrete a nice wet look. Although it appears like it could be slippery, it’s absolutely a gripping no-slip texture, which is perfect for the slick winter months!
Budget101.com Budget Breakdown
Our total cost for this project came out as follows:
Stamping tool $200 (which really can be split between projects because we bought the roller so we could do our Entire Driveway, otherwise we could’ve purchased the much less expensive stamp pad)
Release agent $75
Sand-free (dug it up from the backyard)
Total Cost $393 = $1,582 SAVINGS from what we were quoted
(and that was the LOWEST quote we received!)