DIY Slate (or textured) Walkway

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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!).
diy-slate-or-textured-walkway

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

You’ll Need:
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
Shovel
Wheelbarrow & hose (to mix your concrete in!)
Bonway Texture Pad or Roller Pad – whatever pattern you like
Bonway Release Agent – whatever Color you want
Concrete Trowel

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:

diy-slate-or-textured-walkway

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.

diy-slate-or-textured-walkway

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:

diy-slate-or-textured-walkway

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:

diy-slate-or-textured-walkway

This is what the texture will look like when you’re done rolling or stamping it all out:

diy-slate-or-textured-walkway

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:

diy-slate-or-textured-walkway

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:

Concrete $106.
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
Trowel $12
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!)

About Liss 4018 Articles
Melissa Burnell, known to her friends and fans as "Liss," grew up in Southern Maine, now residing in sunny South Carolina. As a busy Wife, Mother of two sons, an avid photographer, and self-employed entrepreneur, Liss understands the value of both time and money.

11 Comments

  1. i have an existing walk at my door. i would like to make it larger. do i have to remove the existing one or is there a way to incorporate into the new one.

    thanks

    • I have an existing walk at my door. I would like to make it larger. Do I have to remove the existing one or is there a way to incorporate into the new one.

      Thanks

      for making an existing one larger, if you mean to make a walkway area into like a patio, i would say no, if it is to extend it to a side walk then yes, you need to place a backing or buffer piece between the existing and the new. like when they repair a side walk, there is a brown material they use around here, old concrete and new concrete wont bond together. also make sure you have enough to do the job all at once, if you have to run to the store for more, it may not bond as well.

      i also think it has something to do with settling, the old section has had time to fully settle, and the new will take time, even with all the packing you do.

      if you are doing a big section, think of a sidewalk, and it has the grooves every so often, that is so that if one section cracks, it doesnt take out the whole sidewalk and they can repair one section. consider adding them to you drive way as well. also use the wire to reinforce it, cars are a lot heavier than people, and the sakrete probably wont be able to hold nearly as much weight as regular concrete.

      you may want to buy actual concrete for that project.

    • I have an existing walk at my door. I would like to make it larger. Do I have to remove the existing one or is there a way to incorporate into the new one. Thanks

      If the existing walk is untreated concrete (unsealed) than yes, you can. You’ll have to wash the existing walk with Muriatic Acid (available at lowes or Home depot) first. Spray it on liberally, covering the entire walk, leave it for a little bit and then scrub it off/ pressure wash it off. Be aware that it will likely kill any plants or flowers you have directly beside the walk if you get it on them. That’s how we did our back patio deck that had an existing 3 foot patio, we extended it to 12 feet. It works fine.

    • I love this idea! Is the concrete hard to mix? Would we need a barrel or something to mix it in?

      You can mix it in a regular wheelbarrow with a shovel to “stir” and then just tip the barrel to dump it into your form. It’s not “easy” work, but it’s not overly difficult either.

      On the shiny question- we did use a sealer after it set a few weeks, but it’s shiny like that due to the sprinkler system watering the lawn.

  2. that’s really pretty! does the sealer give it the shiny finish or was it wet when you took the photo? i didn’t realize it was that easy to make a walkway!

  3. I need to reseal my concrete patio. What brand sealant do you recommend and is it possible to add tint? What should I use for hairline cracks?

  4. It makes sense that you should apply a concrete sealer a few weeks after your project is complete. My wife and I want to add a walkway to our backyard that we can plant flowers around to make our lawn look more aesthetically pleasing, but we don’t have the knowledge or tools needed to effectively create a walkway. I think it would be a good idea to find a hardscaping service that will know exactly what kind of sealers we should use on our walkway.

    • You could certainly call a hardscaping company and ask them which type of sealer works best, or you can just ask the Contractor Desk at your local Lowes or Home Depot. Don’t let a little hard work scare you, this job takes just one afternoon & is a pretty simple process.

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