How to Sand Concrete? [A Step by Step Practical Guide]

When you’re ready to tackle a new project, it can be easy to get stuck on which tools and materials you need. The best thing about the DIY spirit is the ability to figure out how-to’s that are specific for your needs. In this blog post, we’ll teach you what supplies and steps are needed in order to sand concrete. With this information, you can make any rough or stained areas on your patio or sidewalk look nice and new again!

Table of Contents

  • Recommended Tools to Sand Concrete
  • What do you use to sand concrete?
  • Required PPEs
  • Sanding Concrete (A Step by Step Guide)
  • How to achieve a uniform look on floors?
  • Can You Sand Concrete with Regular Sandpaper?
  • How to Smooth Concrete after It Dries?
  • Frequently Asked Questions about concrete sanding

Recommended Tools to Sand Concrete

The best and easiest way to sand concrete would be with a random orbital sander. This is because you can easily control the motion left to right or back and forth, whereas using a traditional palm sander, you’ll have to use different strokes for this motion. If you do want to use a palm-sanded approach, then I recommend that you first smooth out your concrete lightly with power tools such as an angle grinder. For those of us who don’t have access to power tools, then old fashioned hand sanders work too but it will take much longer.

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What do you use to sand concrete?

  • Epoxy resin
  • Floor grinder (Avoid wet models)
  • Duct tape
  • Plastic Sheeting
  • Mop ( I recommend to use a squeegee or sponge mop)
  • Shop vacuum (Attach directly to sander)

Required PPEs

  • Goggles
  • Face Masks
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Earplugs

Sanding Concrete (A Step by Step Guide)

  1. 1

    Clear the concrete flooring you want to sand, remove the furniture and other things.

  2. 2

    Use plastic sheets on your walls, doorways, vents, and other surfaces to cover. This will help you to protect your walls from derbies and dust.

  3. 3

    It is necessary to mop your floors to get rid of particles. Simply mop it and let dry.

  4. 4

    To work in order, divide the floor into sectors so that you can concentrate one sector at a time.

  5. 5

    Use a 30 to 60 grit sandpaper to remove imperfections and smooth out the surface. Start working from the corner side and move up. If you start from the corner you will be able to maintain an order of sanding different sections of floor.

  6. 6

    Now make more vertical passes because in this way you are actually covering narrow paths too. Every time this method should cover half of the previous pass time.

  7. 7

    Always be extra cautious when you will sand bumps. You should sand thoroughly until it smooth out. Try a few passes. Don’t leave the sander stationary or else there won’t be even finishing.

  8. 8

    Use epoxy resin to fill any sort cracks and rough walls, let it dry and settle.

  9. 9

    After finishing the first set of passes, start from there again. Overturn the process to end at the original corner you started.

  10. 10

    Now run horizontally in both directions. Make certain of two mores sets to pass.

  11. 11

    Clean the floor carefully with vacuum or damp rag. Now you must apply an even coat of concrete sealer.

  12. 12

    After than change to an 80 to 120 grit sandpaper for more smoothing result. You should repeat the steps for 6 to 10 times.

  13. 13

    Again clean the floor. Now switch to a grit paper that is finer. Grits of 240 or 320 are considered to be finer grits.

  14. 14

    All you need to do now is to carry on the process redoing steps 6 to 10 with finer grit paper. Continue the process until it reaches 1.500 grit or more. You can occasionally use mopping for excess debris or dust.

  15. 15

    For best results re-examine the floor. If there is any traces of paint, give one last mopping.

  16. 16

    If you find it necessary then you can paint on the floor and there you the final step!

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Watch the below video to know the technique about sanding concrete smooth:

Editor’s Tips:

How to achieve a uniform look on floors?

Sanding concrete floor is surely a perfect way to give it a new look but you need to be careful when it comes to sanding an interior concrete floor. Sorry to say but you can just sand one part of the floor rather you need to process over the entire surface of the floor.

Because of coarse sanding, the surface of the floor gets affected and the shades and color thus differentiate and penetrate. Stain the whole floor if you sand a particular section. Because of sanding results in noticeable different shades on the floor.


Can You Sand Concrete with Regular Sandpaper?

You can sand concrete with regular sandpaper yet there are some secrets you must know to suit your purpose. For example- If you intend to basic sanding then go for 40 to 60 range coarse grit sandpaper.

If smooth finishing is your primary concern then definitely use 80 to 120 grit sandpaper.

Again if you consider using dry-wet sandpaper then you should wet the area before starting to work. It simply keeps the dust away.

Always be alert not to let the slurry dry on concrete. It will unnecessarily worsen your toil by hardening the place.

Have a small area to sand? Then Orbital, Palm or Belt sander will do enough.

Again, there might be rough imperfections even after sanding; in this case, you can use a special diamond disc or concrete floor grinder. 

Diamond sandpapers are well known for lasting longer. It also saves a huge amount of time for you. Even though it might cost a little bit higher, it’s worth purchasing to reduce your hard work.

How to Smooth Concrete after It Dries?

Well, there are a few methods you could try to fix your already dried and set concrete. I recommend a product called Concrete Scratch Remover as the quickest method for removal, but it is not always the most desirable option. The two other more popular options are either sand and start over or wire brushes off the top coat.

Related: How to Fix a Leaning Retaining Wall?

Frequently Asked Questions about concrete sanding

Can a sanding stone be used on concrete?

Sure. The most important things to know are the type of sanding stone and the type of concrete.

Sandpaper for brick is not recommended because it will clog up quickly, so if you’re going to use a sanding stone, find out what type of rock or concrete you have. If your stone is soft like granite or marble then a coarse grit sandpaper will be fine; but check for signs of wear first to make sure that it’s still an appropriate solution. For harder stones, coarse sandpaper won’t be enough and you’ll need a more aggressive material with finer grains like silicon carbide paper – again, do some research on your surface before starting any work.

Can da polisher be used for concrete sanding?

It is possible to use the DA Polisher on concrete, but it is only a temporary fix. The hectic nature of buffing and polishing will wear away at the concrete and it will need to be repolished in order to have a lasting effect. It would work well for resurfacing an old parking lot or sidewalk, but not as well for repairing cracks in cement.

Can you use palm sander for sanding concrete?

YES, but first you must make sure that the pad is level with your work surface and test it on a small area of concrete to confirm. Next, go over the entire concrete patch in an “X” pattern with light pressure. This will help balance any unevenness within the patch. When finished, carefully inspect for any high or low spots that may not have been leveled before painting. Do this gently by “around-the-house bumping”. If high or low spots are still noticeable then repeat step one until all surfaces are level and sanded to a uniform texture for painting purposes. and HONESTLY, I do not recommend using a palm sander here because it can often lead to more sanding time

Final Words

Knowing the methods above you might have come to a conclusion of how to sand concrete well with a random orbit sander.

As for smaller projects and jobs you can use the handheld electric orbital sander. But for the larger proton of surface, you can also try using a drum sander. Sanding concrete flooring in warehouses or factories requires the tool that suits the job. Choose wisely!

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