Refinishing VS Resurfacing, How Is It Done, And How Does it Differ?

You would probably not need to repair or have the outdoor floorings at home or in any of your commercial space resurfaced in a year. 

Instead, your eyes may catch colors fading, tints changing, or stains begin to become too apparent. 

Take a closer look. Those damages are just minor. No need to panic. Have you thought of refinishing concrete patios?

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Summer or the rainy season and cold weather cause the concrete steps outdoors to wear out. Only, the entire slab is still in its perfect shape.


That’s the beauty of concrete. It lasts long, and damages will not worry you and your pockets. What is more, you can touch up beloved patios floors with refinishing with a much simpler and cheaper process.

Refinishing VS Resurfacing

Have you thought of calling a decorative flooring contractor or designer and struggle to say what it is that you need? Home improvement sometimes feels too challenging to begin to do because it makes you feel like a first-grader. 

Differentiate now refinishing from resurfacing.

Probably you have called a concrete resurfacing contractor to get work done on your outdoor floors and resurface the entryways with concrete patios. 

Resurfacing involves steps where you change the surface materials. If you have paver stones or wooden floorings as the finishing materials, resurfacing will let you change that material into concrete.

Here is another scenario. After a few years or less, the patio floorings now look outdated, or the colors that used to be whitewashed-scandi-styled and earth-tinted are now covered with the actual dirt itself. You do not need another resurfacing to revive the beauty of concrete.


Now you need refinishing. 


This is what you do if you need a quick touch-up of small damaged spots on the floor. There might be a sticky stain or dirt on the patio floor. You will not jump to resurfacing right away. Try having it refinished first.


It involves a more practical method. It is quicker, and it does not involve changing the flooring slabs.

Here are some applications that are done with refinishing:


  • Painting or recoloring using dye or stain
  • Resealing with acrylic coating or epoxy coating
  • Floor coating application
  • Polishing for glossy surface
  • Repolishing if the coating had fade
  • Re-epoxy

Sometimes, you have not yet heard processes or applications and so struggle to communicate the repair needs with your contractor. 


While a trusted contractor can tell you how things are done, you should know exactly what to do as the owner.

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How Do You Refinish An Outdoor Concrete Patio?

Whether you choose to repaint, recoat or reseal the concrete patio and other exterior floorings, the basic steps for refinishing involves flooring prep, grinding or sanding, and then the finishing.


Below discusses the steps in detail.

Part 1 - Flooring Prep

The first step is to clean the surface. Roughing up the surface before putting in any application will ensure that the coating or finishing material will adhere properly. The most basic is to pressure wash. 

As you finish pressure washing, a more severe stain such as rust or grease that left a dark mark may appear on the surface. These types of stans tell you to recoat or refinish the flooring.

Part 2 - Rough Up the Surface

This time you got to let the floors go through the rough times. Grind or sand the surface using an angle grinder or sanders. These are smaller tools than the grinding machine for polishing. That is a different process.


Let the surface take off its polished surface for a while, and the new finishing will hold firm on the surface. A very smooth surface will only repel the coating, dye, or paint as it will not have enough density or traction to attach to the film coating.

Part 3 - Finishing

The last part is your finishing application of choice. May it be a stain, dye, acrylic, or epoxy coating, be sure that the finish you put in will go through proper curing time.

How Much Does It Cost To Resurface VS Refinish A Concrete Patio?

Clients often ask how much does concrete resurface cost? What if, between the two processes, the cost falls in the same range? Well, here and get your final pick with the cost comparison of resurfacing vs. refinish.

Resurfacing Service


$2 to $6 per square foot for basic to complex design

$4 to $10 per square foot for basic to an intricate design


Recoloring/restaining- $1 to $3

Stamped overlay- $3 to $8 


Resealing $1.5 to $5

Stained Concrete new installation – $3 to $7


Repolishing (grind and seal) – $2 to $4

Polished concrete (mechanical grinding)- $6 to & $8

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