We started our concrete skim coating project by applying a crack fill epoxy to all of the major cracks after opening them up first with a diamond blade mounted on a grinder. This allows the crack fill material to penetrate deeper into the crack so that it can "glue" the sides of the crack together. While we were doing this we noticed a couple of ducks watching us. It wasn't too surprising since we were right by the lake but these guys hung around for a good reason as we found out later.
Next we power washed the entire slab to clean off anything that might prevent our concrete skim coating material from sticking tightly to the floor. Then we mixed up the skim coat material and applied it to the patio and pool deck. We always apply two coats and this fills in the spaces between the stones, creating a smoother finish. Our Lakeworth homeowner wanted a stone pattern in the floor so once the concrete skim coating material had dried we chalked it out and then scored (cut) the pattern using a handheld grinder.
After scoring we started the staining process and here we found out why the ducks were hanging around. Just as we were staining the sidewalk a duck suddenly exploded out of a small bush of Japanese grass right next to it. It was a nest with some small eggs! Don't worry, we didn't poke around in it, we were just amazed at how well hidden she had been in there. We got back to work and applied a second stain coat to the floor using a different, complementary color.