concrete patio
Photo: Norm Plate
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Colorful Squares

Precast concrete slabs in terra-cotta, charcoal, and soft gray give this patio its distinctive checkerboard look. For a new installation, purchase slabs like these that are tinted during the manufacturing process. Or to liven up existing monotone slabs, you can brush, trowel, or squeegee on a thin layer of Quikrete's DIY-friendly concrete resurfacer (find it at The Home Depot). Choose from five liquid tints, including red, brown, and buff, that you mix into the slurry yourself. The new surface won't peel, and colors won't fade as they can with some concrete stains.

Shown: Architectural Slabs, 18 by 18 inches, in Cardinal, Graphite, and Platinum, $4.58 per square foot;
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