I am looking for advice on how to smooth out the surface of my newly done concrete slab. I used 2x6 studs to make a raised slab for a concrete fountain that will be placed in the center. Only about 10" of a ledge all around my newly constructed slab will be visible as well as a portion of the sides. Sadly, I did a pretty lousy job at making a nice smooth modern looking finish. I was having an extremely difficult time leveling the surface and unable to smooth out all the aggregate. It sort of looks like spalling in some areas. I don't know what I did wrong. But due to not being able to rent a large barrel concrete mixer I had to mix twenty-two 60lb bags by hand which really wiped me out. I was exhausted by the time it came to smoothing everything out. I made two of these slabs (11 bags per slab). Here is a photo of what I'm trying to improve:
I'll be taking off the form this evening which will have been a full 24 hours.
Can someone recommend the type of product I can use to smooth this out so that it looks a lot better? I am pretty sure that cosmetically I will be happy so long as someone can recommend the right product. Something that I can smooth over with an extra wide putty knife just to smooth out the surface? Lastly, i'm going to paint the concrete with Deckover to match the sidewalk in the same area. Deckover is really remarkable in smoothing out a surface and hiding imperfections. My thirty year old sidewalk looks brand new.
Would I use a vinyl concrete leveler or some type of stucco product?
Lastly, can I do this ASAP or do I have to let the concrete slab cure for a certain amount of time first? Due to time constraints I'm hoping to do this as quickly as possible.
Looking forward to some suggestions.