How to Burnish Concrete

Learning how to burnish concrete countertops is useful for handling many different problems that might crop up during a project. We like to think of burnishing pads as the “Duct Tape” of our trade because there are so many uses for these pads.

Here are just a few examples of how we use concrete burnishing pads:

  • Removing Efflorescence
  • Removing Surface Imperfections
  • Restoring the Countertop
  • Smooth the Sealer
  • Remove Wax

Step 1 – Burnishing Pad Holder

  • Use the “915” Hook and Loop Pad Holder by 3M to firmly grip the burnishing pads with its extra long hooks.
  • Use a pad holder with corresponding diameter to the size of the burnishing pad you’re using. For this guide we used 5″ pads and holder.
  • While the pad holder has a maximum speed of 10,000 rpm and can be placed on right angle grinder, we only use the burnishing pads on polishers with top speeds of  3,000 rpm. Anything higher than that and we end up chasing the pads around our shop and yard.

Step 2 – Burnishing Pad Set

  • Concrete burnishing pads are similar to steel wool but are made of vinyl resin and impregnated with diamond dust.
  • Concrete burnishing pads are available in grits ranging from 200 through 3,000 and can be used on many more materials than concrete.

Step 3 – Burnishing

How To Identify High Quality Concrete Burnishing Pads:

High quality burnishing pads are manufactured with diamond dust throughout the entire pad. This is achieved by spraying diamond-rich resin directly onto the fibers before the pads are compressed. This method insures equal distribution of cutting power throughout the entire pad.

Low quality burnishing pads are manufactured by taking normal floor scrubbing pads and painting diamond saturated resins onto to one side of the pad. This methods leaves only a thin surface of the pad with cutting power. Once the painted surface is worn off the rest of the pad is useless.