A well-maintained driveway is a thing of beauty. It improves the general appearance of the outside of the house and helps keep up the market value of the property. Once a driveway starts to look tired, though, it can be difficult to know what to do, so we’ve taken a look at several ways to give that old drive a new lease of life.
In order to stain a concrete driveway, it has to be in good condition. So if you have a lot of cracks in the drive, those need to be sorted out before you can go ahead and use stain. Stain is different from paint in that it actually goes into the concrete, meaning that you can create different effects – concrete can be made to look like stone, or even marble. Earth tones are popular, and there are a lot of different colours available. Staining is generally long lasting, although all driveways need to be maintained to keep them looking in tip top condition.
Before you paint a driveway, be sure to give it a really good clean. If you don’t, you risk painting over any grime or grit that has been left behind, and this can ruin the effect. Use concrete epoxy/acrylic paint, and if you can get access to a paint sprayer, this will yield the best result. Make sure to tape up anything you don’t want to paint. If you don’t have a sprayer then a large roller will do the job – just make sure you apply the paint evenly.
Ensure the paint is thoroughly dry before bringing cars back onto the drive.
If you don’t want to use stain but you do like the idea of having a stone-effect drive, stamping might be a good option to consider. Effects include slate, tile or brick, and will last as long as the concrete, meaning low maintenance. A colour hardener is applied, followed by a release agent before applying the ‘stamps’ which will create the desired effect. This is quite a lengthy process which can require specialist tools, so you may want to bring in some professional help.
Etching also requires specialist tools, but if you can get access to them it means that you can create a truly original driveway. A pattern is etched into the concrete, and then stain is applied in order to add texture. You can pick any pattern and colour, so the possibilities are endless.
If the state of the concrete is beyond repair, or you simply don’t want a concrete drive any more, then you can resort to using pavers. Paving stones, which vary from large stones to a dark coloured brick, can be laid over the concrete and give a very elegant finish. The benefit of these is that if one breaks it can simply be replaced. The downside is that pavers can shift with time, and may occasionally need to be re-laid.
Maintaining your drive, and home, is not just good for the price of your property, it’s also a great pastime. When you make changes to your home, you’re inserting a little more of ‘you’ – because
who wants to have what everyone else has got?