Few design features add as much to a landscape as a patio or walkway made from pavers. Yet, with time, your backyard design may fade and lose its luster. Luckily, you may be able to breathe new life into your patio or pathway by simply staining the pavers rather than replacing them. It just depends on the type of pavers you have.
Concrete is quite porous and can be stained to almost any color. This means that you can get creative with your design and experiment with multiple colors. Brick, on the other hand, is a little more limited in terms of color so don’t expect to go beyond a standard red, tan, or brown. Nevertheless, you should be able to freshen up your pavers with a fresh coat of color.
If you’ve never tried staining pavers and are curious whether your pavers will accept a new color, continue reading to learn more. This guide will explain how the process works, what to expect, and how successfully your pavers will transform from faded to fabulous.
Which Types of Pavers Can be Stained?
Pavers come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and materials, and, depending on the type of paver you have, it may or may not accept a stain. To help you determine whether your pavers can be stained, we’ve outlined the three most common types of pavers and whether they can be recolored.
Concrete pavers are one of the most popular types of pavers on the market and can be used for a variety of applications, including patios, walkways, driveways, and more. Because they are so versatile, they come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and colors.
Concrete pavers are also very porous, which means they absorb stains very well. In fact, they can be stained to match any color you can imagine. So, if you’re looking to add a pop of color to your patio or walkway, concrete pavers are the way to go.
Brick pavers are another popular type of paver that can be used for a variety of applications, including patios, walkways, driveways, and more. Brick pavers are typically made from clay or concrete and come in a variety of colors, including red, brown, tan, and more.
Brick pavers are not as porous as concrete pavers, which means they don’t absorb stains as well. However, they can still be stained to a variety of reds, browns, and other earth tones. This is usually enough to freshen up your patio and restore it to its former glory.
Stone pavers are made from a variety of natural stones, such as granite, limestone, slate, and more. Stone pavers are very durable and are typically used for high-traffic areas, such as driveways and walkways.
Stone pavers are even less porous than concrete or brick pavers, which means they don’t absorb stains as well. However, they can still be stained—albeit not as easily—using a special acid wash. Fortunately, staining pavers has become quite trendy and you can pick up a stone staining kit at most hardware or outdoor supply stores.
If your patio was constructed from rubber, asphalt, porcelain, or cobblestone pavers, you won’t be able to stain them back to life. Porcelain is incredibly stain-resistant due to the way it’s produced, while asphalt and rubber are heavily oil-based materials that don’t readily absorb stains.
How to Stain Pavers?
Now that you know which types of pavers can be stained, it’s time to learn how the staining process works. The good news is that it’s not as difficult as you may think and, with the right supplies, you can do it yourself. Most of these items are available in a kit or you can purchase them individually from your local landscape design store.
Here’s what you’ll need to get started:
- A bucket
- A sprayer or large brush
- Stain (concrete, brick, or stone)
- Stir stick
- Protective gloves
- Eye protection
Before you start staining, you’ll need to clean your pavers to remove any dirt, debris, or other build-up that may be on the surface. We recommend using a large deck brush, some soap, and water to properly clear away any residue. Once they are clean, you’re ready to start staining.
To stain your pavers:
- Pour your stain into the bucket.
- Dip your brush into the bucket and spread the stain as evenly as possible across the pavers. If you’re using a sprayer, use a back-and-forth motion to avoid streaks.
- Continue until all of the pavers are stained.
- Allow the stain to dry completely before using the area.
- Apply a second coat if needed and then consider adding a sealant to preserve your craftsmanship.
When NOT to Stain Pavers?
Although staining pavers can help to restore their sheen and color, it’s not always the best option. For example, if your patio or walkway is already stained (naturally), applying a topcoat of additional color will not remove the underlying stain. The new color will simply sit on top of the old one.
Additionally, if your pavers are cracked, chipped, or otherwise damaged, staining them will not repair the damage. In fact, it may actually make it worse. If your pavers are in need of repair, we recommend replacing them altogether.
Finally, we don’t recommend staining pavers until you’re absolutely positive that you’ll love the color. Once you apply the stain, there’s no going back so, if you’re unsure of how it will sit, apply a small test sample to a far corner of the patio or pathway.
Staining pavers is a great way to add a pop of color to your patio or walkway without having to replace the entire structure. If you have stone, brick, or cement pavers, you can experiment with a variety of colors and textures to revitalize your backyard design in a single afternoon. Simply pick up a staining kit from your local landscape design store and get to work spreading the stain evenly across your pavers.