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Your driveway might not be something that you think about all that often, but it is an integral part of your home. In fact, it’s one of the areas of your home that is often the most trafficked, not to mention one that is constantly exposed to the elements and other potentially harmful forces. Since most of us don’t spend much time in or around our driveways except when pulling in and out of our homes and/or garages, they tend to decay over time which can cause a wide range of issues not just the overall aesthetics of your property but to the structural integrity of your paving. This is why you should regularly repair and maintain your driveway as often as needed. This being said, let’s have a look at how to paint and protect your driveway, as well as which products work best for this task.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Are the Reasons to Paint Your Driveway?
- 2 Which Types of Paint Can You Use to Paint Your Driveway?
- 3 Which Driveway Paint Should You Choose?
- 4 How to Paint Driveway Paths Effectively
- 5 Frequently Asked Questions
What Are the Reasons to Paint Your Driveway?
While you might not think of your driveway as a perishable surface, it very much is. The only difference between your driveway and other exterior surfaces is that it’s marginally more durable than these other surfaces, which contributes to the fact that these driveways are rarely thought about. Why should you paint and maintain your driveway though? Let’s have a look at a few reasons.
Protecting Your Surface
While a driveway might not be something that you consider to be a perishable surface, they do tend to take quite the beating over the course of many years, especially during harsh winter and summer months.
Much the same way that metal does, concrete tends to expand and contract when subjected to extreme heat and cold, and as the years progress concrete does lose some of its elasticity and by extension its ability to retain its shape and structural integrity.
This is not a good thing, as this can cause your driveway to present cracks on its surface, crumble into little pieces, and in really bad cases, even begin to sink into the earth if the foundational layer has been affected too.
This is all due to saturation by heat and water, and even strong winds that can cause raised pieces to degrade over time. The resulting aesthetic can be hard to look at, to say the least, and might cause you and your neighbors to avert your eyes when walking by, plus it’s not exactly safe if you have little kids running around on their bicycles and/or skateboards.
Protecting Your Vehicles
This is another thing that you might not have thought about over the years, but a poorly maintained or damaged driveway can cause serious issues for all of your vehicles that use it to enter and exit your property.
How do a few loose pieces of stone affect your vehicle you ask? Well, it has more to do with your tires and suspension than anything else, especially if you have a particularly long driveway. Loose pieces of stone and masonry can negatively affect your suspension, which in turn can affect the way that you can handle and even the longevity of these parts.
While the effects are not immediately apparent, over a long enough time period you will start to notice the difference in your drive as your suspension has to do more work at lower speeds to compensate for the unexpected ups and downs in your driveway.
Down the line, this can lead to increased maintenance costs and even a full suspension replacement. The best way to illustrate this is how people who live in rural areas with lots of dirt roads tend to drive pickups and all-terrain vehicles due to how these surfaces tend to punish the suspension, chassis, and tires on conventional suburban vehicles.
A bad driveway can also affect the condition of your tires over a much shorter period than you might think. Considering that most tires are designed for flat blacktop or concrete surfaces, a driveway with multiple variances in elevation can cause soft spots to form in the contact surface of a tire, which means that they do not wear evenly and are therefore at greater risk of a puncture.
They say that most consumers buy with their eyes, and there is a ton of research supporting this. Although, we have gotten a lot smarter as consumers as more information has become readily available to us, like reviews from other customers and comparison websites. This doesn’t mean that we’re completely blind to aesthetics though, and truth be told they still play a big part in whether we buy something or not.
As you’ve no doubt guessed by now, if you intend on selling your home the way that it looks plays a huge part in whether prospective buyers will even be willing to step on to the property. One of the first things they’ll see is, of course, your driveway, and if it’s a bit worse for wear then you aren’t starting off on the best foot.
This being said, if you really want to separate prospective buyers from their hard-earned money it’s best to maintain and/or repair your home’s driveway before you have it listed. If you think you can get away with it, consider that only three percent of home buyers are willing to purchase based on not seeing the property at all, and since the advent of virtual tours, this number has decreased dramatically.
Besides working in your favor financially, you should consider the safety implications of a badly maintained driveway. It has the potential to be a major safety hazard for those living in the home and people who need to walk or cycle through the area on a daily basis, not to mention the effect that it could have on surrounding property values.
Which Types of Paint Can You Use to Paint Your Driveway?
Now that you have some reasons to paint your driveway, you’re probably wondering what type of paint could be used for such a monumental task. After all, the paint you use will have to stand up to things like hail, rain, extreme heat, extreme cold, not to mention constant foot and vehicle traffic on a day-to-day basis. Fortunately, there are paints out there that are up to the task and will last for many years even if they aren’t the most diligent when it comes to maintenance and repair work.
Masonry paint is typically the go-to for anyone looking to spruce up their driveways. This type of paint is used by DIY enthusiasts and professional contractors alike to repair, restore and maintain driveways all over the world. This paint type is hard-wearing and can be subjected to brutal conditions without so much as a scratch to show for it.
What is this seemingly miracle paint you ask? Masonry paint is exactly as the name suggests, a paint specifically designed for use on masonry, which is typically used on the exterior surfaces of a home to beautify and protect it.
These paints come in a wide variety of colors, including some of the most commonly used colors for homes such as beige, brown, grey, stone, white, and even black if you’re in the mood for a more modern, edgy aesthetic.
Now you might be wondering how a paint like this is able to look great while still providing what could be considered among paints to be a bulletproof coating, and the answer is what masonry paint is made out of. Masonry paints contain a widely used substance called acrylic resin, which is used in hundreds of applications in virtually every industry on earth.
Acrylic resins have the ability to form an airtight layer when applied to the surface, a layer that is extremely durable, can be colored as desired, and offer what many would argue to be a lifetime of protection against virtually any force that could act on a surface including direct fire.
There are very few substances on the face of the planet that have the versatility and strength that epoxy substances afford you. Epoxy has fast become one of the most widely used substances in the world across a broad range of industries ranging from things like healthcare, mechanical engineering, professional crafting, and even smartphone manufacturing.
Epoxy paint contains this substance, and as a result, it can withstand a tremendous amount of force and decay even over the course of decades. You might have encountered this type of paint without even realizing it, as things like school gyms, large warehouses, industrial complexes, and even movie theatres use this substance for their walls and floors due to how effective they are with highly trafficked areas.
How does this paint work? Well, like the paint type we covered previously, epoxy paint contains what is known as latex acrylic polymers, which gives epoxy paint its durability and allows it to be used on a variety of different things such as exterior walls, ceilings, and floors. These acrylic polymers can be dyed or have a dye added to them to produce color within the paint, which is great for color variety.
Epoxy paints are also relatively inexpensive and sold in large volumes which is why most large-scale contractors use this type of paint to coat environments that will see heavy foot traffic and labor-intensive occupations. This could be factories, manufacturing plants, port warehouses, industrial complexes, schools, recreation centers, and similar environments.
Maybe your driveway looks just the way you want it to, maybe it’s brand new and you find yourself marveling at the beauty that is the entryway to your home. Perhaps you’re thinking about the exquisite stone used to lay it, and how long its beauty will last with all the neighborhood kids running over it with their skateboards and bicycles. If you’ve had this presumably internalized conversation with yourself, you’re not alone, and we have just the solution for you.
There’s a way for you to protect the natural appeal of your stone finish without having to paint over it. After all, you’re probably paid a pretty penny for it and the last thing you want is for it to be covered up. That’s where siloxane compounds come swooping in to save the day, they provide top-notch protection without any added color to distract from intricate or rare stonework.
What are siloxane compounds, you ask? Well, put simply, siloxane compounds are a type of silicone that is typically used to prevent slippage and protect surfaces by adding a protective layer to stone and masonry which maximizes surface friction. This substance is also colorless, which means that the stone underneath is completely visible, which is great for high-end stone driveways and footpaths.
If you’re wondering how safe siloxane compounds are, you can rest assured knowing that they are 100% safe for humans and pets, being not in the least bit toxic once soaked into the surface of your choosing. In fact, siloxane is used in places like the medical and food industries to improve efficiency and longevity of not only surfaces but tools too.
|Characteristics||Masonry Paint||Epoxy Paint||Siloxane Compounds|
|Does it add color?||✔||✔||✘|
|Protection from heat, moisture, and/or insects||✔||✔||✔|
|Longevity of five years or longer||✔||✔||✘|
|Is it toxic?||✘||✘||✘|
|Is it relatively affordable?||✔||✔|
|Is it readily available?||✔||✔||✔|
|Can it be applied with a paint sprayer?||✔||✔||✔|
Which Driveway Paint Should You Choose?
Choosing the best driveway paint can be tough considering that there are hundreds of products out there for you to choose from. Unfortunately, not all of them are created equally, and when it comes to sealing and protecting your driveway a compromise in quality could mean spending even more money to do a proper job. Thankfully, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to show you some of the best driveway paint products on the market along with their respective pros and cons.
Best Epoxy Paint: RUST-OLEUM Concrete and Garage Floor Paint, Battleship Gray Satin
If you’re looking for a premium-grade epoxy paint, the concrete and garage floor paint from the Rust-oleum team. This is the ideal paint for driveway usage as it contains pretty much everything you’ll need to protect and beautify your driveway. If you’ve used their paint before, then you know that the Rust-Oleum team are veterans in the quality paint game and never cease to impress with their increasingly robust and pioneering range of products.
What makes their paints so good? Well, Rust-Oleum has been in the paint game for over 100 years and has used their skill and experience to constantly improve and develop their paints to ensure that you always get the highest quality finish and protection with every purchase. Their concrete and garage floor paints are no different, providing a gallon of high protective and easy-to-use paint that will protect and seal your surfaces for years to come.
This paint has a relatively low odor which means it’s suitable for both indoor and outdoor use without you having to quarantine a portion of your home to avoid any foul smells. The color is pretty good too, featuring what they call a Battleship Grey Satin which seems to be some variation of gunmetal grey with slightly less of a sheen than the color is normally associated with.
This is a particularly good finish for modern homes, or those looking to add a modern feel to older spaces. Like all paints in this class, what makes it a great paint for driveway sealing is that it is completely immune to the effects of heat, moisture, impact, abrasion, and even little bugs that might try and chew through it. According to the Rust-Oleum team, this paint is also UV resistant, so it won’t yellow in locations where direct sunlight is more prevalent.
Best Masonry Paint: KILZ Interior/Exterior Self-Priming Masonry Coal Smoke
Another brand that has been at the forefront of the creation of quality paints is Kilz. They have been around since the ’70s and have constantly improved their range of products for various household and industrial applications. Knowing this, it’s safe to say that the Kilz team knows what they are doing, and their self-priming masonry paint doesn’t appear to be any different.
What makes this paint such a good choice for painting your driveway? Well, not only does it have excellent adhesion quality but it’s really good at covering up cracks, bumps, and a range of other imperfections on the surface of any stone workpiece. It does so via the use of its unique textures which also happens to do a really good job of repelling water and grime from surfaces.
This paint also happens to be extremely versatile, being graded for use on things like masonry, drywall, stucco, sheer brick, and concrete. You definitely get your money’s worth if you choose to go with this paint, as even though you’re likely to use close to all of it up painting your driveway, on the off chance that you have any leftover you’ll be able to use it on virtually any surface in and around your home.
Still not convinced that this is a good choice for all your driveway painting needs? Well, if you’re in a bit of a hurry to paint your driveway due to things like bad weather or simply a tight schedule, you’ll be happy to hear that this paint is self-priming which means that all you have to do is ensure that your surface is clean and you’re pretty much ready to start painting.
Aesthetically this paint works a lot like some of the epoxy coats do. Instead of covering up the concrete or blacktop, it accentuates the natural recesses of the surface while using its color to emphasize its contours. It’s also pretty good value for money being sold in one-gallon volumes for what is essentially a universal surface paint.
- Self-priming acrylic latex water-based interior/exterior paint
- Excellent hiding properties, great adhesion, and water repellent
- Mildew-resistant finish on masonry, drywall, stucco, and brick surfaces
Best Siloxane Compound: ECO ADVANCE Concrete/Masonry Siloxane Waterproofer Concentrate
Driveway painting is fairly straight forward but it can be a bit of a drag especially when it comes to painting. Thankfully your choices for protecting your driveway are not limited to paint alone, in fact, there is a completely colorless option for coating your driveway which can also work out to be a lot cheaper than painting it. It’s called siloxane, and the Eco Advance team makes some of the best on the market.
As we mentioned previously, siloxane is a derivative of silicone that has been used all over the world in a number of professions for various applications. Its main draw is that it happens to be extremely resistant to damage caused by impact and abrasion, not to mention the fact that it is highly resistant to corrosive substances, which means things like acid rain will not affect your driveway.
This product is specifically designed for use in driveways and has been synthesized specifically to resist and combat the presence of things like oil, dirt, water, mold, road salt, and even pool cleaning chemicals. In addition to all of these characteristics, the siloxane compound Eco Advance is also completely fireproof in the event that any oil or gasoline on your driveway catches fire.
If you’re concerned about the environmental effects of the products you use to protect and maintain your home (which we all should be) you don’t need to with this one. Eco Advance’s formula is water-based and breathable which means it’s completely non-toxic and allows for your concrete to breathe the way it normally would without a surface coating.
While this might not be exactly what you’re looking for if you’re looking to beautify your home’s driveway, it’s not only the more cost-friendly option, but it offers dedicated protection while allowing you to preserve your surface’s natural aesthetic.
- Concentrate mixed with clean water produces spray-on formula
- For concrete, brick, masonry, natural and artificial stone, and pavers
- Vapor transmission prevents substrate moisture trapping
How to Paint Driveway Paths Effectively
Now that you know why it’s important to paint your driveway and what some of the best products out there are for driveway painting, it’s a good idea to know how to use them. This is why we have prepared a short tutorial showing you how to paint your driveway in the quickest and most effective way possible.
Clean Your Driveway
While cleaning your driveway might be something that you see as mundane, when it comes to painting your driveway, it is of utmost importance. The key to getting your driveway painted well is to ensure that the preparation is done as thoroughly as possible. How do you ensure that your driveway is clean you ask? Here are a few tips and tricks you can implement.
If you’re going to paint driveway paths the best way to start cleaning is to give it a good sweep with a combination of sweeping and maybe some compressed air if you have those facilities available. This ensures that any dirt and grime present both on the surface and between the cracks is removed, which could stop your paint from adhering correctly.
Once you’re done sweeping away the loose bits, get your hands on a power washer, or at the very least a broom and some soapy water to get rid of some of the more stubborn stains. Ensure that you get up close with the power washer to ensure that it dislodges any loose concrete or mold build-up in those hard-to-reach areas. Once you’re satisfied with your power washing, remove any additional loose bits of flooring that would have been too heavy to wash away.
Repair Your Driveway Surface
We’re going to go out on a limb and assume that if you’re looking to paint and seal your driveway that it’s probably seen better days. If that is the case, then it’s best to repair the surface to the best of your ability before you get to painting. While this might seem like a monumental task, it’s really easy and can usually be done in an hour or two if the damage isn’t too extensive.
How do you go about repairing the surface of your driveway? Preferably with the stuff, it’s made of. You should get your hands some sealing cork or some actual concrete to fill in those gaps and cracks that the paint would otherwise sink into. Simply pour the sealer or concrete into the recesses and smooth it out while removing the excess with a putty knife.
Once all of the recesses have been filled and smoothed out, allow it to dry and set for the manufacturer’s recommended time period. When all of the filler has dried completely give the surface a once over with your broom or compressed air gun one more time before moving on to the next step in the process.
Paint Your Driveway
Now for the moment you’ve been waiting for. It’s time to get painting! Before you pour some out into your roller tray or paint sprayer, it’s a good idea to get your paint ready. How do you prepare your paint? All that you need to do is open up your paint tin and give it a good stir. Why would you do this?
When paint stands on a shelf for a really long time the heavier particles tend to sink to the bottom of the container, and if you apply it without mixing those particles back into the paint, the consistency and overall finish could be ruined. Once your paint is mixed up, pour some into your roller tray or paint sprayer.
If you’re painting your driveway with a roller, it’s best to start at one point and work our way towards the other. The best way to go about this is to paint your driveway in sections, this ensures that you maximize coverage without the risk of missing spots or applying the paint inconsistently. You can either physically make these sections or keep a mental note of them, whichever is easier for you.
If you’re using a paint sprayer the method is similar. It can be a bit trickier, as even though it might appear to be less effort, using a paint sprayer does require some more focus and a bit of practice to use effectively. Mark off your sections and keep a medium distance from the surface with your sprayer, begin spraying the section with light pressure on the trigger, and then increase the pressure as you move from left to right in one smooth, uninterrupted motion.
Repeat this process until all of your marked sections have been painted and allow the paint to dry for the manufacturer’s recommended time period. Once the paint has dried feel free to apply as many coats as you see fit, ensuring that you allow each one to dry completely before applying the next.
Now that you know why it’s important to paint and/or coat your driveway, what could happen if you don’t paint your driveway, what products are available for you to use, and how to go about it in the best way possible, it’s time for you to go out and put your new-found knowledge to the test. Remember to consider the size of your driveway and always wear the appropriate personal protective gear when working with paints that contain volatile organic chemicals.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to Paint a Driveway?
Are you wondering how to paint driveway paths effectively? While it might seem like quite the undertaking, painting your driveway is quite easy and can be a fun activity if you’re properly prepared. Start by cleaning your surface, ensure that all holes and cracks are filled, and then you can apply your paint in even strokes using either a paint sprayer or a roller.
What Are Good Driveway Color Ideas?
Looking for ideas for good driveway paint colors? There are some really good colors for painting your driveway, your choices range from jet black, cobalt, emerald, slate, and crimson, to even something as simple and neutral as charcoal grey.
Is It a Good Idea to Paint Your Driveway?
Is it a good idea to paint your driveway? Well, yes, it is. Not only does a painted driveway make your property look better, and by extension, affect your property value in a positive way, but it ensures that your driveway is safe for vehicles and pedestrians at all times.