Tips on Driveway Stamping, Staining and Coloring

Your driveway is just as important as any other part of your home, and you want it to stay beautiful and protected, but how? There are numerous ways to make your driveway your own, but which one will give you the desired effect, and which ones are applicable to your driveway type? Listed below are some of the finer points regarding driveway stamping, staining and coloring, and when you should consider each one. Note: it is strongly recommended that you obtain the help of a professional contractor before committing to any of these methods. They are costly and permanent variations to your property, so take your time and do it right.

Stamping

Total time: roughly 2 hours for pattern application/setting

Cost: Varies- usually around $15 per square foot

This is an effect you can use to create a textured layer on your drive. This is usually done after the driveway foundation is laid, and it is wise to have a contractors help in doing this. Before you take a hammer and chisel and start pounding away on your drive, know this- you will need a very clear, strong idea of what you want ahead of time. Remember, this isn’t something that can be erased. It never hurts to design your pattern on paper first or have an artist assist you with it. Second, don’t be afraid to use that pattern in a computer graphic design program. Tile it, color it, resize it, make sure you know exactly what you want before you start working.

The stamp doesn’t actually go into the concrete of the drive, but into a fresh layer of polymer-enhanced concrete. Sometimes contractors will tear up the old drive and start with fresh materials if your present driveway has too many cracks or inconsistencies, so again, consult with them before doing anything. The contractor then applies the pattern, or “stamp” to the concrete. Be sure to pay attention and provide any feedback they may need before the concrete sets.

Staining

Total time: Depends on acid, cleanup and application. No less than one afternoon

Cost: Multi-step process varies, can run as high as $20.00

This technique requires that your dive be 100% clean. I’m not talking power washer clean, I’m talking industrial compound clean. Usually a contractor will make sure your drive is completely and totally free of any chemicals and compounds. This is because you don’t want the stain to miss any part of the drive and spot it, and you don’t want any foreign agents to inadvertently off-color it.

Once this is complete, the contractor will lay down a chemical acid that can absorb the stain. Once this has “soaked” in enough, the contractor lays down the stain of your choice. The acid will have helped in creating your pattern, and you get to choose the color of your stain.

Coloring

Total time: As long as it takes for your cement to dry

Cost: can vary around $12-$20 a bag, depending on brand

This is one of the more interesting options. If you are building your home and haven’t yet laid down your drive, you can mix the coloring powder with your cement ahead of time to make sure your color is even and consistent. If your concrete is poured buy still wet, a liquid color agent can be applied to the drive and left to set before the final scraping of the cement. Again, consult your contractor before making your final decision.

Also, some source material for this article came from www.hometips.com

For estimates, check out http://www.homeblue.com

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