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How to darken pavers? Is it really possible?

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Pavers are more likely to have their color fade over time, especially outdoor pavers, because of the sunlight and weather conditions. Leaving once dark and vibrant pavers looking faded, patchy and worn. Because of that, a lot of people wonder how to darken pavers to make them look like new again.

Luckily, darkening pavers is possible and, in fact, can make them look like new again and hide the imperfections that have developed over time. 

pavers before and after being sealed
Pavers before & after cleaning and sealing.

How to darken pavers?

There are three ways to darken your pavers: sealing, staining, and painting, with the first being the less invasive option. 

The first thing you need to do before starting any process of darkening pavers is to clean them. Remove any weeds growing in between or alongside, brush all the dirt, dust, and debris from the surface and wash with a pressure washer and specific cleaning products.

Sealing

Sealing is absolutely the best option when the color of your pavers is fading. Applying wet-look sealer on your pavers will bring the color back giving it a nice wet look. Check the process of sealing step by step below:

  1. Apply the first coat of wet sealer continuously and equally;
  2. While applying, don’t forget to always make sure that there is no excess product in the joints;
  3. When applying, we recommend you to work in straight lines across the paving, this way you don’t have to walk on the sealed surface. If you are using a sprayer, we suggest doing it in a north-south direction, and if you are using a roller, in an east-west direction. Don’t forget to don’t cut yourself off from where you keep your resupply of sealer!
  4. Wait for 24 hours before repeating another layer for addition. Pavers with a wet finish normally show the final result when the second coat is on.
  5. Let it dry for another 24 hours.

It’s also important to say that sealing does not just bring back the color of pavers, but also lengthen their lifespan, they serve as good protection from stains, mold, and dirt.

Staining

Staining your pavers can also be an option to make your pavers darker, but after the process of staining, you have to apply the sealer anyway to make sure that the color stays that way. Usually, this option is for people who want their pavers more darker than usual even with the sealer on.

  1. Prepare the stain and pour the stainer into a pump sprayer (or paint tray);
  2. For the first layer, apply the stain using the pump sprayer and distribute all the stainer equally to the pavers.
  3. Wait for 24 hours to completely dry. If the resulting color is too light for your taste, feel free to add more layers until you achieve the desired result.
  4. Wait another 24 hours to dry again, and then apply the sealer. For that, you can follow the previous steps in this article.
  5. Let it dry for another 24 hours.

Painting

Painting pavers is a very popular DIY project, you can be very creative and make new patterns. However, it is the least recommended of the three options, especially when it comes to maintenance. Paint creates a membrane that prevents moisture from escaping the pavers, so eventually, painting layers are bound to peel and also fade. 

Sealing your pavers beforehand is recommended if you chose to paint. The sealer will allow you to achieve a nicer coverage when you paint and will also make it easier to remove the paint if you eventually change your mind. 

  1. Clean and seal your pavers following the first step by step of this article.
  2. When choosing a color, consider how dark you want your bricks to appear. You can also use paints that are specifically designated for pavers.
  3. Cover the mortar between the pavers with tape to ensure that the paint only covers the bricks and does not leave paint on the mortar. 
  4. With a sponge brush, paint each brick individually.

Sealing, staining, or painting: which one should I choose?

As you can see, between the three options of darkening pavers processes, sealing is the best one. Not only is it cheaper, after all, you have to seal the pavers anywat after staining and before painting, but sealing will guarantee a very natural look to your outdoor area.

Most people decide to stain or paint their pavers to make them look new again. But the truth is, you don’t have to go through all the trouble for that, because a good cleaning and sealing can make your pavers look brand new.

Get a free estimate!

Sealing pavers might seem pretty easy, but that’s not the reality at all! You can leave the work of cleaning and sealing your pavers in the hands of professionals, and if you are worried about the price, you can ask for a free estimate.

At JS Brick, we have 20+ years of experience providing paver installation, supply, and maintenance services in Sarasota and surrounding cities. For a free estimate on paver cleaning and sealing services, don’t hesitate to leave us a message or a call.

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