Follow These Steps for Painting a Driveway

At some point most driveways start to look old and tired. This can make them look pretty unsightly and can even negatively affect the value of the home. If your driveway has seen better days and you want to rejuvenate it, painting it is a good idea that is not terribly expensive. The benefit is that it doesn’t take much time and is far less disruptive than having a whole new driveway installed. But what are the proper steps for painting a driveway? Consider the following advice. 

Get Rid of Any Junk and Debris First

It might sound obvious, but the first step is to sweep away and get rid of any junk and debris. Organic debris such as leaves builds up pretty quickly on the average driveway, so it’s important to sweep it clean before you start painting it. 

It’s also a good idea to go out and buy a product called etch primer. If you mix this primer with some water and then use a broom dipped in the mixture to sweep your driveway, you’ll have a good surface on which to start painting. Just leave the primer on it for at least ten minutes before hosing it off and letting it dry.

Masking the Edges

Driveways usually butt up against other areas of the garden or garage. It might be the walls, doors, and so on. You don’t want to get paint on these areas, so it’s best to mask them with painter’s tape. This will protect the areas from the paint.

Thin Out the Paint with Turpentine

Most paint for driveways comes out of the tin very thick. Leaving it like this can make it tough to work with, so it’s best to thin it down with mineral turpentine before you begin. Thinner paint will also deep more easily into the uneven texture of the typical driveway and will thus go on more smoothly. 

Make Sure to Cut in First

Once you’ve picked up the brush to begin, you need to do something called cutting in. This is what house painters do as well. It’s the process of carefully painting all the edges and details. Doing this makes it much easier to use a paint roller for the rest of the driveway—because the edges and detailed areas are already painted, it’s then only the middle areas that the roller needs to go over.

Wait to Apply Another Coat of Paint

Once you’ve applied your first coat of paint, you need to let it dry for at least sixteen hours. Most paints like this will take at least that amount of time to dry and cure to the extent that painting on a second coat will be successful. 

The only difference is that your second coat of paint must be undiluted and straight from the tin. That is, don’t mix any turpentine with it to thin it out. It should be easier to paint on because the first paint coat will have provided a smooth surface on which to work.


Once you’ve done all of this, and have hopefully left yourself a way to get off the newly painted driveway, it’s time to leave it to dry for at least seven days before using it.

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