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A boring, bland driveway can be an eyesore. You have a beautifully painted house, and there, right in front for everyone to see, is that blah driveway. This isn't necessary! There are various painting techniques that can add vibrance to that boring slab of concrete and this is just one of them. This article will walk you through, step by step, painting your driveway to have the look of stone. All it takes is 2 - 3 days and a little skill and direction. And it's a lot less expensive than actually putting in a stone driveway.

One thing to keep in mind: Acid-based stains yield exceptional colors but can be a little tricky to apply. Use this if you are more skilled. Otherwise, water and acrylic-based stains work well, and easily, but do not produce true, rich colors. Still, the end result is fabulous. Purchase a stain that will not leave a film as these will not have lasting results.

Here's what you need:

. Garden sprayer (non metallic)
. Broom
. Power washer (you can rent one of these)
. High pressure, low-volume sprayer and compressor (you also can rent these)
. Paint brushes and/or sponges (to get hard to reach areas)
. Painting tray
. Paint
. Degreaser or dish detergent
. Painters' tape
. Lightweight plastic
. Roller covers
. Several different colors of concrete stain
. Concrete sealer (non-slip, non-skid)
. Gloves, protective eyewear, and masks (there are unhealthy fumes)
. Efflorescence blocker

1) Using the measuring tape, find the square footage of the driveway. This is the length multiplied by the width. Then purchase the appropriate amount of stain to cover that area. You must buy enough to cover accent coats (although these will not be full coverage).

2) Remove any large debris from the area and clean it with the degreaser. Next, power wash the entire surface. Allow it to dry, then sweep any dirt off (allow new concreted drives to fully set for a minimum of twenty-eight days before doing this project).

3) Cover areas that you do not wish to paint with the plastic and tape. Then place on all of your protective wear (gloves, masks, and eyewear). If you are using the acid-based stain, do NOT allow it to at all touch the skin.

4) Evenly apply the efflorescence blocker using the garden sprayer. Brush it out with the broom. Allow to dry (about an hour or so).

5) Beginning with a corner, spray the stain (with the high pressure sprayer about two feet away from the surface). This first application is a base coat. This technique will require several coats. Allow to completely dry (do not allow anyone to walk on the surface of the stain while it is at all wet!).

6) For the next coats, apply them as done is Step 5, but you can become "blotchy" in the painting technique. These coats do not need to be applied so evenly. This will give it that three dimensional look needed. Let yourself spray some areas more than others, allowing the stain to completely dry between sprayings. This "blotchiness" will make the painted surface look more natural.

7) Now, once you are satisfied with the stain, allow it to dry overnight (this drying process could take twenty-four hours). Once the surface is entirely dry, apply the sealent with a roller. A satin-finish sealant is great for this as it will add more depth to the surface. Allow it to dry.

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