Small paving stones, called pavers, can create a cobblestone look in your home's driveway, patio or walkway. To keep pavers looking new and protect them from the elements, periodically clean, re-stain and reseal them. But before you can re-stain the pavers, you must remove any existing sealant. You can remove the sealant using either a chemical or natural sealant remover available at most home improvement stores.
Check the thickness and type of sealant you want to remove to choose the appropriate stripper. A thicker sealant, like a polyurethane or epoxy, lasts a long time and can withstand the elements fairly well, but because of its durability it can prove difficult to strip. An acrylic-based sealant does not last as long, and its lack of durability makes it much easier to remove. Soy-based and citrus-based sealant strippers work well without generating a lot of toxic fumes. These sealant strippers rely on natural oils and esters to break down the sealant.
Put on your mask and goggles to protect your face and respiratory system.
Dip a paintbrush into the sealant stripper and apply it to each paver, moving the brush back and forth until the entire surface of the paver is covered. Make sure to apply the sealant stripper to the sides of the paver, too. Continue to apply stripper to the pavers until you've covered a considerable area.
Wet old towels or sheets and wring them out until they are damp. Place them over the area where you just applied the sealant. The damp towels and sheets will keep the area moist while you apply the sealant stripper to the rest of the paved surface.
Lift the towels and apply a small amount of liquid dish soap to the area. Use a scrub brush to work the soap and stripper remover into a lather, scrubbing away the sealant.
Fit a water spray nozzle onto a hose and turn on the water. Concentrate the water spray on the area you just scrubbed until the soap and sealant wash away. Go over any remaining sealant with a scrub brush and rinse the soap and sealant again.
Repeat steps 5 and 6 until you've scrubbed and rinsed away the sealant from the entire paved surface.
Gather any collections of stripper residue that washed into the grass or areas around your home and dispose of them in a garbage can.
Before stripping an entire area, first apply the stripper in a small, inconspicuous area to ensure that it will not ruin or discolour the pavers. Allow the pavers to thoroughly dry before applying any sealant. Use knee pads to protect your knees when you crouch down to work on the pavers.
If you use a stripper that contains chemicals, carefully read the instructions and warnings to ensure you correctly apply and remove the stripper, protecting yourself and the environment.