We Value Your Privacy

We and our partners use technology such as cookies on our site to personalise content and ads, provide social media features, and analyse our traffic. Click below to consent to the use of this technology across the web. You can change your mind and change your consent choices at anytime by returning to this site.

Update Consent
Loading ...

How to Make Play Sand Hard for a Path

A hard sand path is an inexpensive way to provide a stable walking surface through a garden, to areas of the yard or just to clean up a well-traveled area where grass has been reduced to mud. Play sand can be used as a path by itself or as a firm foundation for pavers or stepping stones.

Loading ...
  1. Dig the area for the path approximately 4 inches deep with a shovel. Rake the area smooth with a garden rake.

  2. Lay a 4-foot level along the path and use the rake or a hand shovel to level the path area. Continue along the path checking that the path is level in both directions.

  3. Pour 4 inches of play sand in the path area and level with the back of the garden rake. Check the path for level after smoothing the sand with the rake.

  4. Dampen the sand with water from a hose. A mist setting on a nozzle will provide even coverage without disturbing the sand.

  5. Start from one end of the path and compact the play sand with a plate compactor. Rent a plate compactor from a local building supply rental store for a reasonable price by the day. Follow the operating instructions that will be provided by the rental company. Repeat passes over the entire path three or four times to ensure the sand is thoroughly compacted.

  6. Tip

    Install solid boundaries such as pressure treated wood or pavers to prevent the sand from washing out of the path during heavy rains. Compact annually or as needed to maintain a firm foundation.


    Wear sturdy shoes when operating a plate compactor to provide stability while operating the equipment.

Loading ...

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • 4-foot level
  • Garden rake
  • Plate compactor
  • Garden hose with nozzle

About the Author

Emily Patterson has been creating content for websites since 1996. She specializes in home improvement, natural body care and natural cleaning articles. Patterson holds a computing certificate from Penn State University.

Loading ...