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How to Stain Concrete Paving Stones

Updated March 23, 2017

Because of its porous nature, a concrete paver is a candidate for staining. Concrete stains are typically available in earth tones, but a much wider variety of colours is available if you make your own stain. While you should not expect consistency or perfection when staining paving stones, stains add interest and colour to your home landscape.

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  1. Plan out your project before you begin. Measure the area to be covered in paving stones so you know how many pavers you'll need; as a general rule, concrete pavers are 12 inches by 12 inches.

  2. Lay down a tarp or dust sheet and place the concrete pavers on top of it.

  3. Clean the paving stones with a concrete cleaning solution. Then rinse the pavers with a hose or power wash them.

  4. Apply a coat of wet-look concrete sealer. Use a paint roller to apply two coats of the sealer, waiting 10 minutes in between coats to allow the sealant to dry.

  5. Select a water-based concrete stain. While you can buy a pre-made stain in stores, creating your own stain will give you more colour options. To make your own stain, mix equal parts water, sealer and a water-based tinted flat exterior house paint in a bucket. Pour the mixture into a paint tray.

  6. Test a small area on the underside of one paving stone to see what the stain will look like. Once you have determined that it is acceptable, apply the stain with a paint sprayer, roller or sponge to the rest of the paving stones. After the stain is applied, wait approximately 30 minutes for it to dry before adding a second coat if desired. Let it dry thoroughly.

  7. Apply another coat of the wet-look concrete sealer with a paint roller.

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Things You'll Need

  • Dust sheet
  • Hose
  • Water
  • Concrete sealer
  • Stain or water-based tinted flat exterior house paint
  • Paint roller
  • Paint tray
  • Sponge (optional)

About the Author

Lara Webster has been writing professionally since 2009. Her work has been featured on Relationships in the Raw, The Nursery Book, Spark Trust and several travel-related websites. Webster holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Arts in mass communication and media studies, both from San Diego State University.

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