Although a concrete driveway is excellently stamped, nothing can match the elegance of cobbles, pavers, and bricks. However, there are advantages in choosing stamped concrete over the real thing. Bricks and other similar materials are laid down to cover the pavement. This is good for uneven surfaces but not for a flat surface where concrete can be built. Interlocking the mentioned materials promotes cracks in between, where weeds and other damaging organisms can grow.
The case is different with a stamped concrete driveway. There are no holes where weeds can pass through. Concrete is more durable also and more economical. Learn the procedure of stamping a concrete driveway by reading the steps below:
- Prepare the concrete driveway. Remove pebbles or anything on the driveway so that you’ll have a smoother stamped surface in the end. Clean the drive way by spraying it with a garden hose. Let the driveway dry before pouring the mixed concrete.
- Prepare the concrete. If possible, use a concrete mixer to combine the concrete with other materials like gravel and sand. Use shovel as an alternative for mixer.
- Prepare the driveway. Fix a wooden frame with at least two inches in height to set the boundaries of the driveway from the area where the concrete is mixed. The wooden frame will prevent the concrete from going beyond the driveway. The height of the wooden frame must be of the same thickness with the concrete you will pour to fill the driveway.
- Pour the concrete. Work on the first half first, which should be closest to the garage. But make sure that the boundary between the two halves is separated by a wooden frame. Pour the concrete in the first-half frame. Use a wooden or metal float to smoothen the concrete surface.
- Add color. Let the concrete sit for about 30 minutes to an hour. Spread the color hardener powder by throwing it on the concrete. The color should be evenly distributed on the surface. This coloring technique is called surface or broadcast. Another technique is called integral coloring, which is done by mixing the color with concrete before pouring in the frame.
- Apply the release agent. This agent helps the stamp mats to come off from the concrete easily and neatly. Never skip this step or else the stamp will be hard to remove when the concrete has hardened. Release agents are available in various colors, too, so choose a color that will compliment the hardener powder.
- Stamp with the texturizing mats. Lay these mats down in succession until the entire surface is covered. These mats can be reused on the driveway’s second half. Leave the mats on for about 24 hours before removing them.
- Take off the mats. Remove the mats with a pressure washer, using not more than 3000 psi power. Pressure-wash the entire surface, giving more attention to the grout lines. Let the concrete dry completely.
- Apply sealer. Special concrete sealers are available for this purpose. Apply the sealers by using the usual paint rollers. One coat is enough for the driveway because too much will only lead to a slippery driveway.
Follow the same steps to finish the other half. You may divide the job in several steps or finish it all at once if you have enough texturizing mats to use. By doing a one-time stamping job, you will save time and effort while achieving successful results just the same.