Staining Concrete Pavers: Step-by-Step Instructions and Helpful Tips

By Justin Richardson

Are you planning to revamp your patio, walkway, driveway, or any other outdoor surfaces? Staining concrete pavers can be an excellent choice. Whether you’re aiming for a complete color transformation or a simple refurbishment, there are several methods and products at your disposal to achieve the perfect finish. This blog will guide you through the process of staining and sealing your concrete brick pavers. We’ll also share some successful project examples to inspire your DIY journey. By following our advice, you’ll be able to rejuvenate your outdoor space effectively and efficiently.

before and after image of concrete paver walkway stained using terracotta and charcoal paver stains
Concrete paver walkway transformed from dull and drab to vibrant and inviting with terracotta and charcoal Portico paver stains
A series of three images showing the restoration of a faded brick paver walkway. The first image depicts the walkway before treatment, looking worn and faded. In the second image, supplies such as a brush, paint tray, and a jug of Portico™ terracotta stain are laid out on the pavers, ready for application. The third image showcases the rejuvenated walkway after staining, with the pavers appearing in a rich, uniform terracotta color, complemented by vibrant flower beds on either side
Before, during, and after: Restoring a faded paver walkway with Portico™ terracotta stain, turning dull bricks into a warm, welcoming path for an approximate cost of $125

A Step-by-Step Guide to Staining Concrete Brick Pavers

Revitalize your brick patio pavers with a fresh stain by following these simple steps:

  1. Surface Cleaning: Ensure your pavers are thoroughly cleaned. This means removing all dirt, dust, stains, or other elements that could negatively affect the final staining outcome.
  2. Stain Preparation: Pour your chosen paver stain into a pump sprayer.
  3. Stain Application: Use the pump sprayer to evenly apply two coats of the paver stain onto the concrete brick pavers in a circular motion.
  4. Add Layers if Required: Determine whether additional layers are needed to reach your desired color. However, keep in mind that adding more than three layers can lead to adherence issues with the stain on the pavers.
  5. Sealing the Surface: Once the stain has settled and dried, seal the surface of your brick pavers. You can spray or roll two coats of the sealer evenly across the surface, allowing each coat to dry completely. This will safeguard the color and enhance the lifespan of your stained pavers.

By adhering to these straightforward steps, you can effortlessly refresh the look of your brick patio pavers with an alluring stain.

staining concrete pavers: before staining, applying stain, finished stained pavers, and sealed
Step by step transformation of concrete pavers using Aztec brown, Driftwood, Khaki, Teracota, and Yukon Gold Portico paver stains, culminating in a protective seal

Can You Change the Color of Pavers?

Yes, you can change the color of your pavers with concrete stains and a basic understanding of color theory. Applying complementary colors can help neutralize the existing shade and change the color of your brick pavers. However, keep in mind that the original color, porosity, and composition of your pavers can influence the final result in ways you might not expect.

Close-up view of porous brick pavers with distinct brown undertones. Half the pavers are stained with Charcoal Portico paver stain, revealing a brownish undertone, while the other half remain in their original state. The high aggregate content in the pavers is clearly visible.
Comparison of brick pavers before and after application of our semi-transparent Charcoal Portico paver stain. Note the distinct brown undertones that show through the charcoal color due to the high aggregate content and porous nature of these bricks. This stain is designed to enhance the original color, not completely mask it. Please expect some undertones to be visible after staining.

Always test the stains on a small, hidden portion of your pavers before proceeding with the entire project.

To change the color of red pavers to gray, you’ll need a paver stain or tinted sealer in a gray shade. Begin by cleaning the paver surface thoroughly to eliminate any dirt or dust. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to prepare the stain or sealer, then apply it uniformly over the pavers in a circular motion. If using a paint roller, ensure even application. Let the stain dry completely before adding additional layers to reach your preferred shade of gray. Lastly, seal the pavers to protect the color and prolong the surface lifespan.

Two photos: first, pavers look old and colorless. Second, those pavers are now vivid crimson red and silver gray
See how these old pavers get a fresh look with new crimson red and silver gray Portico colors. What a change!

What's the Best Stain for Pavers?

For optimal results when staining concrete pavers, a concrete stain with a high pigment concentration is recommended. A prime example is Portico™ Paver Stain, which is a highly saturated exterior concrete stain designed specifically for coloring concrete pavers. This semi-transparent stain can be applied over previously stained and sealed concrete pavers, adding a tint to the surface while still allowing the texture to show through. Unlike paint, Portico™ Paver Stain is not opaque and will not cover up the existing texture of the pavers.

Two images comparing a patio area before and after the restoration of paver color. The first image shows the patio with faded pavers under a metal pergola with outdoor furniture. The second image presents the same view, but with the pavers recolored in shades of terracotta, enhancing the warmth and inviting atmosphere of the outdoor space.
Patio Perfection: Before and After Paver Color Restoration with Portico Stain

Efflorescence Removal and Revitalization of a Brick Paver Patio

When faced with an old brick patio marked with efflorescence and cement grout damage, a savvy homeowner opted for a revitalization using Portico Milano Red and Pumpkin stains. An important first step in this project was the removal of efflorescence, a common issue many homeowners struggle with. To tackle this, the patio underwent a thorough high-pressure spraying process which effectively eliminated the efflorescence  and prepared the surface for staining.

Each brick was then individually stained using sponge brushes, a labor-intensive process requiring patience and diligence. After the stain had dried, two coats of satin sealant were applied to protect and enhance the new color. The homeowners found that using a short-nap roller for the sealant application helped to ensure an even finish.

The final result was a beautifully refreshed and vibrant patio, free from efflorescence and grout damage, and now boasting a stunning two-tone color effect.

Side-by-side before and after images illustrating the transformation of a red brick patio suffering from efflorescence to a revitalized patio using a combination of Portico Milano Red and Pumpkin stains.
The image on the left shows the original state of the red brick patio with significant efflorescence. The image on the right reveals the improved and refreshed patio after a thorough efflorescence removal process, staining with a mix of Portico Milano Red and Pumpkin, and sealing with two coats of Satin EasySeal. The transformation underscores the importance of diligent preparation and the revitalizing effect of Portico stains.

Personal Tips: This project required patience and strong knees, as staining each brick individually was a labor-intensive process. However, the end result was well worth the effort.

The Ideal Sealer for Stained Concrete Brick Pavers: A DIYer’s Guide

To ensure the color of your stained concrete brick pavers remains vibrant and their surface durable, choosing the right sealer is crucial. A sealer with high acrylic content is generally the best choice as it effectively protects against fading and wear and tear.

Acrylic is the hero component in paver sealants; the higher the acrylic content (25% solids or more is ideal), the longer the sealer is likely to last. This is particularly important for pavers in high traffic areas like driveways, walkways, and patios where they face regular use and exposure to the elements.

Before and after transformation of faded brick paver driveway with Goldenrod and Aztec brown Portico stains
Before and after transformation of a faded brick paver driveway using Goldenrod and Aztec brown Portico Stains

For those looking for some inspiration, one homeowner recently revitalized their 15-year-old driveway with Direct Colors products. They stained and sealed their border, half-moon, and circular circle pavers with Aztec Brown from the Portico™ Paver Stain line and finished with a coat of High Gloss EasySeal™ Sealer. The rest of the driveway was stained with EasyTint™ Goldenrod Gloss for a harmonious, renewed look.

Personal Tips: Trust the experts! Following the tips and instructions provided by Direct Colors will ensure you achieve the best results for your project.

How do I know if my pavers have been sealed?

If you’re not sure whether your patio pavers have been sealed, there is an easy way to find out. Follow these three steps:

  1. Pour a small amount of water onto the surface of the pavers.
  2. Observe how the water behaves. If it is absorbed easily into the pavers, it is likely that they have not been sealed. If the water beads on the surface or takes a while to be absorbed, it is likely that the pavers have been sealed previously.
  3. Repeat the test in a few different areas of the patio to ensure that you are getting a consistent result.

Sealing patio pavers can help to increase their lifespan and protect them from water damage and erosion. If you are unsure whether your pavers have been sealed, this simple test can give you an idea of their current state.

Water beading on a sealed concrete surface.
Water beading on a sealed concrete surface.

Explore our collection of inspiring paver staining projects complete with before and after photos, tips, and techniques. From patios to walkways, this gallery features a range of paver projects with step-by-step instructions to help you successfully stain your concrete surfaces. Use our resource to find the ideal paver stain and achieve your desired finish.

Brick stain before and after
Brick stain before and after