A Comprehensive Guide to Staining Concrete Pavers: Step-by-Step Instructions and Helpful Tips

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

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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

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.

Transforming Red Pavers to Gray Using Portico Paver Stain

Before and after image of faded red brick paver patio transformed with Eagle Gray and Crimson Portico paver stains
Before and after transformation of a faded red brick paver patio using Eagle Gray and Crimson Portico Stains

To transition 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.

Portico™ Trial Kit
Portico™ Trial Kit
ProClean Degreaser
ProClean Degreaser™
Eagle Gray Portico Swatch
Portico™ Eagle Gray
Crimson Portico Swatch
Portico™ Crimson
EasySeal Satin
EasySeal™ Satin

Project Description:

Duration: 5 days

Area: 315 sq. ft.

Description: Our patio was in need of an update as it was over 15 years old and had never been sealed. The mixed colored pavers had also faded significantly and weeds had started to grow. I wanted to rejuvenate the patio and make it match the landscaping that was done the previous summer. To avoid the patio becoming damaged and needing to be replaced, I researched products and application techniques. I ultimately chose Direct Colors Portico Stains and was extremely satisfied with the end result. The patio looks brand new! See a photo album of the project here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/r9FC7rFKVj7YyaKh7


  • The Portico Stain is thin, so proper preparation is key. Cover or block anything that may be hit by overspray.
  • When staining the outside border in Eagle Gray, I had to cut in with a foam brush to avoid getting it on the previously applied Crimson Red. I then used a 4″ roller for the second coat.
  • Remember to shake the stain well in the sprayer to ensure an even application.

Direct Colors Products Used:

  • ProClean Degreaser for preparation
  • Crimson Portico paver stain for the majority of the patio
  • Eagle Gray Portico paver stain for the border
  • Satin EasySeal for protection

Other Products Used:

  • Pressure washer and outdoor cleaner for initial prep
  • Spectracide Weed Killer and Triazicide Insect Killer Granules to kill weeds and insects at the root
  • Deck brush, plastic drop cloths, painter’s tape, garden sprayers, foam brushes, and 4″ roller for the Portico Stain
  • Tarps for unexpected rain showers

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.

Project Showcase: Whitewashed Brick Paver Patio with Portico Stain

Side-by-side before and after images showing the transformation of a circular pink brick paver patio to a stylish whitewashed patio using Portico white stain.
A remarkable transformation: The left image shows the original pink brick paver patio, while the right image reveals the fresh, whitewashed look achieved with five coats of Portico white stain and two coats of Easy Seal satin. The semi-transparent nature of the Portico stain allows the texture of the original pavers to show through, creating a beautiful, inviting outdoor space.

In search of a solution to refresh an old brick patio, a homeowner turned to Direct Colors. The goal was to achieve a clean, inviting whitewashed look, but previous attempts with paint, store-bought solutions, and even real lime wash had not produced the desired results. With Direct Colors, however, the outcome was different.

To start the transformation, the patio was first power washed and allowed to dry thoroughly. Following the expert advice from Direct Colors, several coats of Portico white stain were applied. It was crucial to ensure each coat was completely dry before adding the next. The final touch was sealing the patio with Easy Seal satin, resulting in a beautiful, durable finish.

Portico stain is semi-transparent, meaning it doesn’t entirely cover the original paver color like paint would. Instead, it adds a lovely whitewash effect while allowing the texture of the pavers to show through. In total, the project required five coats of white stain and two coats of sealer.

The homeowner was delighted with the final results and confident about the longevity of the new look. If you’re considering a similar project, their advice is to take your time, test the products, and utilize all available resources. Moreover, they recommend using a high-quality polymeric sand like Techniseal Pro Series HP Next Gel for a professional finish.

Portico™ Trial Kit
Portico™ Trial Kit
ProClean Degreaser
ProClean Degreaser™
Portico White
Portico™ White
EasySeal Satin
EasySeal™ Satin

Project Showcase: Efflorescence Removal and Revitalization of a Red Brick Patio with Portico Stain

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.

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.

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.

Portico™ Trial Kit
Portico™ Trial Kit
Portico Milano Red
Portico™ Milano Red
Portico Pumpkin
Portico™ Pumpkin
EasySeal Satin
EasySeal™ Satin

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.

Project Showcase: Driveway Revamp with Direct Colors

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.

ProClean Degreaser
ProClean Degreaser™
Aztec Brown Portico Swatch
Portico™ Aztec Brown
EasyTint Goldenrod
EasyTint™ Goldenrod
EasySeal Satin
EasySeal™ Satin

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

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.

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