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  • This existing driveway was transformed to look like hand-colored tiles.
  • Square saw cuts and multiple colors of acid stains were used to create the look of individual tiles.
  • This before image shows the driveway in its plain gray state.
  • Varying concrete color, water marks and stains are evident on the light, plain driveway.
  • Close up of the concrete pattern and staining detail.
  • The final project of a completely transformed concrete driveway.

One of the easiest ways to doll up an existing driveway is to cut decorative patterns into the concrete. On this project, designer Scott Cohen of The Green Scene, sawcut borders and a square design, and then applied acid stains to instantly improve the curb appeal of this home.

"I like to use a variety of color," explains Cohen, "so on this project, we used 3 or 4 varying shades of tans, browns, and charcoal acid stains." Using a combination of Brickform stains and Triple S stains, Cohen layered one coat after another of the multiple colors. "The trick is to drench the concrete in color, first using mist bottles at ½ rate cut with water, then full rate," he explains. "You want to cover the area with drops of one color, then layer the next color, etc. It's kind of like how they print newspapers with multiple drops of ink." Colors were chosen to complement the existing stucco and paint on the home.

The saw cuts were sized at 2'x 2' squares imitating the look of tiles. "The neat thing was that the saw cuts allowed us to put a piece of plastic between each one so we could concentrate the stain just on one square at a time." Cohen's technique is to stain a base color on one square then move to another area with another color, then shield one square from the other. Doing so allows the squares to take on the appearance of being individually hand-colored tiles. A border was also cut into the concrete and stained a solid color.

"After it was finished, we came back and grouted the saw cut joints with a cementitious grout," says Cohen, "to further enhance the tile look." The entire driveway was then sealed with a custom outdoor concrete sealer with UV protectant from Arrow Tools.