Written by Michele Norfleet and published on

In the past, when a concrete patio or driveway started to show serious signs of aging, using a jackhammer or bringing in a bulldozer were the only repair options. Today there are more practical alternatives. You put a lot of work into making your home look its best, but how is your driveway looking these days? Gray, flat, and boring? Maybe cracked and crumbling or even overgrown with weeds? You may think it’s just a driveway, but it’s an important feature of your property and there’s no reason why it can’t look good too. Whether you want your driveway to blend in with the unique character of your house or stand out as something to be proud of, here are six ideas worth considering to make your ugly driveway look amazing!

How to Improve an Ugly Concrete Driveway


When your concrete driveway has seen better days or if you are just tired of the drab gray surface, take heart. You have several options to choose from to give your old, ugly driveway a facelift. Most processes are applied to driveways that are in good condition. If yours has deteriorated, however, you can still improve the appearance by removing the old driveway and replacing it with a more appealing surface.


Concrete driveways that are in good condition — free of cracks, oil, grime or other coatings — are suitable for a process known as concrete staining. The stain, unlike paint, permeates the concrete, giving your driveway a rich, translucent color resulting in a mottled or variegated appearance. If you choose acid stains, you are limited to earth tones, but water-based stains are available in a wide range of color options. Special effects are possible to create the look of natural stone, marble and even wood.


Concrete stamping is an option for creating a natural stone appearance on your driveway. Depending on the color or pattern you choose, you can have the look of slate, flagstone, cobblestone, tile or brick without the high cost associated with those natural products. Stamped concrete is a low-maintenance option that, when properly installed, will last for decades. Although concrete stamping is often applied to new concrete driveways, stamped overlays are used to enhance existing concrete that is in good condition.


You can create a one-of-a-kind driveway with a technique known as etching. Patterns and designs are etched into your existing driveway with special tools to create a permanent design. The choice of designs includes stone patterns, special logos and graphics. The patterns are further enhanced by staining. Etching is suitable for any style home by choosing a design that harmonizes with the colors and design of your residence.


If your concrete driveway is beyond hope, you may consider removing it and starting over with a new surface that you can stamp or stain. But you can also replace your existing driveway with pavers. Paving stones are available in a variety of textures and colors and are installed over a prepared sub-base. The pavers are interlocking and form a patterned surface. Although pavers are more expensive than resurfacing procedures, they are durable and can be driven on immediately after installation. If pavers are damaged, it is possible to remove and replace individual pavers.

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Most of the time, however, you can expect the new surface to be ready for foot traffic in about six hours. And in 24 hours, you can pull your car in and park in the driveway again—that very same driveway that was tired- and worn-looking yesterday but, thanks to Concreting Canberra, appears brand-new today.

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