Renewing old driveway & etching/staining

Old 07-28-10, 07:31 AM
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Renewing old driveway & etching/staining

Hello All,
I have a 40 year concrete driveway that is in pretty decent shape in spite of some spalling as well and no original expansion joints that have resulted in irregular cracks of different widths. Having just had a new driveway poured that connects this old driveway to a detached garage, the visual comparison of the two driveways is jarring, to say the least! I would like to apply an acid etch or stain overlay to make them look more like a more-unified surface. I also like the look of a darker, more earth-tone color than the white-to-mottled gray I currently have. I am leaning to acid etched staining because it seems to provide a deeper finish and interesting color variations and tones that might appear less "fake" looking than a painted-on stain. I also assume acid etching would be less apt to have hot tire issues than painted on stain. My plan is listed below.

1. Prep and fill cracks with a cement-based product that would accept acid etching (if that is what I use)
2. Apply a bonding agent followed by a layer of concrete resurfacer (such as the Quikrete product) to create a surface that more closely resembles the new driveway that is attached to it (or delete this step if the consensus is that these products do not last)
3. Rent a saw and cut straight lines into the old driveway to encourage cracks along uniform lines (unless this is not necessary)
4. Apply acid etching stain or other driveway stain (solid or semi-transparent)
5. Apply sealer

I am sure many of you have much more knowledge in this area than me. Any critique or suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Eric
Old 07-28-10, 05:55 PM
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I'm really not a fan of concrete resurfacers. When a customer of mine wanted to do that, I called a previous employer who also voiced his opinion against it. See what the others say.
Old 07-29-10, 03:07 AM
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Filling in old cracks with concrete and cutting new straight ones won't work. The only way it might help at all would be if you cut the new joints ALL THE WAY THROUGH the old concrete, creating several completely different slabs. If you just cut them partially through the slab, the old cracks will just open up again while the new joints do nothing. Even if you did it this way, the old cracks might still come right back.
Resurfacers are usually much darker than regular concrete and take acid stain much differently. Therefore it would be counterproductive to what you're trying to accomplish.
Acid stain has no pigment but gets all its color through chemical reaction between the compounds in the stain and the minerals in the concrete. All the different loads (old vs new vs resurfacing) will take the stain differently and will not match. The only way to get them to match more closely would be with a pigmented stain, but I'm not a fan of them as they are like paint. If you do decide to do this, check out a product called Newlook. It works pretty well for doing what you're trying to do. Good luck
Old 08-01-10, 11:41 AM
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resurfacing product's performance vary greatly w/comparisons based on cost of product or, as your father told you, there's no such thing as a good cheap tool,,, we use eliteCrete exclusively - NOTHING from an apron store.

reflection of existing cracks is extremely likely however there are some examples of decent work on that you may find interesting,,, newlook's a newcomer & the pro's aren't wild about it but guess its acceptable IF the user's a good artisan.

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