How to Restore Antique Pavers
Antique pavers are used in today's world by people in many countries. These pavers are often as old as 100 years. Not only does use of these pavers have environmental value, but they can have special charm because they were used for patios, walkways, and sidewalks in the old world. In addition to their durability, these pavers are often appreciated for the unique size and texture of each paver. Other antique pavers were made as long ago as 50 years. These pavers were manufactured in a special process that duplicates the older, original pavers, but at a lesser cost. Still, these manmade pavers offer the same texture, durability, and appearance as the older ones they resemble. To use these pavers, you will normally need to first restore them.
Step 1 – Cleaning Your Antique Pavers
Some users of antique pavers prefer them with the same stains and wear the pavers have accumulated over the decades in which they have been used. Others like the original shape and color of the pavers, but with a cleaner and newer-looking surface. If you want the cleaner appearance, you will need to clean off not only the stains and debris buildup, but the cement-based grout that may remain from holding the pavers together. Clean off this cementitious material from the paver edges and surfaces with a cold chisel and hammer. Finish cleaning by using a water blaster to wash the pavers. Allow them to dry after washing before you install and use them.
Step 2 – Restoring the Natural Paver Texture
The natural texture of the antique paver is a dull surface created by foot traffic, horse drawn carriages and wagons, and decades of exposure to weather. Stones that were used for pathways and roads, such as granite, sandstone, and limestone, were worn until their surface became dull. To restore this natural appearance, use a grinder to remove a thin layer from paver's surface. This will restore the natural color and grain of the stone.
Step 3 – Further Enhancement
To further enhance the rustic textures of your antique pavers, you can take them to a professional who specializes in restoration of antique pavers. If you choose to have him complete the entire restoration process, he will water blast, chisel, and grind your pavers. Should you choose to do this work yourself, you can hire him to finish the restoration process by firing your pavers in a high temperature kiln. This firing process will produce more rustic and natural textures that were originally seen in the natural stone from which the pavers were cut.
Step 4 – Sealing Your Pavers
The final process of restoration should include sealing your pavers once they are cleaned, washed, chiseled, and fired. Sealing these pavers will help in preventing a slippery surface if the pavers are used for foot traffic. It will also preserve the natural color and texture of the paver, as well as sealing it against weather and other elements that might wear or discolor it.