Give your pavers a custom look with acid or acrylic stain.

How to Color Paver Blocks

by Jaimie Zinski

Whether hardscaping your backyard or laying a new, attractive sidewalk and driveway, you can choose concrete pavers in a variety of shapes, sizes and price points. Gray concrete pavers are sometimes the most cost-effective option. However, their bland appearance leaves something to be desired for many homeowners. Staining your established driveway or walkway, or loose pavers, with an acid or acrylic stain -- available at home-improvement or hardware stores -- is an inexpensive way to alter the otherwise dull pavers.

1 Create a mixture of 2 tablespoon dish detergent and 1 gallon cool water in a plastic bucket. Set the bucket aside and cover any foliage or grass surrounding the pavers with a plastic tarp. If acid-staining loose pavers, set them on top of a plastic tarp in a well-ventilated area, such as outdoors or a garage.

2 Dampen a plastic scrub brush with the soapy water and scrub down the top surface of each paver. If covering a large area, use a hard-bristled broom to scrub the pavers. Rinse off the soapy water with a garden hose with a sprayer attachment. Allow the pavers to dry completely before continuing.

3 Slip on a pair of rubber gloves and safety goggles. Mix the acid stain according to the package directions. For example, some stains are mixed at a rate of 1 part water and 1 part acid stain. Many acrylic stains are applied without any further preparation, while others must be diluted according to the package directions.

4 Apply either the acid or acrylic stain to the pavers with a paintbrush or roller. A long-handled roller is an effective way to quickly cover a large area, such as a driveway or walkway. Cover individual pavers prior to installation with the paintbrush, paying attention to avoid leaving streaks.

5 Allow the pavers to dry for at least three hours before applying a second coat, if desired. An additional coat will create a deeper, richer color. Allow the final coat of acid or acrylic stain to dry for at least 24 hours. Rinse off the pavers with a garden hose to remove any residue before installing or walking on the pavers.

Items you will need

  • 2 tablespoon dish detergent
  • 1 gallon cool water
  • Plastic bucket
  • Plastic tarp
  • Plastic scrub brush
  • Hard-bristled push broom
  • Garden hose with sprayer attachment
  • Rubber gloves
  • Safety goggles
  • Acid stain
  • Acrylic stain
  • Paint roller
  • Paintbrush


  • Apply the acrylic stain with a medium-nap roller. Create a uniform finished appearance by rolling every stroke in the same direction.
  • Acrylic stain is available in a wider variety of colors and emits fewer fumes and noxious odors than acid-based stains.

Photo Credits

  • Images