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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.