How to Seal Stone Walkways

Stone walkways are put together from paving stones that are available in a wide variety of shapes, textures, designs, and colors. These can lend a good deal of visual interest and elegance to any garden or patio area. The key to the successful installation of a stone walkway is to correctly apply sealant in order to preserve the stone pavers' durability and appearance. High-quality stone ceiling compounds are also manufactured to help bring out the natural luster and color of the stones. This is an important part of stone walkway maintenance, and on average it needs to be done every 4 to 5 years.

Sealing your stone walkway will preserve its longevity and will also prevent salt deposits from forming on the surface of the paving stones, a condition called efflorescence that commonly results from excess moisture. Before selecting a specific brand of stone sealant, is a good idea to contact the manufacturer of the pavers for your stone walkway for product recommendations, since different types of stones work best with different mixtures of sealant.

What You Will Need:

  • Paint roller
  • Paint brush
  • Paint roller pans
  • Sealing compound
  • Garden hose
  • Bucket
  • Stain remover (optional)
  • Spray nozzle
  • Mild detergent
  • Broom
  • Cleaning brush
  • Safety goggles

Step 1 -- Clean Stone Pavers

You will first need to clean the stone walkway of any dust and dirt in order to get a smooth application of sealant. Mix together 1/4 cup of mild detergent or dish soap for every 1 gallon of water in your cleaning bucket. Hose down the stone walkway with the garden hose nozzle, and then scrub down the stones with the soapy water and cleaning brush with stiff nylon bristles. Rinse thoroughly and allow the stone pavers enough time to thoroughly dry.

Step 2 -- Remove Any Stains

Examine your stone walkway for any stains causing discoloration. It is recommended to remove these with specialized stone cleaning compounds available at gardening or hardware stores. Follow the directions carefully, and be sure to rinse off any of this stone stain remover before proceeding to the next step. Just as with selecting the correct stone sealant, it is recommended to check with the manufacturer of pavers to determine the stain remover that is the most compatible and effective.

Step 3 -- Apply Stone Sealant

First mix up the stone sealant thoroughly; this can be done by either shaking the can or by using a wooden paint-stirring stick. Pour a good amount of sealant into a metal paint roller pan, and apply it to your stone walkway with the paint brush or paint roller. It is a good idea to stand up and use a paint roller with a longer handle in order to reduce strain on your back and knees. Allow your first coat of stone sealant to dry for 2 to 3 hours, and then apply a second coat.

Just as with any compound application, be sure not to overload your roller so excess sealant does not drip or create uneven coverage. Wait 48 hours before walking over your newly sealed stone walkway; this is necessary to allow the sealant enough time to soak into the surface of the masonry and ensure complete coverage as well as sealant effectiveness.