Painting a Tarmac Driveway

By Mark Hilton


As a decorator, I’m often asked whether you can paint tarmac. The answer is yes, with the proper prep and correct tools, painting a tarmac driveway is straightforward and can look absolutely stunning!!


You don’t need to paint tarmac of course. It would still do its job for decades untreated, however the colour does start to fade due to the UV light from the sun. By painting it, you can get that strong dramatic black or red colour back. Not only that, but you’re covering it in something which makes keeping it clean a lot easier to do.


I’ll take you through the process I go through when painting a driveway. You can get a professional decorator in to do the work, or even have a crack at it yourself.



Preparing your Driveway


Whatever paint you’re planning to use will need to be robust. Adhesion between paint and tarmac is paramount. With this in mind, it is vital you remove as much dirt from your driveway as possible before starting.


Pressure washing the day before is a great idea, as it gives the tarmac a deep clean which then allows your paint to bond to the tarmac, rather than dirt. The next thing is to use a leaf blower to remove any loose debris. If you haven’t got a leaf blower then a strong vacuum cleaner will do just fine.


The other thing to bear in mind is the weather (I know that sounds obvious). You need your driveway to be as dry as possible before you start. Your paint needs to dry as well, so cold days, or days with a chance of rain are out of the window. The other thing is wind. If there’s any sort of breeze, dirt or leaves will blow onto your paint before it’s dry.


The Paint


I opt to use Paint Master Professional Drivemaster in water-based. It is available online in red or black. You’ll find it easy to use and very hard-wearing. Two thin coats is all you’ll need. Drying time is approximately 3 hours, but I’d leave it overnight before driving on it.


Painting Your Driveway


You can apply Drivemaster via brush and roller, or airless sprayer. If using brush and roller, simply cut in around the edge of your drive and lay off using a mini roller to avoid picture-framing. Once you’ve cut in around the edge, use a larger roller to paint the middle, working the paint into every gap and hole, then spreading it out to avoid pooling. You can dilute the paint quite heavily to help speed things up and improve the finish.


I have attached a couple photos from a job I completed recently. If you’re interested in having your driveway painted, you can always make an enquiry through my website and I’ll be happy to help anyway I can.

can you paint tarmac?
painting a tarmac driveway

Will you take the ecoSEAL challenge?

Will you take the ecoSEAL challenge, cut down on carbon, reduce the amount of plastic waste and save money on your building projects?

A Painters Life For Me – by Al Parish

Lifelong decorator Al Parish looks back on the history of his career with a sense of nostalgia in this blog – A Painters Life for Me.

What paint do decorators use in their own home?

Professional decorator Mike Gregory talks us through what paint he likes to use in his own home. This is a brilliant insight into the best products.

Sanding without getting dust everywhere

Professional decorator Mike Gregory tells us the secrets when it comes to sanding without getting dust everywhere!! This blog will save your home!!

Mirka Deros review, written by an honest decorator

Professional decorator Mike Gregory gives a full and honest review of the Mirka Deros. One beast of a sander for use on walls and ceilings!!