How Can I Tell What Kind of Paint is On My Driveway?

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How Can I Tell What Kind of Paint is On My Driveway?

About 13 years ago, I stained my driveway with H&C concrete stain but did not keep the empty cans and don’t remember which type it was.  How do I tell which type paint to use to redo the faded drive?  


  This problem is more common than you think. Here’s a simple solution.   Take some denatured alcohol and put it on a rag, then wipe the denatured alcohol on a small area of the driveway to see if the color comes off onto your rag.  Do this in a place that is not chalky, someplace shaded if possible.  If your entire driveway is chalky (meaning when you wipe your hand on the driveway you get paint color on your hand), then clean the area with a wet rag to remove as much of the chalk as possible, wipe it with a dry rag to remove any further chalk, then wipe a small area of the driveway with the denatured alcohol rag.

If the color of the driveway comes off on the rag, you used the latex version of H&C Stain. If the color does not come off, then you used Xylene.

If you are still unsure, there’s another step you can take. What I do is this: once the driveway is pressure cleaned and allowed to dry, I go to Glidden/PPG paints and apply a coat of Bond Tite bonding primer (this is made by Anvil but sold at Glidden/PPG).  It is an oil-based bonding primer that will adhere to latex or Xylene-based paint.  Allow it to dry for 24 hours.  Then I apply two coats of Glidden/PPG acrylic concrete stain, allowing 24 hours dry time between coats.

With this method, you can ensure your driveway is stained in the proper way no matter what you originally used.