Wondering whether concrete resurfacing or painting is a better option for a concrete driveway refresh?
Concrete driveways built with high-quality materials and craftsmanship can last a long time — up to 40 years, in fact. However, they are still subject to wear and tear, and you may find your concrete driveway needing a refresh after years of use.
Scratches, blotches of discolouration, or cracks are all signs that your concrete driveway has seen better days and, while it is still functional, can have a big impact on appearance and curb appeal – particularly when it comes time to sell your home.
When it comes to restoring the look of tired and worn-out driveways, homeowners are often caught between two options – painting and concrete resurfacing. Whilst they may seem like different methods to achieve a similar outcome – a better looking driveway, there is a vast difference in the end result and longevity.
At Conker, we’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to driveway projects, as such, we’re in a good position to provide the pros and cons of resurfacing vs. painting your concrete driveway.
Table of Contents
- Can I paint my concrete driveway?
- Pros of painting concrete driveways
- Cons of painting concrete driveways
- What does concrete driveway resurfacing involve?
- Pros of concrete driveway resurfacing
- Cons of concrete driveway resurfacing
- Comparing concrete resurfacing vs painting driveways
Can I paint my concrete driveway?
The short answer is yes — you can paint your concrete driveway. That said, you can’t just use any type of paint for the job.
Unlike regular wall paint, concrete paint is specially formulated to adhere better to concrete surfaces, making it a requirement if you want a driveway paint job that doesn’t start to peel off within weeks of applying it.
Once you have the right paint, it is typically applied in the same way as with a wall, using paint rollers or brushes to create layers of even coating.
Pros of painting concrete driveways
Concrete paint is not particularly expensive, so painting your driveway can be considered a low-cost option for renewing the look of your driveway. At an average cost of $30 – $60/hr for a professional driveway painting job, it’s easy to see why painting is a popular option for those looking to save on cost. For even more cost savings, some homeowners opt for the DIY route of buying the paint and painting the driveway on their own.
The ability to procure all the equipment and paint from your local DIY shop or Bunnings makes painting your concrete driveway an accessible option, too. As mentioned above, you could do the painting by yourself without any professional training, although the end result may not be of the best quality.
Cons of painting concrete driveways
Lack of repair
Because painting is a type of external application, it means that only the outermost layer of your concrete driveway will receive the treatment. This means that painting will only be able to cover up cosmetic damage or blemishes on your driveway and will not help in maintaining or protecting it. If your driveway is cracked or misshapen, painting it will do very little to resolve the core structural issues.
Even with concrete paint, your driveway paint job may not last long. Driveways are high-traffic areas that experience a lot of traffic, and abrasive actions from car tires and shoes will cause the paint to come off sooner.
Your driveway will also be subjected to the harsh conditions of the Australian sun and weather, which will cause even more wear and tear on the painted surface.
What does concrete driveway resurfacing involve?
Concrete resurfacing involves the reapplication of a brand-new concrete surface for your driveway. As part of the process, concreters will grind down your existing concrete driveway to create an even surface. Once this is done, any cracks or damaged areas will be filled in with epoxy, and then a new layer of concrete will be applied to your driveway.
This new layer of resurfaced concrete is exceptionally durable and can extend the lifespan of your concrete driveway for up to 15+ years. As an added option, you can also customise the resurfaced concrete with different finishes to add to your home’s aesthetic.
Pros of concrete driveway resurfacing
Resurfacing your concrete driveway provides it with a lifespan of over 15 years if properly maintained, making it an ideal choice for a long-term solution. It also repairs and fixes any cracks or past damage, giving you a driveway that doesn’t just look new but is.
Various types of concrete finishes can be applied to your resurfaced concrete driveway to complete its look, from stamped patterns to exposed aggregate. This allows you more freedom to match the appearance of your new driveway with your property.
Cons of concrete driveway resurfacing
Concrete driveway resurfacing involves an extensive “do-over” of your driveway, and this will take time. An experienced team of concreters will be able to complete the job sooner while still supplying a high standard of workmanship.
Higher upfront cost
Resurfacing has a higher initial cost compared to painting, but its durability can pay dividends over time. If you want a good quality product or service, you must be prepared to pay for it.
Comparing concrete resurfacing vs painting driveways
When comparing the pros and cons of resurfacing and painting a concrete driveway, it is clear that each option has its own use case.
If you want a cheap, quick-fix solution, then painting your concrete driveway is the clear answer. Just a word of advice: this “quick fix” may not last long, and you might end up needing to apply fresh coast frequently, potentially resulting in more costs over time.
Our recommendation? Go with the tried and tested option of concrete driveway resurfacing. It may cost you more in the short term, but having a reliable and long-lasting concrete driveway will show its value over time.
At Conker, we are proud to be the leading provider of professional concreting services in Australia, with over 70 years of collective experience helping many happy homeowners with quality concrete driveway resurfacing.