How to Cover an Outside Walkway With Pebbles and Adhesive

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A new walkway can add beauty and function to your yard.
Image Credit: PORNCHAI SODA/iStock/GettyImages

If you have a walkway in your garden, there are tons of different options to make it stand out. Pebbles are an appealing option, but you may worry that they won't be as sturdy as other walkway coverings. If you learn how to cover an outside walkway with pebbles and adhesive, you can create a beautiful feature in your garden that's also strong and durable. Covering an existing walkway with pebbles is a fairly easy DIY task as long as you use the right pebbles and adhesive and spend adequate time doing prep work.

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Choosing the Pebbles

It's important to choose pebbles that are suitable for the adhesive. A random selection of stones won't be suitable for the job; you'll need to purchase enough bags of polished gravel. Uniform sizes and minimal sediment are key. It's also a good idea to wash the pebbles beforehand to get rid of as much dust and sediment as possible before attempting to adhere them to your path. Lay the pebbles out in the sun to dry.

Doing the Prep Work

Dig around 6 inches into the sides of the walkway using an edger. Then, excavate the walkway using a shovel. Lay down base rock to give some structure, stability and evenness to the base of the walkway before adding pebbles and adhesive. Ensuring you excavate the walkway and apply base rock can also help with the walkway's drainage. This will help the pebbles and adhesive to last longer too.

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Another important part of the prep work for this task is taking adequate safety precautions. You should wear gloves and safety goggles when handling the pebble adhesive. You should also check the weather before beginning pebble application. You shouldn't attempt this project 48 hours before or after rainfall, and you want to work in temperatures between 32 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Adhering Pebbles to the Walkway

Mix the pebbles with the adhesive in a cement mixer for two to three minutes to ensure the pebbles are evenly coated. Make sure the cement mixer is at 30 degrees and run it in both directions to ensure the pebbles have maximum exposure to the adhesive. For very small projects, you can mix the pebbles and adhesive in a large bucket using a paddle mixer. Make sure any tool that comes into contact with the pebbles and adhesive is free of cement or any other project residue. Pour the adhesive and pebble mixture into the walkway within 15 minutes of mixing.

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Use a landscape drag to level out the surface of the walkway and then roll with a sod roller to make sure the pebbles and adhesive are compact and flat. Use acetone to fully clean any tools that have come into contact with the pebble adhesive.

Once you're happy with the appearance of the walkway, allow the pebbles and adhesive to dry for 24 to 72 hours. Avoid any heavy foot traffic for at least 72 hours. The walkway should last for at least two years, but over time, you may need to reapply the adhesive over the top of the pebbles using a paint roller.

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Annie Walton Doyle is a freelance writer based in Manchester, UK. Her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Daily Telegraph, Professional Photography Magazine, Bustle, Ravishly and more. When not writing, she enjoys pubs, knitting, nature and mysteries.