Natural stone is an elegant way to upgrade your landscaping. It can be incorporated into retaining walls, pathways or fire pits, or it can be used for decorative touches. Natural stone can make a statement in flower beds, and it can add structure to patios and other areas of your property.
Rocks and stone show off their colors when they are wet. Giving your stone a wet look is an easy DIY project that will add to your home's curb appeal. It can also protect your stone from discoloration, moss, mildew and mold.
Preparing the Area
Since this project may require the use of chemicals, be sure to wear goggles and gloves to protect yourself. You may not need to wear a mask or respirator, but carefully check the manufacturer instructions to be sure before you get started. You will probably get wet since a lot of water is used in the project, so wear clothing that you don't mind getting wet. Don't attempt this project in below-freezing temperatures and be careful around plants and trees.
Check to see if your stones are clean. If they aren't, it is recommended to fill a plastic watering can with a natural stone cleaner and apply it evenly to the stone. You can use a broom or nonmetal brush to spread it around and then let it sit for about 15 minutes. Do not let it dry.
Rinse and scrub the surfaces of all your stones well with fresh water; if you have a pressure washer, this works best. Using a mop, remove the excess water, making sure that it does not get into your storm drains. Allow them to dry completely before beginning the sealing process. Landscaping stones are not usually sealed, but natural stone floors could be. For sealed stone floors, you may want to use a pressure washer.
Which Product Should You Use?
There are different products that will create a wet look on your stones and stone surfaces. Waterproof sealants are generally used on walkways and driveways, but this can make them slippery after it has rained or snowed.
Polyurethane exterior coatings can be applied with spray guns or paintbrushes, and they come in different finishes. This sealant hardens when it dries, and it could provide the glossy look you desire. Depending on the type of polyurethane coating you choose, the finish can last anywhere from three to 15 years.
Spray silicones come in cans and are easy to apply, but the finish does not last for very long. You can spray the silicone on the surfaces and allow it to dry, but it will evaporate. If you only have a small area to cover, this could be a good choice.
Mister attachments that connect to garden hoses are the most innocuous way to create a wet look for your stones. The mist will make the stones glisten. This does not last long either, and doing it frequently can drive up your water bill.
What About Stone Pavers?
Pavers should be prepped in a similar fashion as stones, depending on whether they are uncoated or coated. Make sure to clean and sweep the pavers first. Some experts suggest using water-based sealers instead of solvent-based ones for the best results. Urethane is also preferred over acrylic. These sealers can be applied with a roller, but spraying can provide better coverage.
Danielle Smyth is a writer and content marketer from upstate New York. She holds a Master of Science in Publishing from Pace University. She owns her own content marketing agency, Wordsmyth Creative Content Marketing, and she enjoys writing home and DIY articles and blogs for clients in a variety of related industries. She also runs her own lifestyle blog, Sweet Frivolity.