We just got back from a long weekend in the south west that ended up being unintentionally unplugged when I discovered our accommodation didn’t have reception. Well. That was alarming. How am I supposed to relax without watching Tiktoks of animals who think they are humans? I should have paid more attention when our accommodation’s online description said it felt like going back in time to the 70s… they were not exaggerating. You don’t realise how much you use your phone until you can’t. Even playing what should be a peaceful evening game of Scrabble became an existential challenge. “That’s not a word.” “Yes it is.” “No it’s not, you cheat” “It’s a word, Google it” “I CAN’T WE DON’T HAVE RECEPTION WHY DID YOU BRING US HERE” etc.
Well, after our unplugged family weekend I was catching up on emails and Instagram DMs today, and I read this one.
Can I ask how it looks now? We have a painted driveway and we want to spruce it up. Just wondering how the Crommelin looks a couple of years on, especially over the pre-painted areas?
We’ve been told by Bunnings we have to remove all paint for Crommelin to be effective. That will be a huge job so just wondering if you noticed a big difference in the final result where the driveway was painted previously? Thanks again for the great website and tips!”
I’ve had a few DMs about our driveway refinishing project over the past couple of years – especially from Pinterest where that project went viral – so I thought it would be a good idea to revisit it now and share some updated photos.
So a bit of background to refresh. Painting our driveway was one of our COVID lockdown projects, done in February 2021 (with a two-year-old in tow….. always a real accomplishment). Here’s my original blog post.
As you can see above, we had a very unloved-looking, very large expanse of driveway, some new and extended, the rest from the 1970s and previously painted (by yours truly way back when, with a product called Berger Jet Dry I wouldn’t recommend).
Then we painted it and it was looking like this.
Now two years later, it looks like this.
In the spirit of transparency, I haven’t swept up or tidied up for your visit. I think that means we are real friends now, right?
We used the solvent-based Crommelin DiamondCoat Tintable Sealer in an 8L tin. You buy this and then you add in the colour additive – I got a 1L tin of the Crommelin DiamondCoat Tint in Basalt. You can get it at Bunnings. We ended up needing another big tin for the second coat. The big tins cost $151 each and the 1L tint pots were $40. So overall this project cost a bit over $400, covering the cost of a roller and brush.
I’ve tried to show this in photos, but you can see there are patches where the paint has worn away. I’ve tried to get the most worn-looking bits in these pics, but in reality most of it still looks decent, despite the small amount of fading.
So would I paint a driveway with Crommelin paint again? Yes.
It doesn’t look perfect today. Some parts have begun to wear away which you can see.
But for a project which cost $400 (compared to probably thousands to have it hired out) I am still really happy with how it looks.
We would have loved to hire someone to do an exposed aggregate driveway which I think looks beautiful, but the cost would have been out of our reach – I think it’s about $90-$100 per square metre, and we have a lot of driveway so it would have been a few thousand at least. I’m not saying that price is not worth it as I think poured and exposed aggregate can add a lot of value to your landscaping, but it wasn’t affordable for us at the time as we had already spent so much on the driveway. That’s a looong story involving a really dodgy contractor who ended up taking us to court (and lost) which I might share another day!
The small areas of the driveway where the paint has worn away haven’t bugged me enough to warrant touching it up – yet anyway. I think some wear is probably par for the course considering most driveways get a lot of wear and tear, particularly in spots where you are parking.
The woman who emailed me asked me how the pre-painted areas have been faring compared to the new concrete, and mentioned that Bunnings told them they have to remove ALL the old paint before repainting. (I shudder at the thought, so I’m not surprised she’s not keen either).
You can see what we were working with below – our mix of old, previously painted driveway and new extended areas here. We did not remove all the old paint from our driveway before repainting – it would have been a massive job, but we did pressure wash the whole driveway and scrubbed it all with a wire brush before we started.
Now two years on, I think it’s interesting to note that there is not actually much difference between the new concrete and the old parts that had also been previously painted – there are still some small rubbed away parts to the new concrete, too. This photo probably shows the most worn-area, where Mr Nerd parks his car. On the left is the new concrete while the right is the old, pre-painted bit.
I still believe that the Crommelin tinted sealer is the superior product out of the three driveway paints I have tried in the past. (The others were White Knight Ultra Pave and Berger Jet Dry, one which I tried here years ago, the other doing the driveway at my parents house).
For a driveway that gets baked by our harsh Perth sun, I think the Crommelin tinted sealer has held up well. Except for first thing in the morning, when we have a tall gum tree that shades a lot of the driveway, it tends to get absolutely cooked by the sun, especially in late afternoon in the summer. I think because of this, the colour has faded slightly, although I noticed with our bright light my photos today make it appear lighter than it is in real life.
Many people love that Three Birds Renovations look of beautiful white and light grey concrete which is incredibly popular at the moment, but if you try this product I would most likely recommend a darker colour if you have an older driveway and a lot of crazy garden, like ours. It’s much easier to keep a dark driveway looking clean. These are the Crommelin tints available, we went with Basalt as we thought Dark Charcoal would be too close to our Dulux Monument-painted exterior walls.
We have a lot of garden out the front of our house, but we also have a LOT of driveway. The difference painting the driveway has made to the overall look of our exterior (and for a relatively small investment compared to hiring out the job) made it worth it, regardless of a few rubbed bits.
Feel free to let me know if you have any other questions in the comments or via DM! I’ll be plugged in now, I swear. Maya x