Of all the projects around the house painting the driveway is most likely not on the top of the list. Nevertheless, it’s something that could add character to your home distinguishing it from all others around the neighborhood.

Why? Because chances are out of all the homes in your area with painted siding, painted drain pipes, painted trim and painted fencing very few if any have a painted parking spot.

Besides, directing friends or family to your home by telling them “look for the (fill in your favorite color) driveway” is a great way to let people know where you live!

Still, deciding whether or not a painted driveway is a good fit for your home requires further assessing since driveways are not walls or ceilings on a house. Cars drive over them, shovels scrape up snow, and they end up being loading and unloading stations, not to mention storage areas for trash and other things.

The bottom line: driveways are high traffic areas and take a lot of abuse, two reasons why coating gets damaged.

But in the event you decide to move forward know that prepping the site is costly and if you do it yourself can be very hard work. The surface must be cleaned extremely well so no residue remains that will affect the paint’s life once it is applied.

Common cleaning tips include a combination of the following:
1. Sweeping
2. Removing any vegetation
3. Vacuuming around edges
4. If possible fixing cracks
5. Spraying the driveway with a power washer
6. Using a degreaser and abrasive sponge to remove tough stains

After cleaning allow the driveway to dry for at least a day before moving on to the next step, etching.

While etching will remove any last bits of residue it is essential if the special exterior paint for asphalt or concrete is going to stick properly to the surface.

Know that many etching manufacturers use harsh chemicals but eco-friendly options exist which only react to concrete, aren’t harmful to animals and don’t have toxic fumes. Just make sure to read the instructions and follow all safety precautions.

When the etching is complete apply the paint and enjoy the new ‘addition’ to your home.

Just remember situations arise when it’s better not to paint the driveway.

If you plan to completely overhaul the driveway resurfacing it then consider a “Greener” option such as using permeable or porous concrete. The porous nature of the material allows water to pass through the driveway and be absorbed by the earth. The earth then filters out contaminants that would normally flow into gutters eventually reaching sewers and aquifers.

Painting a driveway made of porous concrete defeats the entire purpose of going to all the trouble to make the driveway more eco-friendly, as it will stop up the tiny holes.

However, a compromise on painting and looking after the environment would be to pour concrete or asphalt or lay bricks only where car tires roll and plant grass in the other areas.

This will allow the ground to absorb moisture easily and give you a chance to experiment with painting in an isolated spot.

Author's Bio: 

Jakob Barry writes for Networx.com, a growing community of homeowners and contractors sharing and monitoring home improvement projects together. He covers various home improvement topics including green gardening tips and concrete services.