Sealing an asphalt driveway is so much easier than I thought it was going to be. It truly is a great beginner DIY project. It also doesn’t require a lot of tools, just a drill and paddle to mix the sealer.
How to Seal an Asphalt Driveway
- Buy sealer and store buckets upside down
- Open one bucket at a time and mix sealer with drill and paddle
- Pour sealer on driveway
- Push it around with the driveway squeegee
- Use a paintbrush around important edges, like stamped concrete (optional)
- Let dry before use
And that’s it! Of course leave it to me to make a simple project way more difficult. Here’s what happened when I sealed my driveway last fall.
My Driveway Sealing Experience
We had our asphalt driveway installed about 4 years ago (read posts HERE and HERE) and as recommended we had it sealed 6 months after install. Of course I priced out sealing it myself, but when I saw some guys sealing driveways in my neighborhood I asked them for a quote. They ended up spray sealing my 2500 sq ft driveway for around $300. I was happy to not have to do any work myself. Fast forward to last winter and our driveway took a beating! Last winter was brutal! It wasn’t looking too good when spring rolled around. Is the freezing and thawing or all the salt that breaks down the asphalt?
I promised myself I would have the driveway sealed before this winter. But we all know I spread myself a little thin sometimes. But this was one of those things I just couldn’t put off forever. When I couldn’t find the name or number of the guys I used last time, I asked another guy I saw working in my neighborhood to come by and give me an estimate. Are you ready??? $875! I laughed at him. I told him that was about 3x what I paid the last time. He told me the difference is that I had it sprayed on before, which is cheaper but doesn’t last as long. His quote was to roll it on, which according to him would last much longer. Well of course that was all the motivation I needed to do it myself.
So in September Smart Jr and I went to Home Depot and talked to a dude who works there. He recommended one asphalt sealer over the other, he told me to use Latexite Ultrashield, which cost $25.56. We found a ton of buckets available right on an end cap by the register. So when we got home I asked hubby to go pick up 8 buckets, not because I’m lazy, but because he gets a military discount at Home Depot. And he’s the one with a pickup truck. Of course I told him what to buy, where it was located and how much it cost. He picked up the 8 buckets and stuck them in the garage for me. I couldn’t do it right away because I was in the middle of tiling the family room floor, I would get to the driveway when I could.
Fast forward to November and I was running out of time to seal the driveway, it can only be applied when the temperature is above 55°. So I opened up the garage to pull out the sealer… hmm… hubby bought roofing asphalt. The good news is that I would get over $200 back when I exchanged the these buckets for the ones I wanted because the roofing asphalt is twice as much. I loaded them all up in my Pilot and took them back to Home Depot. Oh, did I mention hubby was away on a business trip at this point?! The bad news is that asphalt sealer is a seasonal product, which means it isn’t sold in November. Crap!
Longer story short I had to go to 5 Home Depots to get the 8 buckets I needed. It took 4 stores to secure the first 5 buckets. It made for a fun evening, let me tell you. Oh and I totally checked online to see which stores had any before I left. Clearly, that’s not always accurate. Next time I’ll try calling first.
I couldn’t wait any longer because I only had 2 warm days left. So I got to work with the 5 buckets I had. First order of business was to clean the driveway. This is a good time to point out the other reason you shouldn’t wait until November to seal your driveway… leaves! Do as I say not as I do. 🙂
We had a raking race. She won. I carried all those pine needles to the backyard to use as mulch. Then I busted out my new leaf blower. In case you’re wondering, you’re supposed to store the 5-gallon buckets upside down to help with the mixing.
The next day, after expanding my online search, I drove over an hour to a Home Depot that had 5 buckets. I thought I only needed 3, but I bought all of them just in case.
Of course I had to blow all the leaves AGAIN…
I used an old paintbrush to paint around the edge of the stamped concrete, which was the only tedious part. Notice I am getting good use out of the new drill we bought for mixing the self-leveler.
The rest was actually kind of fun.
It was just a matter of pouring the sealer and spreading it with the squeegee. Easy peasy! People talk about using a paint roller, but the squeegee worked perfectly! I’ll also point out that asphalt comes off your skin and tools soooooo much easier than mortar or self-leveler. Night and day difference!
The hardest part was getting the lid off the container.
It was finished quickly and dry the next day! Yay! Let me point out that the directions clearly state to finish the job without taking a break, but I had no choice. The color difference you see here is mostly because one area is dry while the other is wet, but there was still a slight difference when it dried. It’s not so much that it bothers me. Plus I was more concerned with protecting the surface than improving the appearance. But it does look so much nicer now.
Here’s a closeup of the difference between before and after the sealer. This stuff worked really well at filling in holes and tiny cracks. I didn’t do any pre-sealing due to time, but it turns out that it wasn’t necessary anyway. I will definitely use this stuff again.
Be sure to check out more of my outdoor projects!