Brick paving has been a popular choice for patios and pathways for decades – but it does lose its lustre over time. If your brick pavers are looking a little tired, don’t sweat it. We’ve put together some simple and affordable ways to breathe new life into them.
Whether you want to make your outdoor dining area ship-shape for summer entertaining, or you’re tidying up to sell, this list of ways to improve brick pavers is not only DIY-friendly, but it’s inspired by real-life advice from Australian homeowners.
So join us as we lay down some tried and tested ways to make even the oldest brick paving look new again.
Probably the most obvious course of action to take on grubby, unkempt brick paving is pressure washing. Like a day spa for your trusty old bricks, it’s a cost-effective way to wash away the dirt, moss and grime that builds up over the years – and the best bit? Anyone can do it.
Just sweep off loose debris first, then simply aim and spray! Unlike garden hoses, which aren’t effective enough on tough dirt and grime, a pressure washer uses extra force to dislodge stubborn bits and let you know what’s really going on underneath so that you can assess from there.
Pressure washers are widely available to hire or purchase in Australia. Just head to your nearest hardware store to get your hands on one.
If pressure washing reveals some staining on your otherwise intact bricks, consider using some tile or paver cleaner to clean them up. These products are also easy to come by at hardware stores and usually involve spraying it on and leaving it for a while as the chemicals work their magic. Of course, before you buy, chat with staff to make sure you’ve got the right product for your bricks.
Fix-up the edging
Clean, modern edging doesn’t just keep your bricks in place, it also adds definition and contrast to outdoor areas. A simple and popular edging option for brick paving is, you guessed it, more brick! Quite often the bricks are positioned in a different direction and/or in a different colour and texture to create contrast.
You could also edge the perimeter with corten steel, or for the more adventurous, build a retaining wall using DIY-friendly concrete bricks. And then there’s the good old timber option, but as one savvy DIYer points warns, “don’t use treated pine if you ever plan to grow vegies or fruit trees” nearby.
Fill gaps with sand
Are your brick joints open and making way for weeds to rear their heads? Paving sand is the answer, and applying a fresh layer every few years not only fills those gaps between the bricks, but it creates a more cohesive look AND saves you (and your fingers) from constant weeding!
Paving sand is easy to come by in Australia and applying it involves sprinkling it on, sweeping it into the joints and misting it with a hose to set the sand. This is a great way to stop pesky weeds from returning as well.
Just remember, before you use paving sand, it’s a good idea to give the bricks a good pressure wash to remove any grit and grime beforehand.
Plants are one of the quickest ways to refresh a tired brick-paved patio. Aside from adding colour and vibrance to an area dominated in one rather boring shade (looking at you, blonde brick!), they also make outdoor areas feel more welcoming – because there’s just something about plants that welcome with open arms.
If you have the time and energy, consider edging the bricks and then planting a lush garden next to or around the paved area, or even a hedge. A simpler solution is to invest in some large plant pots for housing some of your favourite plants.
Another interesting idea to bring more green to the area is to “remove a square metre of bricks in the middle and plant a tree.”
Add outdoor furniture
Just like with interiors, one of the quickest ways to modernise a tired brick patio is to invest in some modern furniture. Market umbrellas, luxe sunshades, outdoor dining tables, pizza ovens and outdoor heaters are all popular additions to contemporary Australian homes. Best of all, they’re not permanent changes – so if you’re improving your home to sell it, you get to take it all with you!
Considering re-paving your patio area? Find out from an expert how to maintain pavers so that they stand the test of time.