How to Blacktop a Driveway

Applying blacktop to your driveway is an economical, durable and attractive solution to damage caused by every day wear and tear. The process is very simple and straightforward, and with some simple precautions, even the messiness of it doesn't have to be a factor. Almost anyone can blacktop a driveway. Here are some guidelines to get you started as you research how to blacktop a driveway.


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    Sweep thoroughly to remove any debris, including dirt, dust, and loose stones.
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    Trim the grass and weeds away from the edges of the driveway.
    • You may need to remove grass or weeds from any existing cracks. If this is the case, scraping them out with a screwdriver and then sweeping the cracks with a whisk broom is a highly effective way to do it.
    • Avoid using solvent-based cleaners. They will leave unseen residue behind, which will have an adverse effect on the blacktop's adhesion.
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    Scrub away any grease spots using detergent and a sturdy wire-bristled brush.
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    Sand the entire area with 320 grit sandpaper.
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    Prepare the blacktop by stirring thoroughly, equally dispersing the pigments throughout the can.
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    Separate a portion of the blacktop. A glass or steel container is recommended. If you are very careful when performing this step, it should minimize the potential for drips and spills.
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    Seal the can immediately, avoiding any direct contact between the lid and the can.
    • Place plastic wrap under the lid in order to prevent the blacktop from forming a permanent seal
    • If the conditions are too hot or humid, you may consider thinning the blacktop about 5-10% with turpentine. This will delay the curing time and avoid leaving visible stroke marks.
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    Apply the blacktop. For the best results, the temperature should be between 55 and 82 degrees F, or 13-28 C, and the ideal humidity should be less than 70%.
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    Dispense the blacktop with a heavy duty push-broom, and then spread it with a squeegee for maximum coverage.
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    Apply two thin, even coats for residential use.
    • The second coat can be applied once the first coat feels dry to the touch. This usually takes 2-4 hours.
    • Be sure to spread the second coat within 24 hours after the first coat has been applied.
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    Clean up using paint thinner to immediately remove any blacktop which has dripped or spilled. There is no way to remove it once it has cured.
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    Allow 24 hours for the blacktop to dry and cure before parking or walking on the driveway.


  • To maintain the surface of your blacktop, avoid resting heavy items, such as motorcycle kickstands or picnic tables, on it too long as they will eventually cause indentations.
  • Always wear gloves when working with blacktop. If contact with your skin does occur, remove it with paint thinner right away and then wash with soap and water. If the blacktop dries on your skin, no amount of scrubbing will remove it, but it will disappear over time.


  • Never return any unused blacktop to the can, as it will shorten the shelf life and build pressure, which may cause the lid to pop off of the can.

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Categories: Paths and Paving