We just had a hollandstone brick paver patio installed. One problem: wife had sent the contractor the wrong paver color.

Patio is a “River” hollandstone from unilock (mostly tans with some blue/gray). We wanted “autumn red” (mostly red with some blues).

Contractor said we could try to stain it next spring.

Any advice on when to stain, if that’s a good option, etc?

1 Answer 1


I suggest taking a few of each colour and try a mix of portland cement powder, and iron oxide powder. Put it on, and brush off with a coarse broom. Don't wet them. Just set them outside.

If the weather insists on being nice, pass a sprinkler with large drops over it. I think you want about 3% of the area wet. Brush again. This will streak the drops. If it's not enough, wait a day to let the wet cement set and repeat.

You may be able to run the broom in patterns and get a wood grain look, or a flowing water look.

If the contractor does lots of this stuff, you may be able to try lots of approaches at his place. Treat a few bricks. If it looks bad, he can put those in other way up (assuming there is no difference in which side is up)

Another approach is red chalk. Iron oxide mixed with slaked lime. This has the win that it can be more easily removed (acid and lots of water)

Experiment on side walks in the industrial part of town.

  • Wait, are you telling the OP to experiment by trying to stain sidewalks that don't belong to him? That's... sketchy at best.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Nov 22, 2023 at 17:04
  • Sure. Some industrial part of town? Some park steps? City infrastructure? If I were doing it, I'd get some stencils and make it pretty. Commented Dec 9, 2023 at 19:22

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