The driveway is one of the first things people will notice when they arrive at your house — the first thing people see when they get out of their cars. Unfortunately, many homeowners overlook the design of their driveway and the surrounding sidewalk area.
While driveways used to come in the same shades of flat gray, the market has become far more creative circa 2023. These days, the versatility of concrete stains and sealants allows you to think outside the box when it comes to driveway design. Today, a colored sealant can transform a plain concrete driveway into any color you choose from bright red to neutral cream. You can even layer different colors to create something truly one of a kind.
In this article, we’ll explore the world of driveway and sidewalk colors, highlighting some of the best driveway colors for 2023.
Why Add Color to Your Driveway?
For years, the standard driveway color for most American homes was the natural color of concrete — a plain, light gray. Now, though, there are far more options for homeowners to choose from.
The right driveway color should enhance the look of your home, complementing your color scheme and creating great curb appeal. Strategically transforming the exterior of your home can even increase your property’s resale value by 11%.
Specifically, driveway colors like those offered by Surfacelogix can help refresh the look of a patchy or cracked driveway. Darker colors are also a great way to lessen glare and visually cool down the driveway surface.
How To Choose the Right Driveway Color
With so many unique shades to choose from, you have no shortage of options when choosing a driveway color. In fact, this can create a dilemma for homeowners. How do you choose the right color?
Here are a few tips that will help you guide your choice:
Consider Color Schemes
Always choose a color that matches your existing color scheme. Look at the outside of your home — what colors are already incorporated in your exterior walls, roof, and garage door?
Pick a similar color or, at the very least, something with the same undertone. For example, a gray driveway with blue undertones might be a good fit for a house with a neutral blue color scheme.
Think About Landscaping
The right driveway and sidewalk color shouldn’t just match the colors of your house. It should also blend into your surroundings, including the landscape.
For example, a house with plants, rocks, or sand incorporated into the landscaping might benefit from earthy colors. On the other hand, a house with more sleek and modern decor — for instance, a yard with gravel instead of a grass — might look better with darker colors, like a dark gray or black.
Decide Between Light or Dark
Beyond aesthetics, choosing a light or dark color can impact your home in other ways. Light colors reflect heat, while dark colors absorb it. If you live in an area with a lot of sunlight, lighter colors may help cool down your property, especially if you want to walk barefoot on your driveway.
Pick Something With Subtle Character
Compared to other color options for your home, the colors in most concrete paints or stains are neutral. While you can find colors like red and blue, most paints have more subtle undertones: like a green-toned gray or a red-toned brown, for example.
More subtle and neutral tones often complement homes the best. You may wish to pick a shade that has some subtle character. On the other hand, don’t be afraid to go beyond the plain neutral tones you see on the market, embracing your personal style and picking something with a pop of color.
The Best Driveway Colors for 2023
From semi-transparent tints to water-based concrete sealants, there are plenty of options if you want to incorporate color into your driveway or sidewalk. Based on some of the top exterior design trends and popular colors going into this upcoming year, we’ve narrowed down a list of some of the best 2023 pavement colors.
1. Warm Tan Sandy Beach
While neutrals tend to blend the best with most home exteriors, it doesn’t hurt to add some warmth. If traditional gray concrete is too harsh, a perfect way to capture warmth and color is by going with a light brown. A warm tan often has subtle yellow undertones that give it an earthy, sandy feel.
As it's one of the colors on the lighter end of the spectrum, tan looks best with lighter exterior colors as well. If your home incorporates a lot of light, neutral beige, or a slightly darker brown, this could be a great choice. The same goes for landscaping choices — sand, rocks, and brown gravel pair well with a tan driveway.
In 2023, more homeowners are turning to the warm feel of a terracotta color. Terracotta is an amber-colored concrete that often has orange, bronzed undertones. Instead of bright orange, it offers a more subtle and muted warmth, like sun-dried pottery or Mediterranean clay.
Terracotta tones offer a welcoming feel to any home. This color goes best with Spanish-style homes, adobe architecture, or homes with clay roof tiles.
3. Earthy Brown Seminole Tan
With an even deeper, richer color than tan, brown offers a homey yet luxurious feel. A cool-toned brown has a leathery, earthy feel that blends seamlessly with most landscapes. While browns of this sort are noticeable, the shade is still neutral enough that it matches most home exteriors.
As an added bonus, a deeper brown color can hide dirt, mud, stains, and tire marks, providing a cleaner look.
4. Dark Gray Smoke
While design trends are moving on from the flat, dull gray of natural concrete, that doesn’t mean you have to abandon gray entirely. A dark, sleek gray is coming back as a way to add an ultra-modern feel to any home. Dark, charcoal gray has a particularly rich look that manages to be both quintessentially modern and timeless.
This color helps elevate the look of a driveway and disguises minor imperfections like patchy pavement color or cracks. To elevate the modern feel, opt for a high-gloss finish that will add that sleek shine.
5. Brick Red
When most people think of red, they picture a vivid, bright red. Brick-red concrete is just as striking but has a darker, subtler feel that blends into the landscape around it. For any home looking to make a bolder statement, this is a popular choice. It meshes well with ranch-style homes or Southwestern architecture.
It’s also a great color choice for anyone who wants to imitate the color and texture of brick paving. To make this look more subdued, you can combine this color with an earthy brown.
6. Classic White
There’s a reason why the classic white concrete driveway is still so popular today. It offers an eco-friendly, heat-reflecting surface, as well as a clean and modern look. While imperfections on the surface of a white driveway are more visible, a sealed white driveway will be easy to clean — so, with a bit of maintenance, you can keep that neat, all-white look.
White concrete pairs well with lighter-colored homes, but it can provide a sharp contrast to darker styles as well. If you want something more neutral, go for a cream-colored white to soften the look.
7. Dusty Rose Tropic Buff
If you want to make a strong statement that still suits the color scheme of your home, you might opt for dusty rose brown, which is becoming a popular option. This color offers a wash of pink while still keeping your home neutral and cool-toned.
Rose-tinted brown can offer a soft touch of color to any home, but it best complements neutral colors like white, beige, or brown. It also complements colorful landscaping, especially if you already have floral accents in your front yard.
8. Sage Green
Most driveways come in neutral shades, but not everybody wants the standard gray, beige, white, or black. If you want to add a rich color while still keeping your home’s exterior natural, there is an easy solution. For homes with green accents — or plenty of green landscaping — sage green blends right in.
The best sage greens for driveways lean more towards gray, with pale green undertones. This brings out the best of the color without overwhelming the natural look of your home.
Taking Your Driveway to the Next Level
The above list by no means exhausts the color possibilities for concrete. In fact, any of these options can be mixed, diluted, or layered to create a range of different color options. Additionally, any color you’re considering — green, blue, orange, red, etc. — can be found as an undertone in a more neutral color, like gray or white.
If you are in doubt about which color to pick, you can work with an expert at a place like Surfacelogix to find the right shade and undertones for your home. A contractor can bring samples of stains, tints, and sealants to help you visualize what it might look like on your driveway.
With all the options on the market, you don’t have to settle for the typical neutral gray. With color-tinted sealing coats, you can transform your driveway in a simple and cost-effective way. That will not only add a splash of color to your home's exterior: It can even help your driveway last longer.