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How to protect pale sandstone paving during and post installation  

If you are laying a light-coloured stone patio, it is important to be mindful of the extra precautions you can take to ensure a great result at the end of installation.  

Paving stones such as Stoneworld’s White Mint and Yellow Mint sandstone, and some of the paler York stones are very porous. These beautiful stones can be kept pristine if installed and maintained correctly. 

Pale sandstone patios can be protected if you follow these guidelines. 

Initially, they need protection from marks forming during the installation process. They also need ongoing protection to avoid the build-up of grime which would dull the colour of the stone if left unprotected. 

Take care when installing pale sandstone 

Due to the pale colour of the stone, you should keep a clean workspace as much as possible to prevent accidental marking throughout installation. 

It is advisable to use a white mallet when tamping paving slabs into position, as black rubber can mark the stones as well. Whilst working, a bucket of clean water and a clean sponge should be handy at all times. Clean away any accidental marks and excess cement spillage as you go. Do not leave cleaning up until the end of the project. It will be too late, and marks will already have formed, making the job more time consuming and expensive than it needs to be. 

Protect pale sandstone by using our Rob Parker’s Best Patio Sealer 

On very pale stone such as White Mint Sandstone, and Yellow Mint sandstone it is important to protect the colour of the stone for the future by sealing the stone. 

Modern stone sealants such as Rob Parkers Best Patio Sealer will create a protective barrier without changing the appearance of the stone. This product will protect the stone against the build-up of grime which would dull the colour of the stone if left unprotected. 

However, as these stones are so porous it is necessary to adopt a different method of application to get the best results from any sealant used. 

How to use Rob Parker’s Best Patio Sealer on pale sandstone paving 

Pale stones should be given an initial scant primer coat of sealant before laying the paving. This should be applied to each paving stone using a small roller such as would be used to paint radiators in home decorating. 

Choose a dry day to apply the sealant.  Do not attempt to apply the primer coat if the surface of the stone is wet from rain or dew.  Any existing moisture on the surface will result in the sealant not being able to soak into the pores of the stone. 

A scant primer coat is light coat.  Do not attempt to saturate the stone in one coat on these light-coloured sandstones. It is not an effective way to use the sealant in this case.  The primer coat will prepare the stone for the main coat. With very porous stones such as these, trying to saturate the surface in one heavy coat can result in sealant continuously leaching out of the bottom. The result can be that the sealant does not achieve creating the desired barrier against grime build up in the pores of the stone. 

The primer coat will create an effective barrier a few mm below the stone surface, so that when the main coat of sealer is applied, it will saturate the top 3mm of the paving and not leach deeper into the stone. 

Apply all sealer before pointing the paving. 

Do not point your paving then seal, as this can seal in resin residues permanently that you may wish you had removed. 

On less porous stones such as Raj Green, Black Sandstone and Kandla Grey Sandstone, one saturating coat will work.  These stones are so dense that the sealant will not travel right through the stone before the sealant dries and becomes a protective barrier. 

On light-coloured sandstone, several coats of sealer may be required before effective protection can be achieved.  This could be 2-3 coats in all. 

Apply the main coat of sealer on a dry day to the dry surface of the un-pointed patio surface.  Leave for 3-5 days to thoroughly dry.  Repeat multiple times on light coloured sandstones until the ‘wet’ test is achieved. This is when maximum protection has been achieved, and water droplets will stand on the stone surface like mercury, not soaking into the stone. 

Recap of Method for applying Rob Parker’s Best Patio sealer on light-coloured sandstone paving 

Correct method for applying patio sealant to pale sandstones: 

  1. Before laying paving, apply scant primer coat to the dry surface each paving stone as explained above. 
  1. After installation of paving is completed, BUT BEFORE POINTING, apply the main coat of sealant to the dry surface of the laid paving stones. 
  1. After 3-5 days apply another coat. 
  1. Try the ‘wet’ test- water droplets should stand proud of the stone surface- not soaking in.