Garden & Lawn

Best Tarmac Restorers to Revive your Dreary Driveway

Last updated on September 21st, 2021

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Is your tarmac looking a bit tired and worse for wear? Use any of the tarmac restorers we present in this review to revive the washed-out greyish black colour that’s left and restore it to its original full black colour while adding resistance to further deterioration.

Please note that these are all acrylic-based restorers and not bitumen-based paints. We list the pros and cons of each selection, discuss the best features and offer our recommendation. Because the success of using any restorer depends greatly on how you prepare the surface, our Buyer’s Guide gives you directions on how to do this properly. Enjoy!

BEST PICK

TarmaSeal  Tarmac Restorer
This tarmac restorer, which comes in black or red, is the most multi-functional of the products in our review. As well as colouring and protecting the tarmac surface it revives it as well. The colouring is to whatever colour of restorer you choose; as a UV-stabilised sealant it stops that vibrant restored colour from fading as well as preventing any oil, grease, or other spills from sinking in; and it revives your tarmac by replacing the resin binders that have, through everyday life, gone away, leaving your tarmac dry and cracked. Your painting brush or roller cleans up easily with just soap and water. The hardest thing about using the TarmaSeal Tarmac Restorer is waiting at least the 8+ hours (two coats) for it to dry.

Runner-up

Polar Black Outdoor Concrete Floor and Driveway Tarmac Paint
This Polar concrete floor and driveway paint is well-reviewed and has several features not found in many other tarmac restorers. To start with, just to be clear, it’s definitely reviver and not paint (the bottle says so!). This dries to a matt black finish that’s so flat black that some online reviewers liken it to blackboard paint. Along with this, it has an anti-slip finish when dry. This makes it ideal for areas that tend to get wet or especially need to be grippable. And that could be indoor areas as well as your driveway and outdoor paths. You can use this restorer on indoor tarmac sports courts for safety and then use the matching product in yellow to mark out the game lines.

Best Tarmac Restorers Reviews

1. TarmaSeal Tarmac Restorer

BEST PICK

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Tarmaseal Tarmac Restorer - Black - Superior in Performance to Tarmac Paint for Repairs and Restoration of Tarmac driveways and Other Surfaces. Makes Old Tarmac Surfaces Look Like New. (20 Litre)

The TarmaSeal Tarmac Restorer – Black is a solvent-free, acrylic-based tarmac restorer that not only brings your driveways and paths back to their original (black or red) colour but also revives them and seals them at the same time. It doesn’t change the texture of the tarmac and is porous enough to still let water (rain, car washing, etc.) seep through to the ground below and not pool up on top.

The manufacturer advises you to apply two coats of this TarmaSeal tarmac restorer with either a medium pile roller or a large paint brush. Some reviewers recommend using the roller for the larger part of the driveway and cutting in around the edges with the brush. Place whatever tool you’re using on a long pole so you don’t have to kneel down and do this task. Be sure to spend time overlapping the two areas so they don’t dry differently.

Tarmaseal Tarmac Restorer - Black - Superior in Performance to Tarmac Paint for Repairs and Restoration of Tarmac driveways and Other Surfaces. Makes Old Tarmac Surfaces Look Like New. (20 Litre) Tarmaseal Tarmac Restorer - Black - Superior in Performance to Tarmac Paint for Repairs and Restoration of Tarmac driveways and Other Surfaces. Makes Old Tarmac Surfaces Look Like New. (20 Litre)

Doing this in the right weather conditions is essential. Look for a dry day that’s above 12°C and for which rain hasn’t been forecast for at least six hours. This includes the two to four hours of drying time between the two coats as well. Even with UK weather, this shouldn’t be too hard to schedule in the summer.

TarmaSeal revives your dry tarmac by replacing the resins in it that have been lost due to exposure to the sun and everyday wear and tear. These resins soak back into the tarmac making it “juicy” again. The restorer colours the tarmac deep black and seals in the colour and the new resins. The tarmac is also protected from harmful sun rays with the UV stability built into this restorer. You may leave your tarmac surface better than it ever was.

All the tools that you use for your tarmac revival task are cleanable with soap and water.

The TarmaSeal Tarmac Restorer is also available in Red.

Please review our Buyer’s Guide for information about how to clean and prepare your tarmac surface for the best results from this TarmaSeal Tarmac Restorer.

Pros

  • Solvent-free, acrylic-based tarmac restorer that cleans up with soap and water.
  • Colours, revives and protects the tarmac.
  • Replaces resins in dry, crumbly tarmac to give it body again.
  • Texture of tarmac remains unchanged.
  • Use large brush and/or medium roller to apply.
  • Needs two coats with two to four hours drying time between.
  • Seals the tarmac and so still lets water seep through.
  • Restorer is UV stable.
  • Coverage: 40-60m2 from 20L; 2-3m2 per L; all depending on surface conditions.

Our recommendation

The TarmaSeal Tarmac Restorer is the Best Pick of the products in this review. As with the other restorers we review, it restores the tarmac colour and protects the new finish. However, the TarmaSeal also replaces the resin binders in the tarmac that are inevitably lost every day. This restores moisture to dry and cracked tarmac making it more supple again. We also like that this product also comes in red for those with alternatively coloured driveways or tarmac sports courts.


2. Polar Black Outdoor Concrete Floor and Driveway Tarmac Paint

Runner-up

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Polar Black Outdoor Concrete Floor and Driveway Tarmac Paint, Slip Resistant, for Enhancing Driveways, Concrete Floor Paint and Line Marking - Black 5 Litre

If even a slight sheen on your renewed tarmac would look wrong to you, Polar Black Outdoor Concrete Floor and Driveway Tarmac Paint might be the right choice. Although the sales website title says “paint”, the actual bottle says “Reviver”. This reviver/restorer dries to a matt black finish which some online reviewers liken to chalkboard paint. You can use this equally well on tarmac or concrete surfaces, which opens up your options to make a flat black design statement both outdoors and indoors.

In addition to driveways, consider using this restorer on cycle paths, pedestrian walkways, indoor floors, corridors and offices. You do need two coats of the restorer for the best finish and each coat dries to the touch in two to four hours. Remember that drying to the touch is not the same as being dry all the way through, so keep off the floors for a bit longer than this after you finish the task.

Polar Black Outdoor Concrete Floor and Driveway Tarmac Paint, Slip Resistant, for Enhancing Driveways, Concrete Floor Paint and Line Marking - Black 5 Litre Polar Black Outdoor Concrete Floor and Driveway Tarmac Paint, Slip Resistant, for Enhancing Driveways, Concrete Floor Paint and Line Marking - Black 5 Litre

A feature that makes this Polar Black tarmac reviver great for surfaces that get wet (outside or inside) is that it dries to a slip-resistant finish. The product doesn’t contain any fungicide to discourage weed and algae growth and the manufacturer advises that you apply a layer of such a product.

You can apply this reviver with a brush or a roller, preferable on a long pole to avoid having to bend down. If you’re doing an outdoors surface, make sure the outside temperature is 10°C or warmer, though cooler than 30°C. That’s a large part of the UK’s spring and summer seasons, usually. Even when you’re also looking for a couple of days for which rain isn’t forecast.

The tarmac reviver is also available in yellow for marking lines – check out Polar Yellow Outdoor Concrete Floor and Driveway Tarmac Paint – 5 Litre. Once again, ignore the word “paint” in this sales title.

 Pros

  • Water-based reviver suitable for several surfaces including tarmac and concrete.
  • Also available in yellow for redoing lines.
  • Suitable for indoor and outdoor use.
  • Matt black finish is a useful alternative to the usual low sheen finish.
  • Anti-slip properties when dry.
  • Apply with roller, brush or spray.
  • Dries to the touch in two to four hours.
  • Coverage: 2-3m2 per L with a brush; 6-8m2 per L with a spray: depends on surface conditions.

Cons

  • Not for high traffic areas.

Our recommendation

The Polar Black Outdoor Concrete Floor and Driveway Tarmac Paint are the Runners up in our quest to find the Best Tarmac Restorer. This product has the usual colouring and protecting features of restorers, but with some twists. It has a matt finish, both in the black and yellow colours, which won’t reflect light back up. It also has an anti-skid finish which helps you to not slip on it when you’re running around or when it’s raining. We also like that there’s the option of applying it with a sprayer as well as a paint brush or roller.


3. Everbuild TARR5 Tarmac Restorer

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Everbuild TARR5 Tarmac Restorer - Restores Tarmac To A Deep Black Finish, 5 Litre

Everbuild TARR5 Tarmac Restorer restores your tarmac surfaces to their original black colour, giving the finished surfaces a low sheen glow that’s very durable. It covers any stains and discoloured areas that you aren’t able to scrub out in your preparation process (see Buyer’s Guide for details). This is a fast-drying restorer and the manufacturer states that you can use the driveway four hours after applying the liquid. We, however, are tempted to give any tarmac restorer a longer drying time than this – just to make sure.

The sealing capability of the Everbuild TARR5 Tarmac Restorer prevents oil and any other liquid spills from seeping into the tarmac again. It’s also good at stopping any weeds or other plants from growing up through the tarmac from below.

Apply this restorer with a roller or a brush, but be sure to use them on a long pole to avoid backache from bending over or kneeling down for this task. Make sure that your painting tool is of the right thickness to get into all the nooks and crevices of the tarmac surface. A few online reviewers recommend pouring the restorer directly onto the tarmac before spreading it (instead of using a paint tray) to make sure that it goes into all the dents.

The 5L bottle of this restorer claims to cover 25m2 of surface, or from 4 to 6m2 per L depending on how porous your surface is. That’s an important caveat as the more porous your driveway, the more restorer it sucks up and the more you will be surprised at how small an area the bottle covers.

Pros

  • Acrylic-based tarmac restorer with a deep black colour with a low sheen.
  • Covers stains and ugly bits that you cannot clean out.
  • Sealer protects from further oil and other spills as well as plant growth.
  • Quick drying, can use within four hours of putting it on.
  • Protects from oil, petrol and weathering.
  • Allows moisture to pass through and not puddle on top.
  • Coverage: 25m2 per 5L; 4 to 6m2 per L; depending on surface conditions

Cons

  • Only in 5L bottles on sales site.

Our recommendation

The Everbuild TARR5 Tarmac Restorer is a highly reviewed restorer that we like for the low sheen of its black colour.


4. Creteprint Tarmac Revitaliser and Sealer

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Creteprint Tarmac Revitaliser and Sealer

Creteprint Tarmac Revitaliser and Sealer restores the strong black colour of your tarmac while sealing it against future liquid spills. This low VOC water-based restorer (clean up with soap and water) soaks into the surface of the tarmac to keep the binder there from further exposure to weather elements, including UV-rays.

You may need only one coat of the Creteprint Tarmac Revitaliser but be ready to apply two coats if your driveway or path is a little worse for wear. The manufacturer recommends using a roller, brush or squeegee for the application.  While the average coverage of this product is 40m2 for a 20L pail, it does depend on the condition of the surface. If the driveway is in good condition (still smooth and black), a 20L pail of reviver covers 40-50m2; if the condition is medium with minor cracking and some greying, then look for 30-40m2 of coverage; while those with driveways in poor condition that are rough and unsealed will only be able to cover  20-30m2 before having to buy more, and you may need two coats.

But once you’ve revitalised the driveway properly, you only need to restore it again every 12 to 24 months according to the manufacturer.

You can use Creteprint Tarmac Revitaliser in domestic situations, such as your driveway, and also in commercial and professional ones, including tennis courts and cycle paths. This restorer fills hairline cracks and dries with an anti-skid finish which makes it a great choice for tarmac sports surfaces.

It’s worth taking a look at our Buyer’s Guide for advice on how to prepare your tarmac surface properly to get the best from your tarmac revitaliser.

Our recommendation

The Creteprint Tarmac Revitaliser and Sealer is a well-considered product whose manufacturer gives detailed information so you can more accurately calculate how much of the product you need. We also like that it’s durable enough for professional situations such as on cycle paths or sports courts.


5. HQC Tarmac Reviver/Restorer

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HQC Tarmac Reviver/Restorer, UV Resistant, Deep Black Finish, Restores Driveways, Paths, Surfaces, Brightens/Reinforce Tarmac Durability - 20L

HQC Tarmac Reviver/Restorer brings your tarmac surfaces back to their original dark black colour. And keeps them from fading and further deterioration from the sunlight due to its UV resistant properties. This HQC tarmac is suitable for both domestic environments (such as your driveway and paths) and also for professional use in perhaps parking lots and tennis courts.

This restorer dries to a mid-sheen finish, so it won’t show all the scuff marks of a matt finish and you won’t get a glare from sunlight of a gloss finish. The sales blurb and reviews say that it dries ”quickly” but we had to go to the downloadable product sheet to find out details. This restorer dries to the touch in one to two hours, for foot traffic in four hours and is dry enough for cars to be on it in 24 hours.

And you only need one coat of restorer to make your tarmac surfaces look as good as possible. Apply the restorer with a brush or a roller, though the product sheet really recommends using a sprayer. However, there are online reports of tarmac restorers, in general, clogging up the nozzles of sprayers.

The average coverage of the HQC Tarmac Reviver/Restorer is 6m2 per L,  but this really depends on what shape your tarmac is in. We like that this reviver/restorer comes in a variety of sizes to suit whatever job you have to do; choose from the 5L bucket, the 10L bucket and the 20L one we review here and that’s the largest available.

 Pros

  • Black acrylic-based tarmac reviver that’s a deep black colour with a mid-sheen finish.
  • Suitable for both domestic and professional tarmac spaces.
  • Needs just one application coat.
  • Apply with brush, sprayer or roller.
  • UV-resistant product to stop colour fading.
  • Comes in three choices of sizes from 5L to 20L buckets.
  • Coverage: 6m2 per L if your tarmac’s condition is good.

Our recommendation

The HQC Tarmac Reviver/Restorer has all the usual colouring and protection qualities you expect from a good tarmac restorer. Both domestic and professional tarmac surfaces are refreshed with just one coat of this product. We especially like that it comes in three different sizes (5L, 10L, and 20L) so you don’t have a lot if you only have a small project to do.


Buyer’s Guide

As we’ve said throughout this review, you really do need to need to take the time to thoroughly and properly prepare the tarmac/asphalt/concrete surface before applying the restorer. Many of the complaints about the restorer finish on the driveway staying put for only a short time may be due to insufficient or sloppy preparation.

This Buyer’s Guide covers the main preparation tasks you should do.

What does a tarmac restorer liquid do?

A tarmac restorer is an acrylic-based liquid that: restores the original colour of the tarmac. This is usually black though some of the products we review do come in other colours. It is also a sealant to prevent mildew and weeds from growing back and to resist stains from oil and other spills. Most restorers are UV resistant to prevent the colour fading.

Our Best Pick, the TarmaSeal Tarmac Restorer, also revives the old, dry tarmac by restoring resin binders back into it. Some restorers are also thick enough to fill in hairline cracks in the tarmac.

A tarmac restorer is not the same as bitumen-based tarmac paint.

What’s the best way to prepare the tarmac surface before restoring it?

Here’s what you must do (and take your time doing it properly):

Sweep the tarmac surface to remove all loose debris, including stones, litter and bits of crumbled tarmac.

Use a wire brush to remove any weeds, algae and bits of moss from the surface, especially whatever’s growing in cracks and small holes.

Use a stiff scrubbing brush and whatever cleaning fluid you need to remove as much and as many of the stains on the tarmac as you can. It’s important to remove the liquid that’s within and below the top surface of the stain, especially if it’s oil or grease, as the solvent can’t adhere to this and will eventually peel off.

If you have moss and algae you can apply a patio cleaner that you apply and leave a couple of weeks before. I have reviewed some of the best patio cleaner in this guide.

Cleaning tarmac driveway before applying a tarmac restorer

Power wash or hose down all the surface to remove all the loose things that are still on there. Let it dry thoroughly. An alternative would be to use a garden vacuum on the surface.

My Karcher K5 Pressure Washer
My Karcher K5 Pressure Washer

Don’t forget to check out my review where I reveal why I think the Karcher K5 pressure washer is the best pressure washer for most jobs.

Important: this is the last time you should use the power washer on this surface; it’s too powerful to hose down a restored tarmac surface.

Check the weather forecast. You’re looking for a dry, warm day (your restorer product will tell you the minimum and maximum temperatures needed) and a forecast of no rain for, say, a good twelve hours after you anticipate finishing applying the tarmac restorer.

Choose a small, out of sight, patch of your tarmac surface and apply a test coat. Let dry and see if everything is OK.

You can also consider trying a patio sealer but this is optional but worth considering, check out which patio sealers are the best in this guide here.


Final Conclusion

If your tarmac surfaces are old and looking tired, you don’t have to pay a professional to rip them up and start again. The products in our review of the Best Tarmac Restorers/Revivers will restore the deep black colour of the original surface while sealing and protecting the tarmac from further damage from UV-rays, harmful spillage and, sometimes, growth of weeds and algae. You provide the labour to thoroughly clean the surface and apply the one or more coats of product, plus the patience to wait at least the recommended drying times between coats and before use.

Our Best Pick is the TarmaSeal Tarmac Restorer – Black. This restorer not only restores and protects but also revives tired and cracking tarmac.

The Runner-up choice is the Polar Black Outdoor Concrete Floor and Driveway Tarmac Paint. It’s not a paint as it restores indoor and outdoor tarmac surfaces to a matt finish (black and yellow are your colour choices) and protects them with an anti-slip finish.

If you’re considering using a sprayer to apply the tarmac restorer, read our The Best Paint Sprayer & The Top 6 Models, Detailed Reviews & Comparisons for some great advice.

Perhaps now that your tarmac driveway is restored to its former glory, your garage floor looks a bit scruffy. Our 5 Best Garage Floor Paints – Heavy Duty Paint review can help you there.


Last update on 2021-11-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Welcome to my site, my name is John and I have been lucky enough to work in horticultural nurseries for over 15 years in the UK. As the founder and editor as well as researcher, I have a City & Guilds Horticultural Qualifications which I proudly display on our About us page. I now work full time on this website where I review the very best gardening products and tools and write reliable gardening guides. Behind this site is an actual real person who has worked and has experience with the types of products we review as well as years of knowledge on the topics we cover from actual experience. You can reach out to me at john@pyracantha.co.uk

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