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The UK’s Best Tarmac Restorer in 2024 – Restore Drive Colour

This is our review of the best Tarmac restorer in 2024

Tarmac is one of the most popular choices for driveways and car parks and it’s not difficult to see why – it’s tough, resilient and doesn’t show dirt or stains easily.

But even the hardest surface can start to look a little tired over time, and that’s where a tarmac restorer comes in. In this blog post, we’ll run through what to look for in products for restoring tarmacadam and how to use them.

With over 15 years of landscaping experience, we’ve learned a thing or two about protecting all kinds of asphalt installations.

Whether it’s a well-used drive, outdoor pathway, or even tennis courts, all asphalt surfaces require some form of protection to minimise the effects of weathering and everyday use, which is where a good tarmac restorer comes in handy.

Some installations will need a quick-drying sealer; others will prioritise UV protection as they’re permanently exposed to direct sunlight. Whatever the case is for your specific outdoor area, we’re sure that you’ll find the perfect sealer and restorer somewhere in our carefully curated guide!

In this post, we will be reviewing 

Keep reading to see the best products for tarmac and asphalt on the market in 2024 and what they can do for your driveway. Stay tuned!

Our Best Tarmac Restorers

We’ve scoured the market to find the best priced and most effective tarmac restorer products that can revive even the most weathered surfaces to their original vibrancy.

Whether you’re searching for quick drying sealers, colour revivers or products that provide the most protection to your tarmac and asphalt surfaces, we’re sure that the right product for you will be covered in this guide!

So, what is the best tarmac restorer? Let’s dive in!

#1. Tarmaseal Tarmac Restorer 

Straight up, we think Smartseal’s product is the best tarmac restorer on the market. If you’d seen what we’ve seen this stuff do, you’d stop searching for a quality tarmac restorer now.

Firstly it’s a bitumen-based paint and solvent-free, which means it’s good for the environment. Big tick. It’s a breeze to use; you just need no rain within 6-8 hours of starting the sealing.

It’s a two coats system, which is another good point. With sealers, a second coat nearly always increases performance.

There are tons of before and afters across the internet of Tarmaseal tarmac restorer in action. Some of the surfaces it restores are hard to believe. One we saw was 26 years old, and there it was, back to virtually new again.

Tarmaseal Tarmac Restorer

77% of the ratings from users are five stars. We trawled through, and “it looks like new’ and “great product” were the typical answers. It’s not cheap stuff, but nor should it be really for the results it delivers.

A 20-litre drum will cover 40 -60 sq/m. Once finished, your driveway will be restored; colour enhanced and protected going forward.


#2. Black Paintmaster Heavy Duty Tarmac Paint

One aspect of restoring tarmac we’ve always found tricky is finding a good quality paint that can stick properly to badly weathered driveways. Operating in Britain, this is a common occurrence, so often we rely on Paint Master’s heavy-duty sealer to get the job done.  

This water-based product has a specially designed formula that penetrates deep into the surface, even if it is weathered and littered with small cracks and holes.

Black Paintmaster Heavy Duty Tarmac Paint

Because of this, we’ve seen driveways with only one coat of this tarmac restorer effectively resist damage from freezing temperatures and bad weather conditions for as long as 2-3 years.

As an added bonus, this paint’s UV-resistant qualities help protect driveways from fading when exposed to direct sunlight, retaining that strong black colour of fresh tarmac, good stuff! 


#3. HQC Tarmac Reviver/Restorer

We’ve often found that oil-based paints and sealers provide the most noticeable colour restoration properties, and this HQC tarmac restorer certainly illustrates the point well.

When applied to a grey and sun-bleached drive, we’ve found that a thick first coat of this product will instantly rejuvenate the surface in a rich, black matt finish.

Two coats will further enhance the matt veneer, working wonders to minimise the risk of ice and standing water from becoming dangerous slip hazards.  

HQC Tarmac Reviver/Restorer

Online reviews indicate that this tarmac reviver offers excellent coverage, and is surprisingly easy to apply, which aligns with our experiences when using it on an average-sized (30sqm) driveway.

One 20L drum should do you for a surface of this size, and thanks to its curing time of around 4-5 hours, your drive can be sealed, dried and walkable on the same day.     


#4. Thompson’s TDSB5L Drive Seal

We’ve all felt the frustration of realising your worn-out tarmac needs a new seal, but you don’t have the time to wait for it to cure between daily errands and busy schedules.

Whenever we’ve been faced with a short window of opportunity, two coats of Thompson’s Drive Seal has produced the goods.  

Thompson's TDSB5L Drive Seal Black 5 Litre

Thanks to its easy pourable formula, just give it a quick stir with a broom handle before you begin; this acrylic-based tarmac restorer takes no time to cover your drive. And, In our experience, an asphalt surface coated in this product can be ready to withstand vehicles in just 4 hours.

We’ve seen a 5L tub of this stuff produce an average coverage of around 10sqm, but as an insider tip, we recommend buying an extra tub for any future re-coats, as acrylic sealers can be safely stored for about 1-2 years.


#5. Everbuild Tarmac Restorer

If we were to count on our hands the number of stained and grubby drives that we’ve been called to restore, we’d quickly run out of fingers. Ideally, we’d like to clean and prepare every driveway fully, but some staining and damage is too much to remove by cleaning alone! 

For these types of jobs, on tarmac drives that have seen heavy use from foot traffic and vehicles, we’ve found that Everbuild tarmac restorer does a great job at eliminating any visible stains and, more often than not, leaves the original surface looking brand new.

In our experience, it’s best to leave this driveway sealer to fully cure for at least 24 hours before allowing anything on the surface.

Everbuild Tarmac Restorer

But, if you’ve successfully covered all the nooks and crannies, you’ll be good to go for at least three years before re-coating.

Everbuild get excellent customer reviews and this tarmac sealer is no exception.


#6. DRIVE ALIVE TARMAC RESTORER

We’ll be honest with you, we’ve found that this tarmac restorer is a little time-consuming to apply, but once you get past its thick consistency, it does produce a very impressive coat of deep black paint.

We particularly like that this product is entirely solvent-free, so we’ve used it to great effect around greenery or in projects with clients with pets and children that may be running around! 

DRIVE ALIVE TARMAC RESTORER STEP 3-4L

We’ve seen this product do very well at resisting weed growth and other organic nuances when applied to a tarmac surface that has had previous problems with this sort of thing.

It can be safely stored for up to 12 months, so it’s great to have on hand if any small holes or patches begin to pop up on your drive; just grab a brush or a roller and you’re good to go.


#7. Polar Black Tarmac Reviver

If we’re ever asked to provide a matt look finish to a tarmac surface, Polar tarmac restorer is what we reach for. An excellent product for both indoor and outdoor use, we’ve found its non-slip veneer to set almost like blackboard paint.  

We really like the pourable consistency of this product and have found it incredibly easy to use on both tarmac driveways and sports surfaces like tennis courts.

Polar Black Tarmac Paint

Speaking of which, this product comes in a yellow variety as well, so we’ve often used this product to mark the lines and boundaries in and around our installations.  

We’ve found that 5 litres of this tarmac restorer will cover around 35sqm, making it a super simple way to revive and protect your average-sized driveway.  


How To Choose a Good Tarmac Restorer

a tray with blue paint and a roller sat on the floor

Sealers designed for a tarmac driveway

Not all sealers are designed for sealing tarmac driveway surfaces; in fact, most available options will not be. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for the product’s recommended uses and look for a sealer specifically designed to protect tarmac and asphalt.

Consider the most likely sources of damage and weathering that might affect your particular installation, and look for a sealer that can offer the right kind of protection for your needs.

It has to be UV resistant.

Most driveways will be exposed to an awful lot of sun throughout their lifetimes, but it’s not only the heat from sun exposure that can pose a threat to your driveway tarmac.

The powerful UV rays emitted by the sun can begin to break down the structure of both tarmac and asphalt, leaving the surface vulnerable to damage and staining.

Look for a sealant for tarmac driveways that can provide UV protection and help to restore any previous damage or loss of colour that the surface may have previously experienced.

Look for ease of use.

Depending on the size of your driveway, applying a sealer or tarmac restorer can be pretty strenuous work! We recommend searching for a product that provides even coverage and can be easily applied using a roller or specialist spraying unit.

Try checking any available online reviews of the products that seem to fit your bill; reliable experiences of other customers may save you both time and money in the long run!

This short video from Smartseal shows how to apply tarmac restorer

How long can it be stored?

Although a good quality sealer or tarmac restorer will provide long-lasting protection for anywhere up to 5 years, well-used drives and outdoor walkways may experience unforeseen damage or have areas not appropriately coated during the original seal.

Choosing a sealer with a long shelf life will allow you to keep hold of the correct product to apply at a later date, should any worn areas pop up during the sealer’s expected lifetime.

The Benefits of Tarmac Restorers

entrance to someones home with a tarmac drive

Restores tired tarmac surfaces

If your drive or outside area looks a little weathered and worn, a coat or two of tarmac restorer can be the simplest way to revive the material and bring it back to its vibrant, natural colour.

Replacing an entire area can be incredibly expensive and laborious work; a simple coating of an appropriate tarmac sealer can be the most cost-effective way of restoring your driveway and prolonging its life.

Acts like tarmac paint to enhance the original colour

The sealant formula in many paints is specifically designed to protect your driveway, enhance the material’s natural colours, and bring back the vibrancy of a weathered surface.

The best tarmac restorer will replace the resins that your surface will naturally lose over time and result in a drive that looks brand new for longer and actively resists common stains and damage from weathering and everyday use.

Delays further deterioration

Driveway tarmac and outdoor surfaces see an awful lot of wear and exposure to the elements over their lifetimes. Even the most durable and robust materials are bound to experience visible weathering and damage as they’re exposed to traffic, sun exposure, frosty conditions and general wear.

Providing your outdoor space with a layer of deep penetrating sealer will act as a highly functional form of protection against any outside force that would otherwise be able to work its way into the cracks and crevices of the material.

Prevents slips and falls

Choosing a tarmac restorer that sets in a matt veneer can help prevent your outdoor area from becoming slick and dangerous after rainfall, frost or experiencing oil spillages and stains.

If your drive or outdoor pathway is on a slope, then slick surfaces can pose a real and dangerous threat. A textured matt veneer will help to provide added traction and grip to prevent any nasty slips and falls that you may otherwise experience.

FAQ’s

Can You Paint Tarmac?

In short, yes, you can provided that you use a paint specifically designed for the purpose. Using a tarmac restorer and paint product can both revitalise the appearance of your drive or other surfaces and protect it from further damage.

Choose a product that provides a deep penetrating seal and can replace the resins that your surface may have lost over time.

A sealer with a long shelf life is always a good option, as you’ll be free to top up the seal easily should any areas look particularly worn.

Why Is My Tarmac Going Brown?

The brown staining that can sometimes appear on asphalt is usually a result of water seeping into the material. This staining should dissipate if the area is left to dry, but applying a sealant and tarmac restorer is recommended to protect the area from further damage and fully treat any discolouration.

Why Does Moss Grow on Tarmac?

Moss spores are microscopic and notoriously hard to remove, and the cracks and crevices on your drive are the perfect spots for moss to latch onto and grow. The most effective way to treat this issue is to prevent the spores from attaching themselves by sealing the area.

Use a large brush to sweep your drive before applying a drive sealer; this way, no spores or seeds will be present beneath the seal.

If you need to use a chemical, then check out these moss killer reviews.

Does Pressure Washing Damage Tarmac?

Pressure washing can be a particularly destructive cleaning method on just about any kind of outdoor material, but sometimes a tricky stain or patch of moss will need a little more than elbow grease to remove.

If you are set on using a pressure washer, use a lower pressure setting and angle the hose at a 45-degree gradient; this will minimise the likelihood of causing any damage and help protect your drive from the high-pressure jet.

Last Word 

a brush sweeping oil

In conclusion, we have looked at the best tarmac restorers on the market and how to choose the right one for your needs. We have also considered some things that can damage tarmac surfaces and seen how using a good tarmac restorer can save you money in the long run.

So there you have it – everything you need to know about choosing and using the best tarmac drive restorer!