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How to Make a DIY Epoxy Pea Gravel Patio
For those of you who have been around for a while, you might remember me mixing pea gravel in a wheelbarrow with some epoxy and making an awesome patio on HGTV. If you’re new around here, and that sounds weird, let me explain. My clients wanted to add a patio to the front of their house. The best material (in my opinion) from a cost standpoint and for the overall design was to use pea gravel. I love pea gravel patios, but these clients had little kids and I was concerned the kiddos would make a mess of the rocks and maybe even eat them. The last thing I wanted to do was add any extra work to these busy parents’ plates. ENTER: THE PEA GRAVEL EPOXY THAT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE!
Okay okay, that might be an exaggeration, but let me tell you about this product. (Oh, and by NO MEANS is this an advertisement. I just think this project is cool and I’ve gotten SO MANY QUESTIONS about this material.) Sooooo, I was hanging out at the building supply store (this is more common than you might think for me – ha!) and I saw this random jug of material that looked cool. “What’s this?” I asked the salesperson and I was launched into the world of pea gravel epoxy. Basically, this is a clear glue of sorts that holds the pea gravel in place, while still giving the natural and “imperfect” look of pea gravel. The cool thing is, the material is porous, so water seeps through it and doesn’t pool on top. Why is this important? Drainage, my friends. If water just sits on top, you have to do all sorts of things you’d never think of like installing drains, adding a slope so the water runs to those drains and I don’t know about you, but to me that sounds like a lot of work.
This material is great if you’re making a full patio, or are just trying to add pea gravel in between pads of concrete on your driveway or patio. You know those pesky rocks that always get kicked out of their place? This is the solution! So without further adieu, here are the steps:
How to Make a DIY Epoxy Pea Gravel Patio
What You’ll Need
- Gravel-Lok DIY Stone Bonding Kit (or similar)
- Bucket or Wheelbarrow for mixing (if you didn’t buy the same kit as me)
- Level (if you’re making a patio)
Wash your gravel. If you bought bulk gravel, you won’t believe how dirty it is! Run water over the gravel and strain until the water runs clear. Don’t move on to the next step until your gravel is DRY. Speaking of dry, you’ll want to install this epoxy in the morning, on a day that isn’t windy, and where there’s lots of sun for it to dry. Follow the package instructions to make sure the outside temperature is okay.
Prep your patio or area between concrete pads. If you’re building a patio, you’ll want to follow proper instructions for building a pea gravel patio, just hold off on adding the actual pea gravel for now. If you’re filling driveway or patio creases, remove all existing gravel and wash it before putting it back in place with epoxy.
Get ready to be on the clock! The tough thing about epoxy is once you mix it, you’re on the clock. So have everything ready, have some extra helping hands, and then pull the trigger on the epoxy! Mix the solution per the manufacturer’s instructions and then add to your clear dry pea gravel in a bucket or wheelbarrow. Mix until coated (to me this felt like a giant batch of rice crispy treats!) and once completely coated, you’re ready to install.
Transfer to your prepped opening. If you’re making a patio, start to fill your form and level. If you’re filling a driveway or patio with concrete pads, fill in between the openings and smooth. Be careful not to get epoxy on your concrete as it will stain it. Once the entire area you’re filling is full and level, follow package instructions to make sure it’s dry before using.
And as always, reach out to your local building supply or garden center for additional help and with specific questions. And if this is too much to DIY (trust me, I get it!) try calling a landscape installation company to see if they can help you. GOOD LUCK, FRIENDS!