How to Tar and Chip Driveway: A Comprehensive Guide for a Smooth and Durable Surface

Greetings, Reader! Are you tired of your dull and cracked driveway? Looking for a cost-effective solution to enhance the curb appeal of your home? Look no further! In this guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of tar and chip driveway paving, a popular choice for its affordability and longevity.

how to tar and chip driveway

When it comes to creating a smooth and durable surface for your driveway, tar and chip paving is an excellent alternative to traditional asphalt or concrete. Not only does it give your property a rustic and unique look, but it also offers long-lasting benefits without breaking the bank.

Are you ready to transform your driveway into a work of art? Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty details of how to tar and chip your driveway for a beautiful and lasting outcome.

1. Preparing Your Driveway for Tar and Chip Paving

Gather the Necessary Tools and Materials

Before embarking on your driveway transformation journey, it’s essential to gather all the necessary tools and materials. You will need:

  • A broom
  • A pressure washer or garden hose
  • A hand tamper or plate compactor
  • A rake
  • A tar and chip sealer
  • Paving stones or gravel chips

Ensure that you have all these items readily available before starting the project to streamline the process and save time.

Clear the Area and Prep the Surface

The first step before applying the tar and chip coating is to clean and clear the driveway surface. Remove any loose debris, dirt, or dust from the area. A broom or a pressure washer can be used for this purpose.

Next, inspect the driveway for any cracks or potholes, and fill them in with suitable filler materials. Use a hand tamper or a plate compactor to level the surface and create a solid foundation for the tar and chip layer.

Rake the area to ensure an even surface and remove any excess debris left after compacting the driveway. A clean and smooth base will yield better results and improve the adhesion of the tar and chip mixture.

2. Applying the Tar and Chip Coating

Prepare the Tar and Chip Sealer

The tar and chip sealer acts as the bonding agent that holds the paving stones or gravel chips together. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to prepare the sealer mix, ensuring the proper ratio of materials.

For optimal results, it is recommended to choose a high-quality sealer that suits the specific needs of your driveway. Consult with an expert or a reputable supplier to select the most suitable product for your project.

Spread the Tar and Chip Mixture

Using a long-handled squeegee or a sprayer, apply a thin layer of tar and chip sealer evenly throughout the entire driveway surface. Work in small sections to control the application process and prevent the mixture from drying out too quickly.

Once the sealer is applied, carefully sprinkle the desired paving stones or gravel chips over the wet surface. Use a rake or broom to evenly distribute the material across the driveway, ensuring complete coverage.

Continue this process section by section until the entire surface is covered, and the driveway takes on the desired appearance. Take your time and pay attention to detail to achieve a beautiful and uniform finish.

3. Finishing Touches and Maintenance

Allow the Surface to Cure and Settle

After completing the tar and chip application, allow the driveway surface to cure and settle. Depending on the weather conditions, this process may take a few days. It is essential to restrict vehicle traffic during this period to ensure the longevity of the coating.

Once the surface has fully cured, inspect it for any uneven areas or loose chips. Gently sweep and remove any loose debris to achieve a clean and polished finish.

Maintain and Extend the Lifespan of Your Driveway

To extend the lifespan of your tar and chip driveway and keep it in pristine condition, regular maintenance is necessary. Here are a few tips to help you maintain its beauty:

  • Sweep the surface regularly to remove debris and prevent it from scratching the tar and chip coating.
  • Perform periodic inspections and repair any cracks or damaged areas promptly.
  • Apply a fresh layer of tar and chip sealer every few years to maintain its integrity and protect against natural elements.
  • Avoid using harsh chemicals or sharp-edged snow removal equipment on the surface.

By following these simple maintenance steps, you can enjoy a smooth and attractive tar and chip driveway for years to come.


Congratulations, Reader, on completing this comprehensive guide on how to tar and chip driveway! By following the steps outlined here, you have acquired the knowledge and skills needed to revamp your driveway with a durable and appealing tar and chip surface.

If you found this article helpful, don’t forget to explore other informative pieces on our website to further enhance your home and garden projects. Stay tuned for more exciting tips and tricks that will turn your house into a dream home!

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