Concrete Surfaces and Which Sealer to Use in 2022  4.6/5 (9)

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This post was most recently updated on January 19th, 2022

Which Concrete Sealer to Use – Updated 2022

As of 2022, we remain a go-to source for information on Concrete Surfaces and Which Sealer to Use. See below for a guide on Concrete Surfaces and Which Sealer to Use. If you have any questions as to the best type of concrete sealer for your project, please ask below in our Q&A area. We are here to help!


Different Concrete Surfaces and Best Sealer to Use

Decorative Concrete–This is any concrete surface that is not simply a means of construction, but that is also altered to enhance its beauty. While still serving as an integral part of the building process such as floors, walls, driveways, or patios the concrete is also transformed into a decorative piece. The altering of concrete to enhance its beauty is accomplished through a number of procedures such as stamping, acid staining, polishing, coloring, overlaying, and more.

Sealer Type to use: Use a sealer that enhances the color tones with a wet look. Typically, these are Acrylic sealers in either water or solvent-based. If solvent, use a “styrene” acrylic to allow moisture to escape. These come in a Gloss, Semi-Gloss, Satin, and No Gloss.

Stamped Concrete–Concrete that is altered to look like another material such as brick, stone, slate, flagstone, tile, and wood. To achieve this look, the concrete is normally patterned, textured, or embossed. In addition, a base color is used along with an accent color. Stamped concrete is generally used for driveways, patios, sidewalks, pool decks, and flooring.

Sealer Type to use: Use a sealer that enhances the color tones with a wet look. Acrylic-based solvent-based are best, but there are some good water-based versions on the market. If solvent, use a “styrene” acrylic to allow moisture to escape. These come in a Gloss, Semi-Gloss, Satin, and No Gloss. Sand grip can be added to increase the traction if needed.

Stamped Concrete Sealer Photos

Acid Stains–Acid stains on concrete is not a paint or coating, but rather a coloring process that involves a chemical reaction. Acids and salts react with the concrete minerals to create a color change. Acid stain can be used to enhance both interior and exterior concrete surfaces. Once the color change has occurred, the surface can be sealed to protect the finish.

Sealer Type to use: Wet look with a Gloss sheen is most common. Solvent “styrene” or water-based Acrylics. If indoors, you can maintain acid stains with a high-grade concrete floor wax as needed. Grip traction can be added if needed.

Pavers–Concrete brick pavers, more commonly known as “pavers” are a special dry mix of pre-cast concrete that is designed to interlock. Pavers are generally used in exterior hardscape applications. The interlocking pavers are installed on a compacted bed of sand. Sand is also used to create joints much like mortar joints in brickwork. A paver sealer can be applied to lock in the sand joints and harden the entire structure.

Sealer Type to use: Wet Look with or without a gloss shine. No wet look (no change in appearance) is okay as well. Acrylic-based in either water or solvent-based. If solvent, use a “styrene” acrylic to allow moisture to escape. These come in a Gloss, Semi-Gloss, Satin, and No Gloss. Many of the sealers will also harden or stabilize the joint sand to prevent erosion.

Brick Paver Sealer Photos

Exposed Aggregate–This is a type of concrete finish achieved by increasing the amount of aggregate (stone) in the concrete mix before it is poured. Once partially set, a surface retarder is sprayed on. This allows the concrete underneath to harden, but not the surface. Once the underneath concrete is hardened, the top layer of concrete is washed away, exposing the internal aggregates of the concrete mix. Exposed aggregate hides stains, cracks, and overall weathering much better than regular concrete due to the busyness of the appearance. Yet exposed aggregate is a very aesthetically pleasing finish. Older exposed aggregate surfaces can look just as good as the day they were poured.

Sealer Type to use: Acrylic solvent or water-based with a glossy shine is the most popular. Tints (usually brown) can be added to enhance the appearance even more.

Poured Concrete – A composite mix of cement and other materials like fly ash, slag, limestone, water, and chemicals. It is mixed to meet the needs of a desired concrete slab or other surfaces. It is typically brought in and poured using a cement truck. Concrete can take on many shapes, sizes, and functionalities depending on the job. Forms are set to help the concrete take its shape while a sub-base of granular fill or road base is used. Once poured, the concrete surface is smoothed, leveled, and finished to the desired look. Poured concrete is most commonly used for driveways, sidewalks, patios, pool decks, foundations, and retaining walls.

Sealer Type to use: Penetrating Sealers and Water Repellents that do not change the appearance with a shine enhancement are best. Siloxane or silane-based sealers. These vary in performance but a good quality sealer will last 5-7 years. The Siloxane will chemically react with the alkali in the concrete, creating an internal barrier to water and stains.

Penetrating Concrete Sealer Photos

Brick Walls–Brick walls are constructed using bricks and mortar. This type of brick wall construction is commonly referred to as masonry construction. The bricks are normally made of concrete, ceramic, or calcium silicate. Bricks are coated with a cement mix called mortar and stacked on top of one another in layers to create a wall or some other type of building structure. Brick walls can be used for the construction of entire buildings or houses. They are also commonly used for chimney construction, foundations, and more.

Sealer Type to use: Similar to poured concrete in that you would want a penetrating sealer that does not change the appearance. Typically, the higher the concentration of Siloxane as bricks can be very porous. The Siloxane will chemically react with the alkali in the concrete, creating an internal barrier to water and stains.

Questions on your Surface and What to Use? Please ask Below


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Tony C
Tony C
8 days ago

I’ve got a brand new (3 weeks old) 30ft x 30ft concrete pad with a slick smooth trial finish for a metal garage that I’m having put up. What is the best thing to seal it with and do I have to prep it with anything first?

Tony C
Tony C
6 days ago

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Tony C
Tony C
6 days ago

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Tony C
Tony C
6 days ago

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Tony C
Tony C
6 days ago

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Robert Taylor
Robert Taylor
1 month ago

We have just replaced and widened 2 sections of a 20-year-old Exposed Aggregate sidewalk. Very aware when started this project that the new would not be a complete match to old portion of sidewalk. However, it’s a bigger contrast than expected. Contractor power washed old when he did new section and resealed entire sidewalk. The old is far lighter than the new, even by doing this step. Old portion had 20 years of afternoon sun exposure.   Can we strip new sealer off old portion of sidewalk and re seal with the Super Seal 30 with brown tint? Will this… Read more »

Robert Taylor
Robert Taylor
1 month ago

What is the best product to strip?

Robert Taylor
Robert Taylor
1 month ago

If we wanted to try, what stripper do we use to remove the new sealer just applied and can the clear and tinted be mixed to different ratios to experiment on degree of coloring? thank you

Greg LLeo
Greg LLeo
1 month ago

Driveway installed 2020, late 2021 and thru March 2022 a car parked in the driveway. Salt from the car has melted/dropped on the driveway. We now have salt damage in that area, pot marks, anywhere from a quarter to dollar bill size, I’ll repair the damage. Is there a sealer that I can spray on the driveway to stop or slow down the salt damage. ? Thanks

Greg LLeo
Greg LLeo
1 month ago

Thank you, Greg

Wil Nas
Wil Nas
4 months ago

can i seal a garage slab that is wicking moisture (uninsulated space, and slab has not vapor barrier)? or will vapor continue to wick and warp destroy the slab once sealer above

Wil Nas
Wil Nas
4 months ago

any suggestions on how to deal with this issue (we should have put down a vapor barrier, big mistake on our part)

Wil Nas
Wil Nas
4 months ago

Thank you…do you know an expert on this regarding dew / frost etc for uninsulated space, for example, can I vent the space more and it will help?

Jodie Garland
Jodie Garland
5 months ago

I live in Arizona. We have a 60 X 40 shop with a 20 X 60 lean too. The concrete has high and low spots. It was poured about 6 months ago. There was no sealiant or anything put on it. What do I need to put on it to protect and seal this. It will have vehicles such as tractors, equipment and trucks on it. It is just straight concrete with a smooth finish. It also has some cracking in it.

Pam
Pam
6 months ago

Best sealer for exterior sides of brick chimney
Live in: MA
Exterior surface
Sides of Brick chimney
Color/sheen: no preference
Have a valspar exterior high gloss sealer-could I use that?
Thanks

steve Ocean
steve Ocean
6 months ago

We have new concrete walkway & deck. Which would be the best type that is not slippery

Jerry ORourk
Jerry ORourk
6 months ago

Rust bleed thru occurring on painted parged foundation wall. What sealer to use before painting again so rust won’t bleed again.

Rachael E.
Rachael E.
7 months ago

We recently got a lot of concrete poured for a front and back patio and a walkway. We live in Colorado where the temperatures and weather conditions can vary from hour to hour and day to day. All areas experience a ton of sun exposure. Our concrete has a very rough brush finish which I am worried will allow the incoming winter weather to deteriorate the concrete even faster (we will NOT be using salt on any of these surfaces and plan to keep up on the snow shoveling). What brand of sealant would you recommend?

Thanks!

Justin
Justin
7 months ago

I have exposed aggregate that was poured and I’m sure sealed maybe 20 years ago. It looks just like pea gravel almost sitting on top of the concrete. What sealer do you recommend that will give me a new shiny sealed look? As I would be doing serval thousand sq ft.

Daniel Hoang
Daniel Hoang
7 months ago

We just put down two coats of H&C COLORTOP Solvent-Based Solid Color Concrete Sealer on our patio. We would like to put on a glossy clear coat on top of this. What product is best suited for this?

Daniel Hoang
Daniel Hoang
7 months ago

Appreciate the advice… thanks!

Marissa
Marissa
7 months ago

We’re having a hard time choosing between a matte finish and a wet/gloss finish sealant for a new stamped concrete driveway. Are there some good photos somewhere that show the two side by side? We’re outside Washington DC—is there a benefit to one over the other?

Last edited 7 months ago by Marissa
Marissa
Marissa
7 months ago

But doesn’t the shiny one bring out the colors and textures more? Make it a bit more vibrant?

Heidi
Heidi
7 months ago

Help! My 60 year old house in Wisconsin, has a half brick wall where the garage is. It has leaked for 20 years. I took apart the walls inside and the studs are rotted where the brick meets the poured concrete wall. The brick needs some tuck pointing. I did a spray test and it seems to leak through the brick in some areas where the tuck pointing is okay. Will a sealer help with that? And do I seal it first or have it tuck pointed. I discovered there is no flashing under the windows either. Yikes! I want… Read more »

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David Nelson
David Nelson
1 year ago

Several years ago I applied Scofield Cementon clear acrylic concrete sealer over stamped concrete. Can I now use Foundation Armor AR500 solvent base sealer. If not what do you recommend?

Richard Preston
Richard Preston
1 year ago

We have an older house with a damp basement. I have removed most of the parging which had separated from the concrete wall surface. The surface of the actual poured walls is very rough and i would like to seal it to help prevent moisture from entering. We cannot afford to excavate the perimeter of the house so I am looking for a different solution.
i assume i would need to chisel the rest of the parging off first.
we do not have any cracks in the walls.

lil
lil
1 year ago

What is best type of sealer to use for both poured concrete and paver? How do you apply sealer if you don’t have equipment to sptay the sealer?

joe
joe
1 year ago

is there a siloxane based product that gives a “wet” look or semi gloss, I am staining a pool deck in Detroit and want to seal it with something that will enhance the colors but still get that deep penetrating barrier. I am looking at ArmorSX5000 but the finish seems to me matte, or Siloxa-tek-8510 but it is way expensive and I am not sure what the finish is going to be like with the stains

Tim O'Leary
Tim O'Leary
1 year ago

Looking for the best sealer for stamped concrete in the Northeast, Upstate NY to be exact. I have issues with spotting and dusting after every winter.

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Joe
Joe
1 year ago

What is the best type of sealer to use if I have a salt water pool with pavers? I prefer a solvent based high gloss.

Rich Hallberg
Rich Hallberg
1 year ago

Need a sealer for 53 precast concrete steps for our condominium complex to keep salt from eroding them. Want do you recommend and do you have bulk discounts? Thanks

AARON RYE
AARON RYE
1 year ago

I purchased a 3 tier, 6 ft tall, cement fountain and live in Florida. What would you recommend I seal or protect it with?
it is a “buff” color pigment added to it
I believe I would want a solvent or oil based product that is either gloss or semi-gloss.

I would like to get it completed fairly quickly as the rain season is beginning now.

thanks,
Aaron

leonard page
leonard page
1 year ago

poured concrete driveway stamped to look like wood.10 years ago red coloring added after pour. surface is now chipping and fadlng

Charles Hanson
Charles Hanson
1 year ago

We want to paint the pool deck with something that will make it come to life – give it some color – what do you recommend?

Ann
Ann
2 years ago

We want to seal our concrete foundation recently poured – our intention is to have a low gloss unstained concrete floor on the interior of our new home. What sealer do you recommend?

Ann
Ann
2 years ago

No shine. It does not have to be absolutely matte but not looking for gloss. Perhaps “wet look” sealer without actually polishing the concrete does not result in a high degree of shine?? Forgive me for answering your question with a question!

Ann
Ann
2 years ago

Thanks!

Stuart
Stuart
2 years ago

I have cast discs (2″ thick by 12″ diameter) from mortar mix for a “Human Sundial”. The numbers of the hours are recessed into the disc’s surface and painted with oil based paint. the discs are set into the ground so their surface is flush with the ground. I find the discs do not absorb water at all readily.

What sealant will work on these discs?

Robert
Robert
2 years ago

What sealer do you recommend for concrete countertops? How many coats?

Linda Boden
Linda Boden
2 years ago

I have an indoor brick floor. What sealer would I use? Hopefully one with a bit go shine so it is easier to clean.

B Murphy
B Murphy
2 years ago

Have a newly poured concrete garage floor, was told Diamond Clear was applied by contractor,however
floor is very blotchy looks dull,feels rough,not shiny,other spots are shiny.What product could I reapply?

B Murphy
B Murphy
2 years ago

could I strip it with a power washer? or a chemical?

B Murphy
B Murphy
2 years ago

could I strip it with a power washer? or is chemical better and what kind of stripper?

B Murphy
B Murphy
2 years ago

Thank you

Bruce F Bennett
Bruce F Bennett
2 years ago

I have a colored stamped concrete around pool. What sealer should I use? I will also need to add some grip. What cleaner do you suggest before I seal?

Tom Johnson
Tom Johnson
2 years ago

I am wanting to seal the concrete in my car wash, what do you suggest

Pete Johnson
Pete Johnson
2 years ago

i have poured colored concrete have used
gloss clear but have found it gives slippery as frozen pig snot
Can glass beads be added our apply in top

Tiffany Sweitzer
Tiffany Sweitzer
2 years ago

How long does the sheen on a newly applied sealer last?

Roslyn Dobrick
Roslyn Dobrick
3 years ago

What type of sealer should I use on a concrete table and bench seats that get full sun exposure in Arizona where temps in the summer reach 120? The top surface of these have ceramic mosaic tile inlaid.

Roslyn Dobrick
Roslyn Dobrick
3 years ago

Shouldn’t I try to seal the concrete surfaces?

Rick Barrett
Rick Barrett
3 years ago

What type of sealer can I use to leave a wet look on a previously stained driveway? Is there anything I can add to it to make it not slippery?

Dennis Hartwig
Dennis Hartwig
3 years ago

We recently had 30mm traverstone pavers applied over old concrete patio which had a sand base added to the old concrete. We are looking for the best sealer to use to protect this type of paver as well as one that will help solidify the sand in the joints. Our location is in southern Florida.

John green
John green
3 years ago

I live on Florida gulf coast. My garage sometimes gets flooded with sea water. The home is 40+ years old..even without flooding a white powdery substance comes up through the concrete and it needs to be swept every few weeks. I tried paint for concrete. Cleaned it with muriaticacid first followed by the recommended sealer. The powder is lifting the paint now , very little painted area remains. Do you have a suggestion about trying concrete sealers? It is a poured slab

Leon Robison
Leon Robison
3 years ago

what type of sealer do you recommend for resealing pebble stone

Don
Don
3 years ago

I observed a neighbor having his concrete driveway sealed by a drive around crew. It looked like they just used Portland cement and water thinly. They applied by pouring then brushing it out. It dried in a couple of hours and is kind of faded white in color. Does this sound Levite?

Karen Krupa
Karen Krupa
3 years ago

I live in Northeast PA and have stamped concrete around my pool and patio. The concrete is about 10 years old and in decent condition (color is faded Tan with Gray accent). I have used L.M. Scofield Cementone to seal my concrete the last couple of times based on recommendation of the company that placed the patio and decking. Is this a good product or should I be using another product. Thanks

Richard Berlanti
Richard Berlanti
3 years ago

I have an exposed aggregate pad in an RV Motorcoach Resort. I am getting it pressure washed and want to know what is the best sealer type to use? Some of the original small rock material is beginning to de-lamintae – I want to use a product that will not harm the exposed aggregate in any way…Thanks

Juliette Myers
Juliette Myers
3 years ago

Northern Virginia
Masonry walks and walls (walls are cedar in color)
Brick patio

Thanks for letting me know which sealants I should use.

Juliette Myers
Juliette Myers
3 years ago

The differences in color on the wall is just because the wall drying out from the rain. Thanks for your help.

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Juliette Myers
Juliette Myers
3 years ago

Thanks!

Juliette Myers
Juliette Myers
3 years ago

Will this work for our brick patio as well?

kpbailey
kpbailey
3 years ago

I have a patterned concrete path which laid. On top of the concrete there was a white’mixture spread all over and then tape was appliedto create a pattern of squares. Then a spray of some colour was sprayed all over. When dry the tape was removed and the the surface was sealed. I do not know what sealer was used. Which sealer should I use now that the pathway needs resealing. I would appreciate your advice

John
John
3 years ago

I live in Southwest Washington state (Vancouver) and have quite a bit of rain. I want to seal my concrete parking pad and small portion of the entry way. What is best to use?

CMD
CMD
4 years ago

What sealer would be appropriate after repairing a concrete woutdoor fountain that is subject to freezing in western Washington state? Thanks.

Bill Devens
Bill Devens
5 years ago

I have concrete paver patios, previously sealed 3 years ago, probably solvent based. The color is fading and the joints need to be re-stabilized. Can I put a water based joint stabilizer over the existing sealer? Do I need to do any special prep besides basic cleaning?

Vince
Vince
6 years ago

Just had a poured concrete patio and walkway. Would like to maybe make the patio a different color and was wondering what you would suggest? Acid stain or a massonary stain such as something Home Depot. I know there are paints put this is defiantly not wanting to paint it's. Then we could seal it with something like a super sealer or that sealer M I see mentioned here- live in Boston MA so the weather is terrible. Thanks so much. Would not even mind a stain that after 2-3 we could change colors if not happy and not a… Read more »

Darlene
Darlene
6 years ago

What product do i use to seal a basement floor?

Budman
Budman
7 years ago

I need a sealer for a courtyard previously sealed with water based material over acid based stain.
Please Help.

Tom
Tom
7 years ago

New hand packed concrete deck over garage. It was broomed finished. I would like advice on a horizontal concrete sealer and stain. Only need a gallon's worth.

Bret
Bret
7 years ago

Best sealer for Stained concrete with exposed aggregate Patio?

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