This post was most recently updated on January 30th, 2023
Which Concrete Sealer to Use – Updated 2023
As of 2023, 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
The Best Concrete Sealers Review Video
As an article and comment contributor to the site, Scott has been around the pressure washing industry since attending college. In 1993 he started his first company called Oakland Pressure Wash specializing in exterior pressure washing, concrete sealing, and deck staining. That company evolved into OPW L.L.C. shortly thereafter concentrating more on exterior restoration. Scott and his restoration Michigan company have restored over 10,000 projects in the Metro Detroit area since the early years. He has become an authority in the restoration industry and has contributed to numerous restoration forums and informative sites.
All the products he suggests through this site are sold through online sites and in retail stores, allowing the consumer to choose their own means of purchase. Scott’s eCommerce sites do sell many top brands he endorses and if you appreciate any of the help he has offered then feel free to purchase from one of them.
Hi, I’m a new owner of 17 yr old house. On a 2nd level (above the carport), there’s a pea gravel patio likely set in resin/epoxy?? over a heavy canvass. I believe a water based sealer has been applied over the gravel surface, approx. 3 yrs ago. Given the base of the aggregate, I’m concerned about trying to strip the sealer… can I clean and then apply a product like Masonry Decorative & Stamped Concrete Sealer? Should I etch it first? Thanks
Do not etch. You should be able to use the Masonry Saver over it.
So what do they need to do since they have 2 different shades and have already sealed it
Not understanding your question and your pic needs to be a .jpg, not a .heic format.
Can you use a texture enhancer after sealing your stamped patio with diamond shine sealer
No, not possible.
Oh hi thanks for the quick response this is Mike again..these aren’t tiles with mortar or adhesive, they are plastic and snap together and are layed over the concrete.
Try Super Seal-M: https://www.concretesealerreview.com/superseal-m-concrete-water-repellent-review/
I have an elevated concrete slab patio I would like to seal. I am going to cover it with composite/plastic tiles. What would be the best sealer? I was told that solvent-based sealer May react with the backing of the tiles.
You cannot seal before installing tile. It will repel the tile adhesive or mortar.
I had a concrete patio poured last year. Since than it has cracked ins several places. I was told by another contractor this is because the contractor who did the original job did not cut in enough lines to prevent the cracks form forming. I understand all concrete cracks but there are a lot. The broom finish is horrible and the concrete did not fully bleach out so it is spotty. My idea was to grind off the broom finish and put some type of solid coating on it that would hide the small cracks but and the small imperfections… Read more »
Sorry but this is not going to work. Masking the issue will not fix the issue long term.
thank you for the response. I understand i will continue to have issues and we have taken steps to minimize them. I can not afford to RR. I would like to know what is the best outdoor product to use for an outdoor concrete patio (with and without flake) that is not slippery when wet and can take being in direct sun light in southern California?
Look at this product. It can be used for wood and concrete: https://www.gulfsynthetics.com/
I just did a 12” wood plank stamp on a slab. This will be interior concrete for an addition (covered, heated and cooled). After stamping I realized the texture is way too rough for interior. What should I use to reduce the depth of the stamp, clear epoxy?
Yes, that should work.
I have recently removed the carpet in my 1950’s home to discover the original, unsealed, concrete slab is a beautifully tented (not stained), amber color. It is in remarkably good shape with the exception of the hundreds of carpet tack holes. I am going for an industrial, distressed look in the house so I don’t mind the carpet tack marks but I need to fill them in order to avoid dust-traps. Is there a clear sealant I can apply to the whole floor that will also fill in the carpet tack holes?
Sealers do not fill in holes. You would have to fill those first and then seal.
I primed, painted and stenciled my concrete front porch using a low-luster enamel paint. What’s the better sealer to put over to protect my project?
You cannot apply a sealer over a paint. It would peel.
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?
Do you have a picture? Not sure what you mean by “slick smooth trial finish”?
Try the Super Seal-M Water Repellent.
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 »
Yes, you can strip it and start over but doubt it will make your old and new blend.
What is the best product to strip?
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
There is no way to blend new and old by using a sealer. Mixing different ratios will most likely not help.
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
The Super Seal-M would be best for a sealer: https://www.concretesealerreview.com/superseal-m-concrete-water-repellent-review/
Thank you, Greg
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
It is not possible for a top coat sealer to prevent moisture from seeping out through a concrete surface. Sealers can help prevent water from soaking in but not leeching out.
any suggestions on how to deal with this issue (we should have put down a vapor barrier, big mistake on our part)
There is no way to prevent it outside of tearing it up and fixing the underside first.
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?
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.
Try Super Seal-M.
Best sealer for exterior sides of brick chimney
Live in: MA
Sides of Brick chimney
Color/sheen: no preference
Have a valspar exterior high gloss sealer-could I use that?
You should not use Valspar here. Try Masonry Saver Brick Water Repellent.
We have new concrete walkway & deck. Which would be the best type that is not slippery
Try Masonry Saver Heavy Duty or Super Seal-M.
Rust bleed thru occurring on painted parged foundation wall. What sealer to use before painting again so rust won’t bleed again.
A sealer will not stop rust.
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?
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.
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?
It will peel if you do this. Just leave it as is.
Appreciate the advice… thanks!
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?
No photos it is fairly easy to picture in your head. One is shinier than the other. They last the same.
But doesn’t the shiny one bring out the colors and textures more? Make it a bit more vibrant?
No. Gloss level has no bearing on bringing out the colors more. That is called a “wet look” and is completely different than the gloss level.
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 »
Use Masonry Saver Brick Water Repellent to prevent water from going through the brick. Seal after.
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?
Foundation Armor is a poor sealer that turns white. Use Super Seal 25: https://www.concretesealerreview.com/superseal30-paver-and-concrete-sealer-review-2/
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.
A sealer will not prevent moisture from coming through a surface. They only work to prevent water from going into a surface. What you want to do will not work.
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?
The type of sealer to use depends on what you want to accomplish and the appearance? https://www.concretesealerreview.com/what-is-the-best-concrete-sealer/
All apply differently as well. Can be sprayed or rolled for most cases.
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
No, that is not possible. You would have to do two different sealers but in your case, you cannot use a siloxane-based sealer over concrete that is stained. It will not soak in. Just use a wet look sealer like the Super seal 26.
The sealers you mentioned are way too expensive and not that good.
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.
Try the Super Seal VOC sealer.
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.
Super Seal 30: https://www.concretesealerreview.com/superseal30-paver-and-concrete-sealer-review-2/
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
Look at this sealer: https://www.concretesealerreview.com/superseal-m-concrete-water-repellent-review/
We do not sell from this site. It is a review and help site.
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.
A sealer will not work on a fountain. Sorry.
poured concrete driveway stamped to look like wood.10 years ago red coloring added after pour. surface is now chipping and fadlng
Try the Super Seal 30: https://www.concretesealerreview.com/superseal30-paver-and-concrete-sealer-review-2/
We want to paint the pool deck with something that will make it come to life – give it some color – what do you recommend?
Sorry, but we do not work with or review paints for concrete.
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?
No shine or wet look?
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!
Look at using Masonry Saver Decorative Concrete Sealer or Surebond SB-6000.
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?
You cannot seal over paint so nothing will work over this.
What sealer do you recommend for concrete countertops? How many coats?
Sorry, but we do not have experience with sealing concrete countertops.
I have an indoor brick floor. What sealer would I use? Hopefully one with a bit go shine so it is easier to clean.
Try Masonry Saver Decorative Concrete Sealer.
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?
You cannot use a sealer like Diamond Clear on plain poured concrete. It will do exactly what happened to you. It will dry very splotchy and uneven. You cannot apply a different sealer over it. The only thing you can do is try to add more to even out the shine but this is not really suggested as it could take many coats and become slippery. The other option is to strip it all off.
could I strip it with a power washer? or a chemical?
could I strip it with a power washer? or is chemical better and what kind of stripper?
Pressure washing alone will not remove it. You need a stripper: https://www.concretesealerreview.com/how-to-strip-a-paver-sealer/
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?
Try Super Seal 30 Sealer. Pressure wash for prep. You can add in Super Grip for traction.
I am wanting to seal the concrete in my car wash, what do you suggest
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
No, but you can add a grip like Shark Grip or Super Grip into the sealer.
How long does the sheen on a newly applied sealer last?
A couple of years.
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.
Concrete Sealers will not work on tile.
Shouldn’t I try to seal the concrete surfaces?
Post a picture.
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?
Stained with what? Was it sealed previously? Post a picture if you are able.
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.
Try Super Seal 25 or Masonry Saver Paver Sealer.
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
A sealer will not work to stop this issue. Sorry but nothing will.
what type of sealer do you recommend for resealing pebble stone
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?
Sound like a cure and seal was used, not a true water repellent.
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
Never heard of it. Feel free to post a picture of the current condition.
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
Try the Super Seal 30.
Masonry walks and walls (walls are cedar in color)
Thanks for letting me know which sealants I should use.
Post a picture please.
The differences in color on the wall is just because the wall drying out from the rain. Thanks for your help.
Try the Super Seal 25 for this.
Will this work for our brick patio as well?