This post was most recently updated on April 29th, 2023
Stamped Concrete Sealer Stripper
Stamped concrete sealers will alter the appearance by giving a wet look and or shine.
Unfortunately, Stamped Concrete Sealers sometimes fail by discoloring and turning milky white or yellow in color and will need to be chemically stripped to fix.
The main ingredient of a Stamped Concrete Sealer Stripper, Methylene Chloride has now been banned for consumer use in the US. The good news is that there are other options that will work. The main difference is a longer dwell time to activate.
Information on Stripping Stamped Concrete
Here are the main reasons why you will need to strip an old sealer from your Stamped Concrete:
- Stamped Concrete Sealers can fail by turning white from moisture trapped under the sealer.
- The Stamped Concrete Sealers used were a cheap brand causing the acrylic in the sealer to turn white from the sun.
- A buildup of too many applications of sealer through the years.
- A chemical reaction from pool chemicals nearby
Stamped Concrete Sealer Turned White
Please follow these steps to ensure success at removing a Stamped Concrete Sealer:
- You will need to buy a concrete sealer stripper and use a high-powered pressure washer. We use the Clemons Concrete Sealer Stripper or the RAD PaintStrip. Both are excellent strippers.
- Cover the house and all delicate shrubs, vegetation, furniture, etc. with plastic sheeting.
- Use protective clothing, gloves, and eyewear.
- Apply the stripper with a roller. Do small sections at a time. About 100-200 sq feet.
- Wait about 20-60 minutes after applying the stripper then pressure wash off the old sealer.
- Repeat until all the failed paver sealer is removed.
If you plan on resealing the Stamped Concrete, make sure to use a brand that is not prone to turning white in color.
Our favorite Stamped Concrete Sealers are:
If you have any questions about stripping a stamped concrete sealer, please ask below.
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.
Ron can u use advise I live in Buffalo New York in the weathers pretty rough. My patio ( pool) gets sun all day long. My stamp concrete is about six years old and each year I have put on Euclid’s Super Diamond Clear solvent sealer. Most of the time I enter it in the fall, and in the spring, I usually put a coat of xylene on it. However, it keeps turning whitish yellowish color when . I called the manufacturer they told me to put a coat of xylene On it again this year. I’m tired of spending… Read more »
You will need to strip it all off to fix this. See the links above on what to use.
I use Euclid’s Super Diamond Clear solvent sealer on my stamped concrete patio. The concrete is brown tinted. The sealer has turned white and worn. I want to use xylene to restore the solvent. Can you give me tips and hopefully a step by step process for use of xylene please? Also, will the xylene discolor the color of my concrete? Thank you!
Xylene will probably not fix the issue. You probably need to strip it down. Post some pics.
We had a stamped concrete patio poured in 8/2022. It looked great for about 3 weeks, then started having areas that appeared lighted. Contractor came back and resealed and it looked great for a few months. In 12/2022 it started having little white spots that looked like the color was peeling off. This has spread to majority of patio throughout winter. Finally got contractor to agree to come back and look at it this week. From what I’m reading here it sounds like it needs stripped and resealed, but I’m afraid he’s going to just want to put another coat… Read more »
First two are what it looks like currently. Third one is what if looked like in December when we first noted it.
You have lots of issues going on it seems. Some pitting, maybe some yellowing of sealer, and then efflorescence might be bleeding out as well. You probably should strip it all off and then use an effloresce cleaner after.
I live in Northern Indiana and have a stamped concrete patio with Two-tone brown color. It is about 12 years old. It has the white film from the acrylic sealer . It has been powered washed and resealed several times but the next year it looks terrible. It also has some spots where the colors seem to be worn off . I want to strip off all the sealer, restrain and seal but want to use products that work with lasting results. You mentioned a stripper for removing the sealer. Is it as effective as Xylene? You mentioned that xylene… Read more »
Xylene is not a stripper but a solvent. You need a proper stripper to get it all off. Post some pics in the comments for help with removing.
Does the stripper you recommend kill vegetation?
Where can it be purchased ?
Yes, it can harm vegetation. Best to avoid it and rinse thoroughly with water if any stripper gets on the vegetation.
Which one? THere are 3 listed on that page. Thanks
Any of the strippers will work. The best for cost is the RAD PaintStrip.
As I strip and reseal my stamped patio this spring using Clemons concrete sealer stripper and Super seal 30, my question, “Is Super Seal 30 over 25% solids? I’m concerned for good breathability…so what is the solids content? Do you recommend something different. I’m happy to sacrifice shine for durability…Don’t want to do this too often!
Super Seal 30 is 30% solids and Super Seal 25 is 25% solids. Both are styrene acrylics which means they have tiny pin holes and are breathable.
Is the solvent based sealer or Water Based sealer better in terms of not turning white and failing? I am wondering about the breathable aspect of the sealer. I seems like the solvent based sealer might trap in the water trying to escape the patio causing the sealer to fail. Thank you for your counsel. Mike Hayden
Turning white has nothing to do with being water or solvent-based. As long as it is a high-grade acrylic and breathable, you should be fine. For example, Super Seal 25 and 30 are breathable styrene acrylics that are solvent based.
I have a stamped concrete porch that was installed 13 years ago. The concrete set too quickly and the stamps really did not come out well. The last time I sealed the concrete was about 10 years ago. Is there a product that I could remove not only the sealer but also the hardener slash release agent so I could change the color?
No, there is not.
Thank you for the reply. So what should I use to remove the solvent acrylic sealer?
I have a big problem! Trying to strip my stamped concrete but it’s a huge mess and not coming off. What can I use to resolve this issue? The sealer I used that I’m removing is Gem Cure & Seal.
Help. I have this happening and thought if I added more antiquing spray it would fix it but it didn’t. I think I have to strip it all now? Not sure what to do next.
Post some pictures.
Installing pavers around our pool this week… what do you recommend applying to the pavers after the polymeric sand? Thanks!
See here and answer the questions at the bottom so we can offer advice: https://www.concretesealerreview.com/best-brick-paver-sealer/
Hi – how long does the xylene need to dwell on the old sealer prior to power washing it off my stamped concrete patio? I’ve used xylene, but it didn’t get the hard to reach spots, but I only let it sit for about a minute before washing it off. Thanks.
Xylene is not a stripper and will not remove the old coating.
I was told by company of sealer to use Xylene to remove from my stamped concrete that turned milky????
Xylene is not a stripper and will not remove an old coating.
I have a stamped concrete walkway with grass on both sides. When i powerwash the stripper off will it kill the grass?
It may burn it some but it should not kill it. Rinse with water when done to minimize.
What brand/specifications would you recommend for spraying urethane onto a stamped concrete driveway? Thank!
You cannot apply a urethane to a stamped concrete driveway. It will blister, peel, and turn yellow from the UV.
When chemically removing seal from stamped concrete around pool deck, will it harm/damage the pool liner if it splashes it? What is the best way of doing it?
Do not get the stripper in the pool. Wash away from it.
Some areas unless you’re washing from inside of the pool it would be very difficult not to get some of the product into the pool as you are washing it sideways. Any suggestions?
No, just have to wash away from the pool. Might need to drain the pool and then work that way?
Meaning while trying to remove old sealer….
How do you power wash a stamped concrete without removing the color ??
The color should be throughout the concrete so stripping the sealer that is on top should not harm the color.
Do you recommend sand blasting to remove stamped concrete sealer?
No, will not work well and will probably damage the concrete surface.
I live in Orchard Park NY. Is there a contractor in my area. Who does stripping of sealer from stamped concrete patio?
Sorry but no idea.
I have a stamped concrete driveway that was installed in June 2015. A water-based sealer was used by the installer. Have had it resealed every 2 years as told, until 2019 when another concrete installer resealed it with a water-based sealer that “I guarantee will last 10 years”. In late February, early March, I noticed a white coloring of the driveway (except where it was under the garage roof overhang) and a white substance that look like a sprinkling of fine grains (like sugar?). There is also an area where what looks like a thin layer of sealer is pealing.… Read more »
Post some pictures.
I have a painted driveway. Will this product work to remove the white cloudiness of the old sealer without harming the original painted surface? All the postings here pertain to stamped concrete areas.
Probably not, as it will remove some of the paint as well.
What would you suggest be done for a painted driveway with clouded sealer?
You will have to strip off the sealer and then if needed, repaint the driveway.
We just had this stamp crete patio done. The contractor power washed it and sealed it on the same day. It ended up looking like this. I am not happy with the blotchiness and variation in color. He says it’s the way it’s supposed to look. I would love your opinion and what he could do to rectify it.
Post some pictures here of your patio in the comments.
Here are some pictures.
No, that does not look correct. He should strip it off and start over.
That’s what I thought. I’m going to have to find someone else to do it. He wants to be paid to re-do.
how do i find someone to stip and restain drive way
Search online for local contractors.
What’s the best way to clean up the stripper, old sealant and water from pressure washing in an area with no drainage? Shop vac?
Not sure as we will not strip unless there is drainage.
We Sealed our colored stamped concrete this year. We love the shiny look it gives when we seal it. However this year it turned a grayish color like a bunch of us settled in the cracks, how can we remove this? Without messing up the color of the concrete
Post some pictures.
How long after power washing my stamped concrete should I let it dry before sealing?
Hi-we used a water based sealer on our colored, stamped concrete patio which runs all the way around our home (very large job). Which product would you suggest to remove it? We tried pressure washing to remove sealer (water based) but too time consuming and don’t want to damage. It is a light colored stamped concrete. I would appreciate a suggestion to buy from you that is the least caustic or damaging to our designed concrete patios! Thank you in advance!
What sealer brand and type did you use? Do you have pictures to upload in comments?
Hi thanks for response. We used Behr (ugh) Water based sealer and here’s a photo. Would appreciate a product that you find best for this. Approx 10 yards of concrete surrounding house. Thank you!
Was it the Behr wet look sealer or something else?
It is dyed, stamped concrete with Behr Wet Look Sealer-you are correct!
Use this to remove: https://www.opwdecks.com/paver-sealer-stripper.htm
How to strip the pea gravel concrete it has a sealer buildip
Post some pictures.
Built pool 10 years ago. Used a solvent based sealer vs acrylic on stamped concrete coping around perimeter of the pool and it turned chalky, blotchy after a couple of years, (prematurely in my opinion) and assuming the pool chemicals the issue. Rather than removing the original sealer I tried applying xylene with a brush, (thinking this procedure would soften the original sealer) and then reapplying additional solvent based sealer hoping it would all melt together and bring back the shine. It Worked!!!… for about another 2 years, ugh!! The reason I think the pool chemicals have something to do… Read more »
Yes, it works on solvent based acrylics.
I used Behr wet look sealer on Cambridge pavers, installed about 60 days ago. No rain for past week, but there is white haze remaining on the pavers. Is stripping my only option?
I used the Behr Wet-Look to seal my flagstone deck. Just like others it left a white milky haze after it dried. What is the best way to remove it?
The above article explains this.
We have about 2600 sq ft of stamped concrete around our house (driveway and patio). It has not been sealed for 20+ years. In the areas that are mostly shaded (under an overhang) the sealant is still present but the rest of the areas that get a lot of direct sun no longer have sealant (or small blotchy areas). I have attached some photos. Do we need to strip the all areas prior to resealing or just the areas that have a sheen/remaining sealants? We live in San Diego so Xylene stripper is not available. What would be the next… Read more »
Yes, this will all need to be stripped. Not sure what is allowed in CA and will work to remove it.
Any experience using biodegradable strippers like Novion or Deco Strip?
They will probably not work that well.
If I want to strip only a section, will the washed off stripper damage surrounding areas? And can it kill my grass if it gets washed out into?
You cannot spot strip, you have to strip all. Hard to say about the grass. We typically do not have issues but we rinse the grass very well when done.
We have stamped concrete that has been sealed several times and has changed color and is chipping. We live in 93004 zip code and want to find a contractor to do the work for us. Do you have suggestions?
Sorry, but we do not know anyone there.
I recently moved into a house that has stamped colored concrete throughout the property when I first moved in they had the sprinklers spraying everywhere I have since I adjusted the sprinklers to only spray the grass.
But my concrete is now left with this etched white look. Should I use the chemical cleaner and pressure wash it? When doing so am I at risk of removing any other color from the color concrete? And once it’s down to the concrete what type of sealer should I use then?
You will have to chemically stip this off to fix. Once fully removed, try the Super Seal 25 or the Supreme Shield SB-600.
I had a pool renovation done and had my pool boulders repainted and sealed. after I refilled the pool the boulders that are underwater have turned white. What would be the best/easiest fix for that?
I have thought about waiting and let the sealer eventually wear itself off from the constant water action. Anyone have any idea of how long that would take?
Sorry but no idea on this as far as removing or taking to go away. They should not have done this as a sealer will turn white when in constant contact with water.
If you strip stamped Concrete Patios will it take out the color? If it does what are the options for re-coloring?
It can remove color but that would depend on how your contractor installed it. Sometimes that put on color release on top and that may come off if stripping. You may have to add more stain back on. We do not install stamped concrete so not sure on the best way to do this.
Hello. Like a dummy I used a cheap Behr wet-look sealer on my stamped concrete. It had already been stained and sealed, but weathered a little and my plan was to bring back some of the glossy look. Unfortunately, it has left a white milky look on much of the patio. My question is, do I have to strip the sealer off OR can I stain or paint over the top of it and reseal it with a better seal? Will that take the white out?
You will have to strip it.
I did the exact samething… using cheap sealer from HomeDepot… never doing this before, I assumed I could go to HomeDepot and they’d direct me in the right direction… wrong. Now I need to spend about 600 bucks to strip and reseal with a solvent based sealer about 800 sq feet. I guess I need to stip the wet look cheap sealer off and then power wash it off.
I striped a few blocks and they look horrible, I’m wondering if Im doing something wrong? Will the stripped concrete look horrible, colorless and blotchy?
I made the same mistake a few years ago. I couldn’t find a product that would strip the old sealer until this year…Xylene. I’m doing it by hand so it’s taking some time, but im just happy it works. Dont get discouraged. I also tested a sample block & it looked horrible. But you have to remember the new solvent based sealer will bring back the color & beauty it once had!
I see articles like the above on stripping a stamped concrete sealer and then resealing with a sealer. Then I see other articles about performing a “solvent wash” with Xylene to resolve “concrete cure and seal appearance issues”. When should the solvent was approach be used and when should the sealer be stripped off and then reapplied ? Thanks
Depends on the severity of the issue. Post a picture and that will help determine how to fix.
Thanks, here are some pictures
and some more pictures
Looks like you have moisture issues from pots, etc sitting on the patio. Try the Xylene fist. Apply with a pump sprayer to all areas. Leave to dry do not wash. Make sure the patio is dry and clean before applying the solvent.