Paver Sealer Turned White! How to Fix?

Originally posted on January 23, 2019 @ 6:39 pm

This post was most recently updated on May 12th, 2024

Hi, I am Scott Paul, a leading exterior brick paver restoration contractor and business owner with over 30 years of experience in exterior paver prep and stripping. For info about who I am, please read my full bio here.

2024 Paver Sealer Turned White

I often hear about the appearance of a Pavement Sealer that has turned white. I explain how to fix a white Pavement Sealer in this updated article. If you have encountered any issues and have any suggestions or questions, please comment below.


Protecting pavers from the elements is essential to maintaining their appearance and longevity. This can be done by periodically applying a paver sealer to block out moisture and fade UV rays. A paver sealer will also hinder weed growth, moss, and mildew from growing in the paver joints and on the surface. It can also reduce sand joint erosion.

Certain paver sealers are better than others. Homeowners have complained to me about using inferior paver sealers, which most commonly say the sealer has turned white. A milky white appearance on the surface of pavers can occur when a low-quality paver sealer is used. This milky or cloudy white appearance is highly unsightly and difficult to fix. The white hue is a sure sign that the sealer has failed and now needs to be dealt with in a way that will completely fix the problem.

How to Strip a Paver Sealer

Here are my main reasons why you will need to strip an old sealer from your brick pavers:

  • A brick paver sealer can fail by turning white from moisture trapped under the sealer.
  • Efflorescence (white salt deposits) was not removed before the sealer application.
  • The Paver Sealer was cheap, causing the sealer’s acrylic to turn white from the sun.
  • There has been a buildup of too many sealer applications over the years.
  • Polymeric sand haze under the sealer application.

Cheap Acrylic Sealer Turned White

In general, avoid the paint stores or Big Box store brands. These “wet look” sealers have a high failure rate due to the inferior acrylics used.

Solution: To fix it, you must remove the sealer with a concrete or paver sealer stripper. We use the Clemons Concrete Sealer Stripper or the RAD PaintStrip. Both are excellent strippers.

Trapped Water/Moisture or Over Applied Sealer Turned White

Trapped moisture under the sealer is the most common reason for the sealer’s turning white. This happens to sealers that are not breathable or overapplied. The sun will raise the moisture from the concrete or bricks, but the water cannot escape as it is trapped under the sealer.

Solution: Applying a solvent such as Xylene or Lacquer Thinner will emulsify the current sealer, removing the trapped moisture and restoring the shine. It is not a guaranteed fix, but it is worth the attempt.

Solution 2: If the solvent does not work, you must use a sealer stripper to remove it and start over. We use the Clemons Concrete Sealer Stripper or the RAD PaintStrip. Both are excellent strippers.

White Efflorescence Salts Trapped under Sealer

Efflorescence is a soluble salt that rises to the surface of the concrete after it is installed. It may never form or take up to a year to show. Make sure that all efflorescence is removed prior to sealing the surface.

Solution: Strip off the sealer first, then use an efflorescence cleaner to remove the white residue.

Polymeric Sand Issue Turned White

I have seen more and more issues with polymeric sand installs. It’s not an issue with the sand but with poor installation. Polymeric sands are installed by sweeping the sand into the joints and blowing off the excess from the top of the surface. The sand is then misted with water to activate the polymer bond. The problem arises when the sand is not entirely removed from the top of the surface before misting with water. Polymeric sand, in many cases, contains “cementitious” properties. When activated by water, this may leave a thin layer on top called a “poly haze.” This is a polymeric sand issue and not an issue with the sealer. However, once sealed over, the sealer must be removed. The poly haze can then be removed using an acid cleaner. It’s important to thoroughly clean any left-behind sand prior to misting with water to prevent poly haze. Polymeric sand that is not prone to poly haze, like Surebond, can also be used.

My Solution: Strip off any sealer, then use mild acid or white vinegar to remove the poly haze.
Please ask questions about removing the white haze from your brick pavers in the comment area below.

How I Fix White Pavers

How I fix a paver sealer that has turned white depends on the severity of the issue. In most cases, it is best to remove the paver sealer altogether using a stain or stripper. The paver sealer stripper should be applied according to the label instructions. The stripper will emulsify the failed paver sealer, making removing it easier with a pressure washer or stiff brush. It is essential to remove all the old sealers. Any new sealer applied over the top of the old sealer will only create more issues and jeopardize the newer sealer’s performance.

Stripping White Paver Sealer

Knowing how to fix a paver sealer that has turned white by removing it completely will ensure that any new sealer will perform as expected. To remove it, you will need to buy a brick paver sealer stripper and use a high-powered pressure washer. We use the Clemons Concrete Sealer Stripper.

To prevent the white cloud problem, it is best to research the paver sealer prior to using it. Certain types of paver sealers are prone to this issue, and others are not. Even if you have to pay a little more for a better sealer, it can be well worth the investment. Also, watch for poly haze, which may cause a paver sealer to turn white.

Brick Paver Sealer Turned White


If you plan on resealing the pavers, make sure to use a brand that is not prone to turning white in color. Our favorites are:

Super Seal 25

Super Seal 30

Supreme Shield SB-600 

Please Rate This Article/Product. You may post comments or ask questions below.

author avatar
Scott Paul ~ Restoring Concrete Since 1993 Owner
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 and concrete/brick paver sealing. That company evolved into OPW L.L.C. shortly thereafter, concentrating more on exterior wood and concrete/paver restoration. Scott and his Pressure Cleaning Michigan company have restored over 10,000 projects in the Metro Detroit area since the early years. He has become an authority in the concrete and brick pavers restoration industry and has contributed to numerous forums and informative sites. All the products he suggests through this site are sold online and in retail stores, allowing consumers to choose their means of purchase. Scott’s eCommerce sites sell many of the top brands he endorses, and if you appreciate any of the help he has offered, feel free to purchase from one of them.

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Maria
Maria
11 months ago

good afternoon, after cleaning the pavers, we applied the sealer stone age – high def wb-hs from infiniti paints and coatings, however after application some parts turned white, it rained after about 40 min of application, could be the rain? which suggests to fix these little parts? follow photos

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Sam Rees
Sam Rees
1 year ago

Hi – I’m wondering if this has happened with my patio? I applied 5L Sika Natural Patio sealer on my porcelain tiles last week using a roller brush. It looked fine immediately after but in the morning it looked dirty and lots of these white patches appeared. A week prior to using the sealer, I had applied polymetric sand to areas where there were gaps, brushed and washed down with a normal hose.

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Sam Rees
Sam Rees
1 year ago

Thanks – I’ve emailed Sika for some advice. I suspect not the issue but I did spot that on their website they say “Apply in two coats, allowing no more than 2 hours between coats”, whereas I followed the instructions on the container & B&Q website that referred to only requiring 1 coat.

Sam Rees
Sam Rees
1 year ago
Reply to  Sam Rees

Update from Sika Due to the low porosity of porcelain paving it looks as though the sealer hasn’t been able to penetrate into the paving at all and has cured on the surface. Unfortunately we don’t have any sealers that we recommend for use on porcelain within our range for this reason. The white spots appear to be where drops of sealer have settled on the surface and dried in-situ. The only way to resolve the issue is to remove the sealer unfortunately. We do not manufacture a sealer remover but you should have success with a diluted caustic soda… Read more »

Debbie Wood
Debbie Wood
1 year ago

When rinsing off stripper, will the run off kill the grass?

CCornie
CCornie
1 year ago

Ooops, forget something for post below: There are brick pavers along the edges and up the middle of the three concrete driveways. They look worse than the concrete. Would the fix be the same?

CCornie
CCornie
1 year ago

We used: Armor 550. Two coats….on aggregate concrete and on red clay bricks. image.tiff     image.tiff    image.tiff My son can help me send these in pdf if they do not come through well….Oops…they did NOT come through. Sorry…If I could send them directly to a ‘person’ they would go through email. I will call for help to try to convert the photos….tiff I am recalling that there was two days between coats. I ’suspect’ the second coat was too thick. ??? I had not tried this before now, but I am able to scrape off the white residue…whatever It is.  Is that the solution?    Thanks CCornie On… Read more »

CCornie
CCornie
1 year ago

Last summer, we pressure washed and pull two coats of a sealant on a large, large area of concrete patio, sidewalk, and huge driveway. It has ended up nearly covered with a white, blothcy effect that is beyond ugly. I suspect that my hubby either used way too much with each coat or it wasn’t dry enough. What would you think? Now: how do we get it off? Xylene or Vinegar…and then we will need to re-seal, yes?? thanks

Todd
Todd
1 year ago

I recently had my driveway sealed with color added. I now have two issues, first I have a significantly darker color on 2-3ft of the pavers closest to the sidewalk and second I am getting tire marks every time I park. We waited 7 days before parking on the sealed driveway and I still get tire marks over a month after the job was done. The company that did the sealing said this has never happened to them on both issues. They are talking about stripping and resealing. I am not sure the color difference will change and I am… Read more »

Jessica
Jessica
2 years ago

Our brick patio was sealed by a local company. They used a Silane/ Siloxane product to seal the brick. Several areas of the brick developed a substance on the surface after the sealer dried which makes them look dirty. What would cause this change to the surface appearance?

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The Paver Savers
The Paver Savers
1 year ago
Reply to  Jessica

It looks like some of the mortar was drawn out during the sealing and the residue has settled into the crevices on the brick’s surface.

Julia
Julia
2 years ago

Hi this is a water based colour enhancing sealer on indoor clay pavers. This has happened at the edges of the floor. Do you know what it is/how to fix it please?

Donal
Donal
2 years ago

Hi – we go a new patio laid last summer with Indian Sandstone. The contractor applied stonex sealant – which was expensive but we thought worth it as specifically recommended for sandstone. The contractors applied the treatment as per the instructions and were surprised by the results which as you can see are not good. It was applied in dry weather about 8 weeks after patio was laid. When it rains the white marks disappear – and not all slabs are affected, Can you provide some advice please, is there a way of removing these stains ? Thanks.

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Donal
Donal
2 years ago

Ok will do, if I find out I’ll let you know ! Thanks anyway.

Shelia
Shelia
2 years ago

After a hard rain, water is coming in at the ground level of my brick wall. Will sealing prevent this from happening?

Rebekah
Rebekah
2 years ago

Help! Please.. We just painted and sealed our breakroom floor and the original color looked great until we place the sealant on top.. and now we have an ugly floor with a bad white colored seal job.. We cannot re-paint our floors and do not have the ability to pressure wash it. What is your recommendation? We painted the second colored coat on January 28th and gave it 3 days until we sealed the coat the night of January 31st. We used Epoxy-Seal concrete and garage floor paint and Clear-Seal concrete protective sealer. Can we paint back over with the… Read more »

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Hayden
Hayden
2 years ago

I used cobble loc water based sealant on a paver driveway and there are a few white spots, do I need to strip it?

Perry
Perry
2 years ago

Patio was just sealed last week. And water was trapped under the fire pit. I have some white sections now. It’s happened under a bean bag cushion too. What is the deal? I can’t have anything sitting on top of this patio anymore? I emailed the crew that power washed, resanded and then sealed it. We got some rain. The patio looks great except for these spots. Will the whole patio turn white as the fall showers hit us? What about the freaking snow?! Ugh.

Perry
Perry
2 years ago

Thanks. Seems like it hasn’t cured fully. It has dried out and is almost invisible. Hoping the weather works out the next few days.

john r
john r
2 years ago

i used xylene and it removed the white moisture that was trapped under my sealant. My Sealant , DYCO, came with horrible customer support. I would avoid using a Dyco product. Now i’m not sure if I need to re seal my pavers. The Xylene thinned out my sealant and made it pliable again. What a mess. Choose your sealant carefully and avoid DY C O product .

john r
john r
2 years ago

I cleaned my pavers and applied Dyco sealant. For 3 months the job was the envy of the neighborhood and now my pavers have faded white. pissed off. What can be done?

john r
john r
2 years ago

here is a pic , results from using Dyco sealant purchased at lowe’s. Boy am i sorry I did the job

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john r
john r
2 years ago
Reply to  john r

can xylene take out the white in the pavers?

Albert
Albert
2 years ago

Hi I used a none corisive acid to wash red old bricks I put on sealer but this morning it’s got a white haze on them how can I remove it

I tried pressure washing the areas this morning an
I tried pressure washing the areas this morning an
3 years ago

I used Valspar acrylic high-gloss stone sealer on my slate coping around the pool it looked wonderful for about a week and then all of a sudden there are large areas with a milky white finish after a rainfall last night it appears to be in areas that I applied an additional coat to. I tried pressure washing the areas this morning and the sealer is coming off in almost paper like white patches I wondered if there’s something I could apply to the Stone now to make make the existing white areas come off easier and I should certainly… Read more »

Ray Taylor
Ray Taylor
3 years ago

What acid is recommended for removing the sealer?

Chris
Chris
3 years ago

Hi, I recently sealed an indian sandstone patio and then the white marks started appearing. I have used lacquer remover and this has only increased more of an issue. Is there anything you can reccomend in removing the sealer and restoring the original colour?

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Kenneth Alexander
Kenneth Alexander
3 years ago

Hi we just had a patio done and sealed 5 months ago and I made a mistake of leaving snow blower on it over winter. it leaked gas and now there is two big white spots on the patio. How can I fix this problem ??

Blake
Blake
3 years ago

Sealed this pool area with surf koat paver shield
Poly sand was used
It looked great until it rained then customer sent me these pictures?
Do you think xylene will solve this or does it need to be stripped

Day 1: cleaned/prepped
Day 3: poly sanded
Day 5: sealed
No rain in between and only rained about 3 days after.
Thankyou in advance!

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Blake
Blake
3 years ago

Where did I go wrong you think?

JAMES BOYLE
JAMES BOYLE
3 years ago

How do I use xylene on Indian Sandstone to remove the white patches that are not effloresence?

Cassandra Lollett
Cassandra Lollett
3 years ago

I just had a professional concrete company come and promise me that he could get oil stains out of my driveway and seal it and it would look like new. It looks worse than before. Not only did the oils stains not get out, now there are white stains all over the driveway. Please help me! He won’t return my calls and will not come back to fix. I feel cheated and now I have a bigger mess on my hands and my association is charging me 100.00 a day until this is fixed. How can I get these white… Read more »

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john r
john r
2 years ago

just remove a few pavers and replace them
guaranteed to work. you’re lucky it’s not widespread

Maribel Rosado
Maribel Rosado
3 years ago

My pavers were sealed about a week ago. After a torrential downpour we noticed that some sand particles were on the pavers and the pavers had a chalky white coating on them. My husband Re-filled with polymeric sand, brushed off several times and misted with water. We let it dry for 2 days, he then applied the xylene and it looked beautiful for 2 days. Last night it rained hard and this morning I noticed polymeric sand in the pavers and The chalky coat in them again. Not sure what is going on. Can you please shed some light and… Read more »

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Marty
Marty
3 years ago

Just had beautiful slabs and pavers installed Last week. Installed finished 4 days ago, looked gorgeous. Yesterday all Day we had torrential rainfall. When I returned from work I noticed a white haze all over our pavers, which now makes them look horrible. I assume is poly haze and has to do with rainfall? How do I get this out. Pics with sunny sky are before, cloudy pic is after, and one close up. The charcoal borders which added beautiful smooth contrast now are hazy and dirty looking. How do I get rid of this and restore to original look… Read more »

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Manik
Manik
3 years ago

I am planning to seal the bricks pavers, but have whitish on the bricks. Can you suggest how to get it cleaned.

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Manik
Manik
3 years ago

Thanks for the tip.We got it cleaned and applied sealant and last night we had high humidity and rains and now have white spots.How can we get rid of it, as they are only in few spots without stripping it out.

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manik
manik
3 years ago

What product do you recommend to remove the sealers and fix this issue.

manik
manik
2 years ago

Finally I was able to remove the sealer and now have few stones turning whitish. What do you recommend to permanently get rid of it?

manik
manik
2 years ago
Reply to  manik

This after sealant remover and how do I clean the new whitish ?

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Mirca
Mirca
3 years ago

We just had our pavers sealed with a wet look sealer. Unfortunately I am disappointed and the results are dull and not wet looking what so ever. The guy told me to wait a couple of days but I highly doubt that there will be any change. It also took away the color of our pavers and they are looking kinda dull and gray and not red and dark like they were. Can you tell me what’s possibly going on? The guy told me it’s probably the poly sand and it should wash out but I doubt it after reading… Read more »

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Mirca
Mirca
3 years ago

Thanks. If not removed will it stay like that for a long time?

Mirca
Mirca
3 years ago

So there’s no other way to fix it?

Ruth
Ruth
3 years ago

My pavers turned white after sealing, after nothing working to remove I used Eucalyptus oil neat and it worked instantly, this photo of the test bricks was take the next day after it had been rained on

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Tina Dell
Tina Dell
4 years ago

We had our pool deck sealed about 2 months ago and we had some moss growing on the end of our retaining wall and the deck so I sprayed a vinegar/water mixture and washed it off within a few minutes to try and kill the moss and springtail bugs but it left me with this white haze…super seal 25 matte was used to seal the deck initially. Any ideas how to get rid of the white haze? It is also an area where run off from the azalea’s occur too…

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Tina Dell
Tina Dell
4 years ago

Thank you. You think it may just be residual? I will give it a try.

Jenny
Jenny
4 years ago

We had paver patio professionally installed, sanded and sealed three years ago. There were some issues and they removed the sealer. We had the patio resales this spring and it looked good for a few weeks and then it rained. The first picture is before latest sealing. Second picture is right after sealing. Last picture is after rain.

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Jenny
Jenny
4 years ago

Thanks for the reply! Apply the xylene to the entire patio or just the white spots? Why do you think this happened?

Manny
Manny
4 years ago

Hi Jenny, did you try the Xylene? can you please share any of the results?

Matthew Moen
Matthew Moen
4 years ago

I just applied a moss killer product by Safer and followed the instructions. After finding the product off as instructed, almost all of my pavers have turned a gray/white color vs their natural color. What is happening and how do I undo it? Thanks!

Peter Middleton
Peter Middleton
4 years ago

Hi, I’ve recently sealed my pavers with a good product which I’ve used before with no problems and after 2 coats it looked great. Since then it rained a couple of days later still looked great but when it dried a part of it dried like a white glaze. I have since applied a repair fluid advised by the company I bought sealer from and again looked back to normal. Since then 3 days later we had rain overnight and when this dried up it dried white again. I have applied another coat of repair fluid and exactly the same… Read more »

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Peter Middleton
Peter Middleton
4 years ago

Thanks for your reply. Would it be possible to just remove where it has gone white and then re-seal that area. Has you can see it’s only a certain area in the middle that’s failed. It just seems strange that when it’s wet it looks ok but when it dries it goes white and when it rains again it goes ok till dry again and so on.

Peter Middleton
Peter Middleton
4 years ago

Ok thanks. Can you suggest a product to use and where to buy from please

Robert
Robert
4 years ago

Had my pavers sealed yesterday and this is how it turned out.. any clue what caused it and how I can fix?? It didn’t rain or get wet, however they did powerwash it the day prior to sealing and only about 12 hours and it’s only about 55-58 degree out. Not sure if it’s from prior sealant, moisture , or the sand….

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Dominator SG+ Paver Sealers
Robert
Robert
4 years ago

They used polymeric sand and what he called “clearcoat”. He said it is a breathable sealer. Not sure thats the actual brand name though

Robert
Robert
4 years ago

The first day they took all the pavers apart and rebuilt the patio. They did some powerwashing that day…day 2 they powerwashed the rest and sanded and then sealed on the 3rd day

Robert
Robert
4 years ago

He pressure washed and sanded same day. Sealed the next

robert
robert
4 years ago

do you apply with a sprayer and let sit? do you wash off after? what is the process I should try?
thanks

Robert
Robert
4 years ago

Should I worry if it recently rained before or if it’s going to soon after?

Joe
Joe
4 years ago

When applying xylene do you mix with water

tom
tom
2 years ago
Reply to  Robert

it would be helpful if customers would include the product namer they used when problems occurred.

Tiffany
Tiffany
4 years ago

We sealed our new pavers a few days ago and then noticed the milky white film when it started raining, especially in the grooves of the textured surface. Failed sealer? Do we need to strip it? Thanks in advance!

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lenny
lenny
5 years ago

Husband used grill and grease from the meat splattered on my new permeable pavers. How can I get the grease stains out.

lenny
lenny
5 years ago

thank you

James
James
5 years ago

Our patio looked great…for about 24 hours. Then, this appeared. It rained about 16 hours after the sealing was done. Could this be the reason or is it something else? Looks horrible.

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Lorenzo Allonardo
Lorenzo Allonardo
5 years ago

Will muratic acid remove the film from the polymeric sand?

lenny
lenny
5 years ago

Will my pavers that are only 6months old go back to the original colors. Spent 20K
to have my driveway done now it looks bad.

lenny
lenny
5 years ago

tHE PAVERS ONLY 6 MONTHS OLD AND ALL FADED. CAN I GET THE COLOR BACKMIF I HAVE IT SEALED AGAIN?

Chris anders
Chris anders
5 years ago

What would you recnmend to strip white glaze from brick paver with black grout

Chris andersj
Chris andersj
5 years ago

Like a haze that is peeling

Rick Tokarczyk
Rick Tokarczyk
5 years ago

Tried to remove white with acetone after sealing just turned whiter can I use floor scrubber instead of power washer

Susan Hackbarth
Susan Hackbarth
5 years ago

We had a brick walkway laid and then sealed it wit 2 coats of loc-x sealer, http://www.loc-x.com about 2 months ago. We then had a blacktop driveway laid and they accidentally dropped some diesel fuel on the brick edge. The blacktop company tried to get the fuel out by scrubbing the brick with a brush. This did not take the fuel out and it also caused the brick to turn a hazy coldly white color. They then put sand on the fuel to try to lift it and that did not work. Next they tried talcum powder and that did… Read more »

Lynn
Lynn
6 years ago

What is the best way to remove the haze on pavers left from polymeric sand? Pavers are about 8 months old and have never been sealed. Thanks.

Jennifer davies
Jennifer davies
7 years ago

what product do u use can you give me an idea

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