Sealing pavers is an excellent way to enhance and preserve their appearance. There are certain paver sealers that will bring out the natural colors of the pavers while locking out moisture, which will help preserve and increase their longevity. The sealer also helps to solidify the sand joints and can help with weed growth and freeze/thaw damage that may occur in colder climates.
There are several different finishes involved with paver sealers. A matte finish will not alter the appearance of the pavers at all but will still preserve the surface and keep out unwanted moisture. Typically a matte finish sealer is water-based. Besides a matte finish you can also go for a shiny or wet look. So what is the difference between a shiny vs. wet look paver sealer? There is a slight difference in appearance and also in the formula that makes up either sealer.
A shiny or glossy finish is achieved using a sealer that contains a high percentage of solid content of acrylic. This type of finish darkens faded pavers as if they are wet while adding a shiny finish. A shiny sealer can enhance the natural reds and brown tones that are found in common brick pavers. The high solid content of these types of sealers will leave a high-gloss shine depending on the amount of solids. The higher the percentage of solids; the higher the gloss finish. For example, a 25% solid content sealer would be considered a semi gloss while a 30% solid content sealer would be considered a high gloss.
Here is the difference with a shiny vs. a wet look paver sealer. Most wet look sealers are solvent-based penetrating formulas. Wet look sealers are not designed to add a shine. It can be compared to how the pavers would look if they were sprayed with water. In fact, you can mist water on your pavers (as long as they do not have sealer on them already that would repel the water) to see how they might look with a wet look sealer. They will darken up and appear wet without a shiny or glossy finish. They will continue to appear wet even after the sealer dries.