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Stamped Concrete or Paver Sealer Turned White 4.9/5 (27)

Paver Sealer Turned White

Paver Sealer Turned White

Why has my Brick Paver or Stamped Concrete Sealer Turned White?

This is a very common question and a fairly common occurrence. Typically this happens to filming acrylic based sealers that leave a shine on the surface. These sealers are typically applied to brick pavers and stamped concrete surfaces to enhance the overall appearance.

There is not one specific reason that your old sealer has blushed by turning white or cloudy so there is not one remedy to fix. In this article, we will go over the main reasons that your sealer has failed so you will be able to fix this problem permanently.

Cheap Acrylic Sealer

In general just stay away from paint store or Big Box stores brands. These “wet look” sealers have a high fail rate due to the inferior acrylics used.

Solution: To fix you will need to remove the sealer with a concrete or paver sealer stripper.

Trapped Water/Moisture and Over Applied Sealer

Trapped moisture under the sealer is the most common reason that the sealer has turned white. This happens to sealers that are not breathable or over applied. The sun will raise the moisture out of 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. Not a guaranteed fix but is worth the attempt.

Solution 2: If the solvent does not work you will need to use a sealer stripper to remove and start over.

Efflorescence Salts Trapped under Sealer

Efflorescence is a soluble salt that raises to the surface of the concrete after it is installed. This may never form or may 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 (New as of last few years)

We have seen more and more issues with polymeric sand installs. Not so much an issue with the sand, but with poor installation. Polymeric sands are installed by sweeping the sand into the joints then 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 completely removed from the top of the surface prior to misting with water. The polymeric sand in many cases contains “cementious” properties. This, when activated by water, may leave a thin layer on top called a “poly haze”.

Solution: Strip off any sealer then use a mild acid or white vinegar to remove the poly haze.
Please ask any questions you may have on removing the white haze from your brick pavers in the comment area below.

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63 responses to “Stamped Concrete or Paver Sealer Turned White”

  1. Diane St John says:

    I have a paver driveway in central lFlorida. It has been sealed 4 times with a solvent base sealer. It no longer has its vibrant color after sealing. It fades within 3 to 6 months, If it is wet from rain it looks beautiful but as soon as it dries it is very pale looking no color. Any suggestions?

  2. pat says:

    when using white vinegar to remove white haze, should I rinse with water

  3. Cristina says:

    i just installed stamped concrete on my pool deck and the joints area is discolored to a grey tone. What has caused this because a sealer was applied.

  4. Ryan d says:

    Will the stripper remove the color

  5. Randy says:

    After having sealed the paver patio I had installed, some areas turned a milky white. The contractor applied a diluted
    mixture of sealer over the milky areas and, when dry, the milky look was gone. However, following the next good rain we
    experienced caused certain treated areas once again to turn white. 90% of the patio looks great but all we see are those
    white areas. I am frustrated, but the contractor has not yet been paid for the sealing part of the project. How much must
    I expect before rendering the final payment? I do not want to be a bad customer but I expect a properly done job.

  6. Robert Watson says:

    what is the best stripper to remove old sealer from a paver driveway

  7. Julio says:

    My contractor is quoting my $3800 to strip the "wrong" sealer off my driveway that is trapping the water and turning the driveway white. He says it can take up to 4 days to strip and re-strip until the sealant is removed. The driveway and walkway is about 1,000 sq. ft.

    • Concrete Sealer Help says:

      Striping is difficult and depending on how bad it is, may take multiple times to get off. We normally charge about $2-3 a sq foot to strip and reseal. His price may be correct though for what is charged in your area. I would get at least one more quote to compare. Make sure they both know how to do it.

  8. Mary Ann says:

    I had my pavers and coping on my lani around my pool cleaned and sealed but they have turned white. I know you can strip them but my pool co. has told me you CANNOT get that stripper chemicals in the pool water. Please help, I do not want to have to live with them the way they are. What can I do?

    • Concrete Sealer Help says:

      You have to strip to remove so there is no other way. You may just need to change the pool water after you are done.

  9. Karen says:

    Good afternon, my name is Karen, I have an issue with my pavers, last year I sealed me pavers however it was not done correctly, after it was finished it looked wet and grainny from the sand, I hired someone to remove the sealed and he made the problem worst, he put a stripper on it waited for one hour and power wash it, well it didn't work now my pavers have white film over it, I realize now that he waited too long. Is there anything or anyway I can correct this eye sore

    • Concrete Sealer Help says:

      You would need to properly strip and remove the old sealer. Use the Clemons Concrete Sealer Stripper and pressure wash off. Once removed, you can seal properly with the Super Seal 30.

  10. Mike says:

    I sealed my stampted concrete. Using Behr wet look sealer. It brought the color back a little bit. It said you use up to 4 coats. I used 3 very thin coats, I almost thought too thin. So I decided to use the 4th coat a little heavier. Now I see roller lines everywhere and a white haze over much of the patio.

    What can i do? do I have to strip the whole thing and do it again? Will that harm the existing stamped look?


  11. Rodger jones says:

    i have created an issue while preparing my stencilled concrete for sealing I spot cleaned some paint spots left it for 2hours and sealed it and in the places I spot cleaned milky white colour has come through reading through people's issues and comments it appears that it was not properly dry and has created my issue.i have an area 8mtrs x7mtrs in 4blocks,my question is do I have to strip the whole thing or can I spot strip the areas with the problem to correct my mistake your advise on this issue will be greatly appreciated


  12. Rob R says:

    I resealed my pavers with Super-seal and ended up with the white haze just like the photo above. Well, I sprayed a coat of xylene solvent on the pavers and it appears to work. It's been two weeks with off and on rain and I'm hopeful the white haze is permanently gone. Overall, two gallons of xylene is much less expensive than stripping the entire driveway. I would recommend giving this a try!

  13. mike says:

    to keep that shin on my stamped concrete can you put sealer over the old sealer or do I need to strip it fist

    • Concrete Sealer Help says:

      If the old sealer has failed or discolored by turning white, yellow, etc. You will need to strip it off.

  14. Jackoo says:

    I applied the xylene as recommended. The white haze disappeared and the shine returned. The haze occurred only where irrigation sprinkler water striked the concrete.

    • Concrete Sealer Help says:

      Might not have been fully cured then before the sprinklers saturated the areas.

    • joanna says:

      do you put xylene all over or just on spots affected… kinda hard to do, so thinking it needs to go everywhere.. do you brush on or spray on? having wedding reception in one week and in panic mode.. patio is 15×20 how many gallons would i buy???

      • Concrete Sealer Help says:

        Everywhere. Spray it on with a pump sprayer. 1-2 gallons. Do it this weekend.

        • joanna says:

          he did spray it on but got worse, so called angelo's supply where he bought everything and they told him to brush it into the pavers, so he got a long handled paint brush and brushed it in also.. i'm not home so i won't see until tonight… we have a long stretch of sunny days ahead.. so i'm hoping this will help… did you see results instantly, or will it change in the coming days? thanks for your response… joanna

          • Nikki says:

            Can you tell me more about the process you used with the Xylene? How long did it sit? Did you scrub it with a brush? Or just power wash off? I'm in same boat but not exactly sure how to use the Xylene! Thanks!

          • Concrete Sealer Help says:

            Xylene does not remove or strip sealers. You need a concrete sealer stripper.

  15. Rick says:

    I REALLY wished I had read this before applying the Big Box Store Brand, Behr Wet Look Sealer. I have used it in the past with good results. Didn't last long though. Maybe 2 years tops. From the reading the Superseal 30 lasts longer? I will for sure use it IF I have aproblem and have to strip it. sigh.

    • Bill says:

      Has anyone read the instructions of Behr gloss sealer? It says it is not to be applied on color concrete. Behr is not a breathable sealer either, say awY from that product.

  16. Rick says:

    Sigh, learning to investigate BEFORE jumping in. Behr wet look applied and now I see issues. If I have to strip this off its Superseal 30 for me

  17. Brenda says:

    After rainy weather and pressure washing stamped concrete, how soon can you seal it?

  18. Mike Catterall says:

    I have just resealed my printed concrete drive, with a reputable sealer, but it has gone white in places, it was previously sealed about 4 years ago when it was laid, but had gone dull, hence the reseal. How can I treat these white areas?

  19. Claudia says:

    I just had new pavers installed and they turned white couple days later. I spoke with contractor and he applied something on it. It looks like paint? Not sure? What do you recommend I tell him?

    • Concrete Sealer Help says:

      Paint? If he applied paint then he probably ruined them. I doubt it was paint though. Ask him what it was.

  20. Joe L. says:

    Thank you for providing this valuable information.

  21. Luther says:

    After getting my bath tiled. The contractor cut the tile on my driveway now there are several white spots all over my drive way.

  22. Garrett says:

    I had new patio installed last summer and sealed less then a week after it was poured, now after the winter half the patio has white patches oddly only on the side I never shovelled all winter I was never advised I needed to shovel patio off. Would uncured cement cause this or was it the snow ? Will stripping the sealer affect concrete dye ? We are working with contractor about issue currently

  23. Charlene Chung says:

    What brand of stripper do you recommend to remove white haze?

  24. Diane Desjardins says:

    Had new stamped patio done. When contractors went to put on sealer the next day. In which we were schedule to have rain. It was about 3 hrs later. We noticed that we had several spots patio. He came back and power washed it didn't make difference. I believe he over put seal on it.

  25. Nikki says:

    Hello! I too have ruined my stamped, stained patio by applying a sealer which left a haze. After reading several articles, I bought xylene, applied to concrete, scrubbed with brush, power washed off. It is now all hazy white. Appears etched inareas. Dried fast after washing with soap and water. Will applying a new sealer eliminate this dull haze? Should xylene have been diluted? Help!

    • Concrete Sealer Help says:

      Xylene will not fix this nor is it stripper. Applying more sealer will not fix this either. You have to strip to remove. Look at the Concrete Sealer Stripper by Clemons Concrete.

  26. Jen says:

    Hi. We did stamped concrete patio last summer. Sealed it with good sealer. Was fine after a long winter of snow…until last week. We had a plastic tarp down because we were working on another project and didn't want to ruin patio. It rained while the tarp was down for couple days. Now when removed tarp, where tarp was is now white. Any suggestions would be appreciated?

  27. bob p says:

    Hi everyone!

    short story long…. my three year old stamped concrete looked like dull, some wear, so I contacted a local company specializing in decorative concrete

    the guy said I needed new sealer…..he came and applied a thick layer, then when he got back to where he started, went around again for a second coat….. as you would suspect, the application was too thick, with no drying time between applications….. white spots emerged after about 2 weeks, probably water rising up and being trapped in the too thick sealer.

    I fault myself for not knowing what is right and wrong, I did not object to the double coat, and would have, had I known

    this morning I applied xylene with a roller over the problem areas, rubbing a bit firmly over the white spots…. right now it looks just about perfect, the white spots pretty much gone.

    I think from this point on, if my concrete looks like it needs something, I would apply xylene…. I was told this freshens up the sealer and stain, without adding another layer of sealer that could be a problem, instead of a solution.

  28. Sue says:

    Where can we buy the sealer for coloured concrete? We live in Woodstock Ontario Canada

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