Acrylic Sealer Problems

Acrylic Sealer with Problems

Acrylic sealers are very predictable sealers, and there are only a few factors that could cause acrylic sealer problems. The most common acrylic sealer problems, and the cause of those problems, are detailed below.

White Spots and Blushing: The most common acrylic sealer problem is blushing. Blushing looks like white spots, or a white haze, over certain areas, or over the entire surface, of the acrylic sealer. Blushing occurs when:

  • The acrylic sealer was applied to concrete or pavers that were wet. Acrylic sealers are very sensitive to water and moisture. When an acrylic sealer is applied to wet concrete, the acrylic sealer won’t be able to properly penetrate or bond, causing delamination (white haze). In some cases, the water or moisture in the pores will get mixed in with the acrylic, also resulting in delamination (white haze). When applying an acrylic sealer, it is important to make sure that the surface is completely dry. If the surface has been wet, the surface should be allowed to dry for a full 24 hours before sealing. The surface should also be kept dry for at least 36 hours after applying the acrylic sealer. Solvent based acrylic sealers can be easily repaired with Xylene, while water based acrylic sealers need to be completely removed and then reapplied.
  • The acrylic sealer was applied to concrete or pavers, and it rained within 36 hours after being applied. Acrylic sealers are very sensitive to water, and the same thing will happen to an acrylic that was applied to wet concrete as an acrylic that got wet before curing. Once an acrylic sealer has been applied, it needs to remain dry for at least 36 hours. If the surface gets wet before the acrylic has had time to cure, the acrylic will turn white. Solvent based acrylic sealers can be easily repaired with Xylene, while water based acrylic sealers need to be completely removed and then reapplied.
  • The acrylic sealer was applied over sealer that was not compatible with the new acrylic. Solvent based acrylic sealers should be recoated with a solvent based acrylic sealer, and water based acrylic sealers need to be recoated with a water based acrylic. If you mix sealers and apply a solvent based acrylic over a water based, or a water based over a solvent based, you will need to remove both the old and the new acrylic because the solvent based material will attack the water based material, resulting in coating failure.
  • The sealer was overapplied. Acrylic sealers are not high build coatings. They are designed to be applied in thin, even coats. Over applying an acrylic sealer will result in white spots or a white haze. Solvent based acrylic sealers can be easily repaired with Xylene, while water based acrylic sealers need to be completely removed and then reapplied.

A second issue that occurs is bubbling. Bubbling is caused when the acrylic sealer is applied to hot concrete, applied in high temperatures, or applied in the mid-day.

  • The acrylic sealer was applied in the morning or mid-day. As the day goes on, UV rays heat up the concrete. If the concrete gets too hot, or if the air temperature increases, the solvents will release too quickly causing bubbles on the surface. When applied in the middle of the day, the coating can also trap gasses and air into the coating, resulting in bubbling as well. Solvent based acrylic sealers can be easily repaired with Xylene, while water based acrylic sealers need to be completely removed and then reapplied.

How to Avoid Acrylic Sealer Problems

Acrylic sealers are the best type of sealer to use on interior or exterior concrete and paver surfaces if you are looking for a wet look, low gloss, or high gloss finish. While acrylic sealer problems do exist, most problems can be easily prevented.

  1. Make sure the surface is completely dry before applying the acrylic sealer. If it recently rained, or if the surface of wet to clean it, let the surface dry for at least 24 hours after getting wet before applying the acrylic sealer.
  2. Make sure the acrylic sealer is kept dry for at least 36 hours after applying.
  3. Do not drive on the the acrylic sealer for at least 48 hours after applying.
  4. Apply the acrylic sealer in the late afternoon or early evening when the surface has had time to cool, and when the air temperatures are stable or decreasing.
  5. Do not over apply the acrylic sealer. Acrylic sealers are not high build coatings. They are designed to be applied in thin, even coats.
  6. If you are applying an acrylic sealer, use a 3/8-1/2″ nap roller. Using a larger roller could result in over or under application of the acrylic sealer. Longer naps tend to have fibers that pull out easily as well, and the fibers can get trapped into the coating.
  7. If you are re-coating with an acrylic sealer, make sure the old acrylic sealer is compatible with the new sealer.
  8. When it comes to repairing acrylic sealers, solvent based acrylic sealers can be easily repaired with Xylene, while water based acrylic sealers need to be completely removed and then reapplied. Do not attempt to use Xylene to repair a water based acrylic sealer.

Best Acrylic Sealers

Looking for an acrylic sealer, consider the following acrylic sealer reviews:

Solvent based acrylic sealer reviews:

Water based acrylic sealer reviews: