Acrylic sealers can be applied to a variety of interior and exterior surfaces including concrete, stamped concrete, aggregate concrete, and pavers. They help to enhance the surface of the substrate, and protect it against deterioration caused by water and surface abrasion. Acrylic sealers are cost effective, easy to apply, and easy to maintain. If you are looking for a wet look, low gloss, high gloss, or colored finish, acrylic sealers are a great choice.
Best Acrylic Sealers
Not all acrylic sealers are the same and choosing the best acrylic sealer can mean the difference between having a positive and negative experience with an acrylic sealer.
There are three types of acrylic sealers:
- Water based acrylic sealers
- Solvent based acrylic sealers
- Hybrid/enhanced acrylic sealers
While each type of acrylic sealer contains acrylic resins, they could not be more different. The type of acrylic sealer you choose will determine how it is applied, what it can be applied to, how long it will last, and how it needs to be maintained and re-coated. Here are just a few of the many differences between water and solvent based acrylic sealers:
- Water based acrylic sealers don’t darken the surface but solvent based acrylic sealers do.
- Water based acrylic sealers can’t be colored but solvent based acrylic sealers can.
- Water based acrylic sealers need to be screen sanded before being re-coated but solvent based acrylic sealers can be re-coated without prep.
- Water based acrylic sealers have little to no odor but solvent based acrylic sealers do.
Water Based Acrylic Sealer Reviews
Water based acrylic sealers are popular because they have little to no VOC, and don’t usually have an odor. They are approved for use in most states and aren’t restricted by VOC limitations. There are a few things to keep in mind when considering a water based acrylic sealer:
- Water based acrylic sealers do not darken the surface of the concrete (wet look).
- Water based acrylic sealers can not be colored.
- Water based acrylic sealers need to be screen sanded before being repaired or re-coated.
- Water based acrylic sealers can’t be applied over a solvent based acrylic sealer, and solvent based acrylic sealers can’t be applied over water based acrylic sealers.
Water based acrylic sealer reviews:
- Seal-Krete Clear Seal Acrylic Sealer (average 4 star review)
- Armor WB25 Acrylic Sealer (average 4.9 star review)
Solvent Based Acrylic Sealer Reviews
Solvent based acrylic sealers have always been the preferred type of acrylic because they are easy to use, bond aggressively to the surface, and last longer than water based acrylic sealers. State VOC regulations have made it hard for manufacturers to sell solvent based acrylic sealers for years, but recently manufacturers have started to offer low VOC variations of their solvent based product line. Now that low VOC solvent based sealers are available in all 50 states, they are gaining back their popularity. There are many benefits to using a solvent based acrylic sealer:
- Solvent based acrylic sealers darken the surface of the concrete to give it a true wet look.
- Solvent based acrylic sealers can be applied in clear, or colored.
- Solvent based acrylic sealers can easily be repaired with Xylene.
- Solvent based acrylic sealers can be re-coatings without any surface prep.
Solvent based acrylic sealer reviews:
- Eagle High Gloss Sealer (average 4.6 star review)
- Armor AR350 Wet Look Sealer (average 4.8 star review)
- Armor AR500 High Gloss Sealer (average 4.9 star review)
- Enduraseal SB Acrylic Sealer (average 4.5 star review)
Hybrid and Enhanced Acrylic Sealer Reviews
A hybrid and enhance acrylic is an acrylic that combines more than one type of chemical. For example, the Armor AX25 combines a Siloxane water repellent with a solvent based acrylic making an ideal option for sealing substrates constantly exposed to water, such as a pool deck.
A second example is a urethane modified acrylic. These types of products are becoming popular because they are “new”, but they pose many issues. Acrylic sealers are very breathable while urethane sealers are not. The non-breathable urethane causes issues with delamination and blushing because sub-surface moisture is no longer allowed to escape. When you apply a urethane modified acrylic to exterior concrete, brick, or pavers, you may find them to be expensive and time consuming as you they need to be constantly repaired and sometimes removed.