Best Acrylic Sealers

Acrylic sealers are very popular sealers for enhancing and sealing concrete, brick, and pavers. While the market is overly flooded with acrylic sealers, we can honestly say that not all acrylic sealers are the same. Not only do acrylic sealers differ in price point, but they differ in quality as well. It is what goes into the acrylic sealer that dictates its life and performance.

Recycled Resins vs Non-Recycled Acrylic Resins

An acrylic sealer, like the Armor AR350, made from non-recycled US manufactured resins is a pure acrylic sealer. An acrylic sealer, like the Eagle High Gloss sealer, made from recycled China-imported resins is a diluted acrylic sealer. If you were to run a side-by-side test between the two products for 1-2 years you would find the AR350 outlasts the Eagle sealer. The AR350 sealer will still be in tact, have a similar gloss level as to when first applied, and very little signs of wear. The Eagle sealer will be almost completely worn off the surface and will show signs of delamination in shady or wet areas. Why does this happen? During the process of recycling an acrylic resin, chemicals need to be added to the acrylic in order to break it down. These chemicals aren’t completely removed when the sealer is packaged and are known to cause premature degradation. In addition to the chemicals added to recycle the acrylic, other chemicals have to be added, such as UV stabilizers, to combat issues caused by the chemicals used to recycle the acrylic. These types of chemicals are known to have issues in performance as well. Pure acrylic sealers made from non-recycled resins don’t have these issues because no additional chemicals need to be added during the manufacturing process.

Still confused? Think of it this way. Pure maple syrup vs. Aunt Jemima’s maple syrup. At first glance, they both look the same, right? When you pour them out of the bottle you start to see the first difference: pure maple syrup is thick and Aunt Jemima’s is watered down. Then, you look at the label: pure maple syrup is made of of a few natural ingredients, but Aunt Jemima’s has an ingredients list a mile long with ingredients that you can’t even pronounce let alone know of.

When it comes to acrylic sealers, you will pay more for a non-recycled resin, but in the end, it will be worth the investment.

Best acrylic sealers:

Water vs Solvent Based Acrylic Sealers

When consumers think of water and solvent based, they think of odor. That is the first thing that comes to mind when people hear “water” or “solvent” based. While water based acrylic sealers do have little to no odor, there are more differences between the two types of acrylic sealers than just the smell.

  • Application: Water and solvent based acrylic sealers have a very similar application. The primary difference will be the re-coat window. Water based acrylic sealers have a very specific re-coat window and if the second coat is applied outside of that window, the entire surface will need to be screen sanded. Solvent based acrylic sealers don’t really have a re-coat window and can be re-coated at anytime.
  • Maintenance: This is one of the largest differences between a water based acrylic and a solvent based acrylic. Water based acrylic sealers need to be screen sanded, and in some cases removed, in order to repair or re-coat. Solvent based acrylic sealers simply need to be spot treated with Xylene, or re-coated with more material.
  • Life: Solvent based acrylic sealers outlast water based acrylic sealers. Solvent based acrylic sealers are significantly easier to maintain and for that reason, will outlast a water based acrylic sealer by up to 2 years.

Best water based acrylic sealers:

Best solvent based acrylic sealers:

Pure Acrylic Sealer vs Acrylic Co-Polymer vs Acrylic Latex

If you are looking for an acrylic sealer and it says, “acrylic latex” sealer, then run. Acrylic latex sealers are extremely hard to work with, have issues bonding to a variety of surfaces, and are near impossible to repair and maintain. They are the cheapest type of acrylic sealer for a reason – what you don’t pay for up front, you will pay for during the repair or removal process.

Pure acrylic lacquer and acrylic co-polymer sealers are the most popular types of acrylic sealers. Acrylic co-polymers are commonly used in cure and seal solutions while pure acrylic lacquers are used in non cure and seal formulas. Pure acrylic lacquer sealers are just that, pure acrylic sealers, and for that reason are usually sold at a higher price point. They have been proven to bond better, perform better, and last longer than other types of acrylic sealers. When looking for an acrylic sealer, make sure you are buying a pure acrylic lacquer or an acrylic copolymer.

Best water based acrylic sealers:

Best solvent based acrylic sealers: