Decorative concrete is concrete that is stamped, colored, or acid stained. The best sealer to use on decorative concrete is an acrylic based coating.
Penetrating sealers penetrating through the surface of the concrete and protect the concrete within the surface pores. Penetrating sealers include silicate concrete sealers and silane-siloxane concrete sealers. Penetrating sealers work below the surface and don’t leave behind a surface film or coating. The surface of the concrete remains exposed and factors such as UV rays and surface abrasion will cause colors to fade.
Acrylic concrete sealers are sealers that leave behind a protective surface film. They coat the surface of the concrete to protect the colors from fading, and the surface from degrading. They are the best type of sealer to use on decorative concrete.
Under the category of acrylic sealers there are water and solvent based acrylics. There are several differences to consider:
- Application: Water and solvent based acrylic sealers are both applied to decorative concrete with a roller or sprayer. If the decorative concrete is stamped, applying a sealer with a sprayer may help to reduce material waste.
- Look: Water based acrylic sealers will leave behind a low to high gloss finish without darkening the surface of the decorative concrete. Solvent based acrylic sealers will darken the surface to bring out dull and faded coloring in the decorative concrete, as well as leave behind a low to high gloss finish.
- Repair: When a water based acrylic sealer needs repair, screen sanding or removal is required. When a solvent based acrylic sealer needs repair, you simply use Xylene to spot treat, or put down more material.
- Re-Coat: When a water based acrylic sealer needs to be re-coated, the entire surface will have to be screen sanded. Damaged areas will have to be removed as well. When a solvent based acrylic sealer needs to be re-coated you simply put more material down to a clean and dry surface.
Best Decorative Concrete Sealers:
- 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)