The above photo, taken from FoundationArmor.com, does a fantastic job of showing what pavers look like unsealed versus what they look like sealed with a wet look sealer. Wet look sealers are designed to darken the surface of the pavers in order to make them look wet, and protect the surface with a low to high gloss finish.
The best way to achieve a wet look is with a solvent based acrylic sealer. Solvent based acrylic sealers contain resins that darken the pavers, giving them a similar appearance to being wet. They will then leave a protective film on the surface that enhances the pavers with a gloss, protects them against fading caused by UV exposure, and protects them against damage and deterioration caused by water absorption and surface abrasion. Water based acrylic sealers may slightly darken the pavers, but they won’t offer as dramatic of an appearance as a solvent based acrylic sealer will. Water based acrylic sealers are typically used to enhance with a gloss, but will not darken the pavers to make them look like they have been wet with water.
There are a few things to consider when applying a wet look sealer to pavers:
- Pavers are very porous and tend to absorb a lot of material, more than concrete does. To achieve a consistent wet look and gloss, two coats should be applied.
- When applying two coats of a solvent based acrylic sealer, space the coats out 12-24 hours. By spacing out the coats, you allow for the first coat to harden so that the second coat bonds to the first, instead of being absorbed into the pavers along with the first coat. Spacing out the coats will help to achieve a better film formation on the surface.
- Make sure the pavers are completely dry during the time of application. If the pavers were wet during the cleaning process, they need to be allowed at least 24 hours to dry. Once the sealer has been applied, keep the surface dry for at least 36 hours to allow the acrylic to fully cure.
Best Wet Look 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)