How To Choose The Right Concrete Sealer For Your Project? A Consumer Guide

Written By Kenneth Wilson  |  0 Comments

If you are looking to lay concrete for your next project, you will need to plan for this project. To complete this project properly, it is going to require you to plan for more than just buying the concrete that you will use. You are going to need a finish for your concrete. 

The reason that you will need more than just concrete is that it is susceptible to the elements. A concrete sealer will be a finishing product that you will use that will allow for the concrete to last much longer. There are various types of concrete sealers that you can choose from as you prepare for your next project.

Therefore, to answer the question:

How to Choose the Right Concrete Sealer for your Project?

Choosing the right concrete sealer for your project will depend on the type of project that you will be doing and the type of elements that you need to protect your concrete from. There are three main types of concrete sealers, which are stamped concrete sealer, wet look concrete sealer, and concrete crack sealer. Before choosing which concrete sealer to purchase, you should evaluate what your project will need. There are two main results that the concrete sealer will produce.

First, a concrete sealer will protect the concrete from the elements. This is helpful because concrete is porous and if the elements get into the concrete, it can break down its integrity. Second, a concrete sealer will give the concrete an appealing finish. Depending on how you want the concrete to look after the sealer is applied will determine which sealer you want to choose. (Related article: How To Waterproof Basement Walls From The Inside)

Types of Concrete Sealers

There are a variety of concrete sealers available to choose from. Additionally, different companies are selling concrete sealers. Here are three common types of concrete sealers that you can choose from:

  • Stamped concrete sealer
  • Wet look concrete sealer
  • Concrete crack sealer

Each of these concrete sealers will generally achieve the same result, which is to protect the integrity of the concrete. Although each one is different and depending on the project that you will be doing, you will have to choose which sealer is best suited for your project. Here is some information on each type to help you decide which sealer to choose from. 

1. Stamped Concrete Sealer

Stamped concrete sealer refers to the type of concrete that it is sealing, which is stamped concrete. If you have ever seen concrete that resembles a certain pattern, that is what is called stamped concrete. If concrete is unsealed, that makes it susceptible to the outside elements and in the case of stamped concrete, that makes the patterns susceptible to deterioration.

Preparing to apply a sealer to concrete will require you to know which concrete sealer works best for your goals. You will need to know which will work best over time, which works best for your budget, and the variety of different factors that will determine which sealer you purchase.  

Here are some types of stamped concrete sealers available:

Other brands that sell stamped concrete sealers are Rust-Oleum, H&C, Seal-Once, and Seal-Krete. Each one of those has its advantages and disadvantages and may be best suited for your project. If you have more questions, your local hardware store should be able to help.

Valspar has many types of stamped concrete sealers available and these three are well-used options for you to choose from. Here are the advantages and specifications to each of the Valspar sealers listed above: 

Semi-transparent Concrete Stain

Solid Color Concrete Stain

Protective Sealer Natural Look

  • Valspar semi-transparent concrete stain: This sealer has an average rating of 4.4 stars out of 5 based on 731 reviews. Whether you are looking to protect your concrete from weather or chemicals, this sealer can protect it while adding a glossy finish. Additionally, it covers a range of 200 to 400 square feet per gallon. It provides a natural stone look, adds sun protection, and can be used on your exterior.
  • Valspar solid color concrete stain: This sealer has an average rating of 2.2 stars out of 5 based on 30 reviews. This sealer operates more like a stain and does not provide as much protection as other sealers, but still has sealing properties. You can use this sealer on patios, driveways, and sidewalks, and will bring new life to those surfaces. Using this sealer helps protect from the sun, water, and household chemicals. The gloss is lower on this sealer compared to other sealers and it will help protect against hot tire pickup, flaking, or peeling. It covers a range of 200-500 square feet per gallon. 
  • Valspar protective sealer natural look: This sealer has an average of 1.8 stars out of 5 based on 28 reviews. This sealer is a great option if you are looking for quick results. It will completely dry in two hours and will be completely clear. It is a great option for those who are looking for a job to be done quickly and for those who want the natural look of concrete and an added layer of protection. This sealer will protect your concrete from weather and household chemicals and uses silicone technology to provide clear protection. You can buy this in either one or five-gallon containers and it covers a range of 75 to 150 square feet per gallon. 

2. Wet Look Concrete Sealer

Wet look concrete sealers have a higher gloss than other concrete sealers. Having this higher gloss amount contributes to the sealer having a wet look. This type of sealer can be used both indoors and outdoors, which gives it a high level of variety depending on the project that you will be doing. A wet look sealer achieves a high gloss look because it has a higher level of acrylic. The acrylic level helps keep a consistent color and one of the biggest benefits of a wet look concrete sealer is it is protected against the concrete becoming a yellow discoloration.

There is a variety of wet look concrete sealers that you can purchase. Here a some commonly bought options that you can choose from as you prepare for your next project:

Here are some benefits to the above two wet look concrete sealers:

Valspar Protective Sealer

Foundation Armor AR 350

  • Valspar protective sealer wet look. This sealer has an average rating of 4.3 stars out of 5 based on 271 reviews. Other than concrete, this sealer is useful to protect a variety of surfaces including brick, pavers, and slate. It has durable protection against the sun, chemicals, and de-icing salts. Whether you have a driveway, sidewalk, or patio, this sealer will work for your upcoming project. Additionally, this product comes in a one and five-gallon option and covers a range from 200 - 400 square feet per gallon. 
  • Foundation Armor AR 350 wet look sealer clear satin gloss transparent concrete sealer. This sealer has an average rating of 4.2 stars out of 5 based on seven reviews. This sealer gives the concrete a darker look which in turn gives the concrete a wet look. It gives the concrete a protective surface against any deterioration and will also protect against mold, mildew, and algae. You can purchase this in a one-gallon size. 

3. Concrete Crack Sealer

Concrete crack sealers are very useful if your concrete’s integrity has decrease and you need to repair any cracks. This varies from the sealers as they are applied to prevent any type of damage to the concrete. A concrete crack sealer is applied after the damage has been done to prevent any additional damage to the concrete that may occur.

There are many types of concrete crack sealers on the market and depending on the project and your price range, a certain one may best fit your needs. 

Red Devil makes a product that they call a concrete patch that is a great option for all your concrete repair needs. Red Devil is a great option because they have a great product but they make it in a variety of sizes. They sell it as small as a 5.5 fl. oz. tube, all the way up to a gallon jug. Red Devil meets the needs of those looking to repair cracks in concrete as it repairs not only cracks in concrete but holes breaks and various imperfections and concrete and masonry surfaces. 

What is the Best Concrete Sealer for Your Project?

Concrete sealers are needed to protect your concrete from the elements. Not only do sealers protect your concrete, but they can also help repair and give your concrete an upgraded appeal. Concrete sealers are mainly part of three categories, which are stamped concrete sealers, wet look concrete sealers, and concrete crack sealers.

Stamped concrete sealers primarily help protect concrete that has a stamped look. This sealer does not change the look of it as much as other sealers because it does not have a highly glossy finish. Wet look sealer helps protect concrete and other surfaces while giving it a wet look because of its high gloss finish. Concrete sealers are agents that are designed to repair concrete that has been damaged. 

About the Author

I can build it, and I can help you get the patio enclosure you want! I got my start in the Florida patio industry back in the 70s as a young general laborer looking for something to make a few bucks. At the time I never thought it would end up as my career. Over the years I grew beyond the laborer position, becoming a foreman, superintendent, and then into executive management for some of the largest patio contractors, and material vendors. Now into retirement and slightly bored, I offer consulting services to new and existing contractors, and publish this website to help the people who love their patio's and screen enclosures the most - YOU!

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