Stamped concrete sealer is the final step of any stamp project. It’s a critical step because stamped concrete looks crappy until it’s sealed. Sealer brings the whole thing together by bringing out the color and luster that makes stamped concrete so stunning.
In just the same way, sealer rejuvinates aging concrete that has lost that luster it once had.
For exterior stamped concrete, the best kind of sealer to use is a high quality acrylic sealer. These are breathable coatings that protect and enhance the surface. Don’t use any epoxy or urethane sealers. These sealers do not allow vapor to pass and can actually cause permanent damage to the surface.
Acrylic sealers are available as water based or solvent based. It’s recommended that you use solvent based sealer because they are stronger, last longer, and more color enhancing. But they are toxic and require more precautions than their water based counterpart. Water based sealers work, just not as well. In some places, however, water based sealer may be the only choice due to environmental restrictions.
Before applying stamped concrete sealer, make sure the surface is clean as possible and dry. Be sure to mix the sealer completely. An electric mixer is recommended. Keep the mixing paddle submerged to prevent drawing air into the mix. This could create bubbling.
Use a brush to cut the edges and a medium nap roller for the rest. As you roll it, let the roller do the spreading. Don’t push down on it to get more coverage and don’t leave any puddles either. Let it dry completely. Then if you see any whitish spots, another quick coat should take care of it.
Sometimes solvent based sealers can bubble. Don’t worry, they will usually go away on their own. If not, a little bit of xylene, which is a thinning agent, will get rid of them.
It’s highly recommended that you spend the extra money for a high quality stamped concrete sealer. A cheap sealer can actually discolor and leave your concrete looking like junk.