Whether you’re finishing a new patio or want to smarten up old paving, a paver sealer can give great results. It can harden joints to keep pavers secure, whilst adding a durable and attractive finish. But how do you know which type is right for your project?
Here, we take a look at seven of the best paver sealers out there. And we explore which features will give the best results for your paving.
The Armor AR350 from manufacturers Foundation Armor is a simple-to-use solvent-based sealer.
It works particularly well on concrete or other smooth, non-porous surfaces. If your pavers are laid with joint sand, though, you’ll find a water-based sealer works better. This won’t harden up the sand as effectively.
The solvent here won’t give any unpleasant yellowing to the finish. Instead, you’ll be left with an attractive, glossy, wet-look surface on smooth pavers. Apply it to a surface with some texture, and you’ll find the finish is more of a light sheen.
Don’t forget that your pavers will be a shade darker than before they were sealed. It gives a lovely, rich finish that brings out details and color variations. Just remember the darker shade is something you’ll want to take into account in your design scheme.
This sealer is very straightforward to apply. You won’t need any form of primer here, whether the surface you’re finishing is sealed or unsealed. It can be used with either a roller or a sprayer, and when you’re done, just leave it to dry.
You’ll get best results from applying two coats. You’ll need to wait 24 hours for the first to dry before applying the second. But the ability to use a sprayer means those coats can go on very quickly. If you need to get your project finished fast, it’s an excellent option.
It’s made with non-recycled resins, and has a low VOC content. It is pretty smelly, though, and the fumes will take a few days to dissipate. If using on pavers near your house, keep doors and windows shut until it’s fully dried.
It will make a big difference to the durability of your paved surface. It will both reduce the amount of concrete dust from surface abrasions and will resist water and salt damage. It’s even impervious to some chemical stains. Just remember that because it resists water, it will be slippery when wet.
One gallon will cover up to 200 square feet. As with any sealer, the exact coverage will depend on how porous the surface you’re working with is.
It will last between one and three years before needing another coat if you’re using it outside. That extends to between three and seven years on interior surfaces.
This high-gloss sealant from award-winning manufacturers Kilz can be used on a wide variety of surfaces. In addition to concrete and natural or artificial stone, it will work well on brick, tile and stucco. If you’re looking for a sealer to cope with a number of different projects, this could be a good choice.
One thing to watch out for, though, is that it has been known to leave behind a milky finish. That can usually be sorted out with a second coat. And you won’t have to wait long to apply one. This sealer dries within an hour and surfaces can be recoated after just four hours.
It isn’t the best choice for colored concrete, where that milky sheen will detract from the shade. And it won’t work well on surfaces that are exposed to high levels of moisture. If you’re looking for a sealer for pavers surrounding a pool, for example, this won’t be the right choice.
This one has an acrylic base, so it’s less smelly than some when you’re applying it. And your surfaces won’t get slippery when they’re wet.
Applying several thinner coats will give a less shiny surface than a few thick coats. You can choose to apply this with a roller, brush, pad or sprayer. But don’t try to add a thinner – this isn’t designed to be thinned down.
You’ll need to take a bit of time to prepare the surface before getting started to get the best results. Make sure it’s free from dirt, grease, oil, wax or polish. And if there’s any loose or peeling paint, sand it away first.
The coverage will vary depending on the type of surface you’re sealing – but it’s pretty impressive. A gallon will cover anything between 250 and 400 square feet. And this is less expensive than many other comparable sealers too – so you’ll be getting excellent value for money.
Good coverage and value for money
Quick drying – can be recoated after just four hours
Finished surfaces won’t be slippery when wet
Has been known to leave behind a milky finish
Not suitable for high-moisture areas or for using with thinner.
DryWay’s concrete sealer is a good option for outdoor applications. And if sealing pavers isn’t a job you enjoy, this is definitely a product that should make your shortlist. Apply it once and it will last up to ten years before needing another coat.
It will prevent damage from salt and de-icing chemicals, as well as from the stresses of thawing and refreezing water. It will prevent the growth of mold and algae too. If you’re in an area that suffers from wet, cold weather, it could be an excellent choice.
It can also be used just as effectively indoors. The finish is clear and matte, so it’s a more subtle option than some of the other sealers on our list. And it’s non-slip.
If you’re using it on non-porous surfaces, a single coat will work fine. But for more absorbent pavers, apply a second coat for best results. You won’t need to wait for the first coat to dry – apply it wet on wet after about ten minutes.
It will take between two and four hours to dry, depending on the conditions. Apply it when the surface temperature is between 45 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
There are a few surfaces where this product isn’t the right choice. It isn’t suited to stamped, polished or fiber-reinforced concrete, or to modified hydraulic cement.
It won’t form any kind of film on your pavers and repels water very effectively. Water will bead on the surface after two to three days.
The coverage will vary depending on the kind of surface you’re sealing.
For concrete blocks, the porosity means you’ll need more product. Expect it to cover between 80 and 120 square feet per gallon. For bricks and pavers, that will increase to between 120 and 150 square feet. And for poured concrete, you should be able to cover between 150 and 200 square feet per gallon.
This can be applied with either a roller or a sprayer. If your pavers have been sealed before, however, you’ll need to remove all the old sealer before you start.
Excellent durability, lasting up to 10 years
Not suitable for stamped, polished or fiber-reinforced concrete, or modified hydraulic cement
You’ll need to remove any old sealer before applying.
This concrete sealer from EnduraSeal is a high-solids formulation with a solvent base. It will give a low-gloss wet-look finish on all types of concrete, whether plain, stained or colored. It will work equally well on stamped or exposed aggregate concrete, or on terrazzo or stone.
It will both seal the pavers and secure paver joints. It’s formulated to be UV-stable, so you won’t have to worry about it yellowing, even in strong sunlight.
You’ll get the best results from applying two thin coats. Apply the second coat after the first is completely dry – don’t try to rush this. The drying process will take between two and four hours.
The level of gloss will increase with every coat you add. And it will cope with foot traffic after being in place for between six and eight hours.
The coverage will depend on the porosity of the surface to which it is applied. For non-porous surfaces, a gallon will cover up to 300 square feet. For those that are more absorbent, coverage will be around half that.
As a solvent-based sealer, you’ll need to put up with some strong smells as it’s being applied. It’s best for outdoor applications where there’ll be plenty of ventilation. The smell will wear off after about a day.
It’s very easy to apply using a nap roller. And it’s possible to apply with a sprayer too. If you’re applying to a textured surface, though, it will be easier to get an even coat with a roller. You need the coats to be very thin for the best results.
It will be slippery when it’s wet. If you want to avoid that, you can add a non-slip grit to the second coat. Products like shark grit or gator grit work well. They aren’t expensive, and using them won’t affect the sheen of the finish.
Works on all kinds of concrete as well as stone and terrazzo
UV-stable, so won’t turn yellow in sunlight
You can make the finish glossier by adding more coats
Surfaces will be slippery when wet – unless you add a non-slip grit to the second coat
Minimum of two thin coats are needed for best results.
If your priority for a sealer is long life, LastiSeal’s offering is well worth considering. It comes with a market-leading service life of 15 years. And it’s guaranteed to offer waterproofing for the whole of that time.
The all-purpose formula will work on brick, concrete, pavers and porous masonry. It protects grout and even wood. It will work indoors or outdoors too. It will even cope with high moisture environments like sea walls.
There are, though, a few limitations. It isn’t the best choice for very dense stones and tiles, rock, hydraulic cement, or epoxy or chemically-modified grout.
The type of surface you want to seal will determine how much sealer you need.
If you’re applying it to concrete blocks, a gallon will cover between 100 and 150 square feet. On brick, the same amount will cover between 150 and 225 square feet. And on poured concrete it will cover between 150 and 250 square feet.
Because it’s water-based, there are no strong fumes or smells to worry about. It’s a safe, eco-friendly choice that will be particularly reassuring if you’re working near pets or children.
It’s easy to apply with either a brush, roller or sprayer. The surface must be clean and porous before you start work, or the sealer won’t stick to it. That means on older surfaces you’ll need to remove any pre-existing sealer. Specialist cleaners and etchers can be used to make the job easier.
Once applied, it will give you a non-slip, waterproof surface. It will resist damage from salt, de-icing chemicals and water freezing and thawing. And it’s UV-resistant, so it won’t crack or discolor in the sun.
The water-based formula won’t, though, give you as glossy a finish as other sealers on this list. If that’s important to you, a solvent-based option may be a better bet.
Lasts for 15 years, and guaranteed waterproof throughout its life
Works well indoors and outdoors, including in high-moisture environments
Provides a non-slip waterproof surface
The finish isn’t as glossy as some
Not suitable for dense stones and tiles, rock, hydraulic cement or epoxy or chemically-modified grout.
If you’re looking for a heavy-duty sealer with a high-gloss finish, check out SuperSeal 2000.
It’s hard-wearing, and it won’t turn yellow in the sunshine. It’s good on colored or stained surfaces too, where it will enhance the finish without discoloring it. We have, though, heard of some cases where the finish has become cloudy in very strong sunlight.
It can be used either indoors or outdoors – but beware: if using indoors, make sure the area is well ventilated. This is extremely smelly stuff, and the VOC levels won’t meet regulations in all areas.
You’ll need a good three days or so for the smell to wear off. Make sure you wear a mask while applying it. And if you have babies, small children or pets in the area being worked on, choose a different option.
The surface needs to be completely clean and dry before you start work. For best results, apply at least two thin coats. You can do so using either a roller or a sprayer. (If using a sprayer, make sure it’s one that’s designed for solvent-based sealers.)
A gallon will cover between about 150 and 250 square feet, depending on the surface and how thickly it’s applied.
Once dried, your paving will be completely waterproof. Take care though, because it will get very slippery when it’s wet. If you’re using this in an area that will be walked over, add non-slip grit to the final coat.
All in all, this is a cost-effective and powerful sealer – but it contains a lot of harmful VOCs. If you’re looking for a safe and environmentally-friendly sealer, this won’t be the right option. But if your priority is a robust waterproof finish, it’s well worth considering.
Resilient waterproof finish
Won’t discolor stained surfaces
Attractive high-gloss shine
High levels of VOCs – exceeds levels permitted by regulations in some areas
If you’re looking for a sealer to protect against a range of stains, Quikrete’s formula may be the answer. This will protect your paving from grease, oil, gasoline, acids, salts and household chemicals. It will resist food stains too, making it a great choice for a patio with a barbecue or outdoor grill.
It can be used inside or outdoors. It won’t discolor colored paving. And the formula resists UV light, so it won’t deteriorate or turn yellow in the sunshine.
It’s fine to use on decorative or previously sealed paving. But if you want to protect painted concrete, this isn’t the sealer for you. It’s not designed for this and won’t adhere effectively to the surface.
You’ll get between 200 and 400 square feet of coverage per gallon. As with all sealers, this will vary depending on how porous the surface you’re sealing is.
The instructions say not to apply more than two coats. We have, though, heard of people who’ve applied more without ill effects. Although this is “high gloss” don’t expect a mirror shine. But the thicker the layer of sealer, the glossier the final result will be.
Application is easy. We’ve even heard of people who’ve successfully applied this using nothing more than a standard kitchen sponge! But for best results, use a high density foam roller or fiber mop. The sealer will look milky when it goes on, but don’t be deterred. When it’s dried, it will be completely clear.
This is acrylic-based, and you won’t have strong odors to contend with while you’re applying it. And when it’s dry, you’ll have a surface that stays non-slip even when it’s wet.
Provides a stain-resistant and non-slip surface
Easy to apply
Can be used indoors or outdoors
Not suitable for painted concrete
If you want a truly high-gloss surface, you’ll need to apply multiple coats.
If you’ve checked out the reviews but still aren’t sure which sealer to plump for, read on. This buying guide will take you through the questions to ask yourself before making your final choice.
What surface do you want to seal?
Not all sealers work effectively with the same materials, so start by identifying the substance you want to seal. If you have stone pavers, check whether they’re natural or man-made. And check how dense they are too. Some sealers will struggle with very dense stone.
Remember to think about the material that will be holding your pavers in place too. If you’re using joint sand, water-based sealers will usually work better than solvent-based ones. And some sealers won’t work on particular kinds of grout.
Check the label carefully to make sure the sealer will work effectively with both your chosen paving and grout.
Will you be working indoors or out?
Some sealers will work both in and outdoors. Others are designed for one environment or the other.
If you’re working outdoors, looks for formulas that are UV-stabilized. These will protect the surface of your paving from going yellow or otherwise deteriorating in the sunshine.
And if you’re sealing surfaces inside your home, choose a sealer with low levels of volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. They will be better for your health.
Similarly, search out options that have low odors, particularly if you’ll struggle to ventilate the room where you’ll be working. Low odors and low VOCs usually go together, so checking this out is a simpler task than it might sound.
High gloss or matte finish?
Finally, think about the look you’re going for. Do you want a high-gloss, wet-look finish? Or do you prefer a low gleam or matte surface?
Different sealers will tend towards one or other ends of the spectrum. Generally speaking, water-based and low-VOC sealers will give a more matte finish. If you want a glossier finish, you may have to contend with more VOCs – so make sure the area is well ventilated as you work.
And some sealers will offer a glossier surface the more coats you apply. If you’re prepared to be patient, they can offer you the opportunity to fine tune the finish you want.
Ready to choose?
That brings us to the end of our reviews of the best paver sealers on the market today. Whether you’re looking for solvent or water-based, high gloss or matte, there’s an option out there for you.
Our top pick is the [amazon_textlink asin=’B00N9FEI4C’ text=’Armor AR350 Concrete and Paver Sealer’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thedailygardener-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’f22dbacb-a952-4b04-b70e-fa6b1c4996b2′]. It’s quick and easy to apply, can be used inside and out, and will protect your paving from multiple threats. If you’re using it in an area that will get wet, just remember to add some non-slip grit to the final coat.
Whichever sealer you choose, you can look forward to pavers that look great and last for longer. With a little work, you’ll get great results. Good luck with your next project!