How to Properly Apply Concrete Floor Sealer Concrete Floor IDEAS

How to Properly Apply Concrete Floor Sealer Concrete Floor IDEAS

The Best Ways to Apply Concrete Sealer

Sealer Application First Coat Primer

Standard Tools and the best ways of applying a concrete sealer to a floor.

In this article we will be referring to a concrete sealer as a thin film penetrating concrete sealer.  If youre interested in learning how to apply concrete coating please refer to our article on how to apply a concrete coating.

Properly applying a sealer to concrete will greatly improve its performance, appearance, and longevity.  Although these application methods are fairly standard it is necessary to always follow the manufacturers directions and recommendations for best results.

Final Coating at Car Dealer

Applying a sealer to concrete should be done in a way that follows as closely as possible the manufacturers directions, this includes surface preparation, thickness of application, coverage rate, and application technique.

Generally concrete sealers are applied in multiple thin coats. Heavy applications of sealer will often lead to puddling, whitening, or improper drying and crystallization.  The 2 most common types of sealer are water-based and solvent-based dilutions.  Although solvent-based sealers are more forgiving water-based sealers are more eco-friendly and easier to handle and work with.

Here are the most common types of applicators for concrete sealers:

High Pressure Airless Paint Sprayer

Pump sprayers:   These are generally the garden variety type of sprayer available at your local hardware store or can be purchased for specialty concrete sealer applications.  These hand pump sprayers are best used with water-based materials as most of the components will not last long with a solvent sealer.  Be sure to filter the sealer to avoid clogging the nozzle and ensuring a consistent mist over the concrete.  These types of sprayers are inexpensive but will have a limited lifespan.

High Pressure

Airless sprayers- .   These types of sprayers are ideal for large applications and will provide a consistent and fast way of applying sealer.  Although HVLP sprayers can be used with both water and solvent-based sealers, you will need to take extreme caution when spraying solvent as it is highly flammable and could cause severe explosions.  It is therefore recommended that HVLP sprayers, be limited to waterborne materials unless you have experience and understand the dangers.

LPHV low-pressure high-volume sprayers (pot sprayers)   These sprayers can be used for almost any type of sealer.  They allow for a wide range of viscosities as well as handle waterborne, solvent-based, and 100% solids coatings.  These sprayers can be regulated to provide an extremely consistent coat giving one of the most professional looking finishes, they do however take some time to set up, adjust, and then clean after use.

Rollers: Paint rollers can be used to apply concrete sealer but are not ideal for low solids water-based materials as the roller has a tendency of applying uneven and inconsistent coverage.  Rollers are however ideal for thicker solvent-based sealers that remained absorbed in the roller head and allows for more consistent coverage rate.  As with most sealers a diluted 1st coat is recommended prior to a 2nd heavier coat.

Lambs wool applicator. a lambswool applicator comes in both natural and man-made fabric.  Lambswool applicators are ideal for both waterborne and solvent-based sealers and can create a fast consistent coverage over a smooth concrete surface.  These applicators are standard with floor maintenance companies applying for finish waxes and urethanes.

Rayon mop:  These mop heads are specifically designed to apply water-based acrylic or urethane floor finishes or waxes.  Application consists of saturating the mop head with floor finish then wringing it out until it is lightly saturated, extremely thin coats are always recommended with floor finish waxes.

Expert Tips and Advice

As you can see there are many different ways to apply a concrete sealer and having experienced concrete floor sealer installers on staff at Concrete Floor IDEAS the general consensus is as follows:

Water-based concrete sealers are best applied in multiple thin coats using some form of sprayer, smaller projects can be done with the garden pump sprayer, and with larger installations it is advantageous to use an HVLP or LPHV type sprayer to get faster coverage rates.

Solvent-based concrete sealers are also best applied with a sprayer but should be followed up with a back role to provide a more consistent coverage rate.  For ease of application many concrete contractors will simply use a diluted 1st coat applied with a roller and then a subsequent 2nd coat applied in the opposite direction with a roller, this will eliminate cleanup and potential problems with spraying a solvent-based material.


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