Wet Look Stamped Concrete Driveway

Wet Look Concrete Sealer Products

There are a couple of different products that can be used to achive a wet look finish depending on what you mean by "wet look". If you like what your concrete or pavers look like after they have been wet with water thenBefore and After Wet Look Sealer Photo you want a solvent based acrylic lacquer. The resins in the solvent based acrylic sealer will darken the surface of the concrete to make them look wet, and then protect the surface with a low to high gloss finish. The two best products for a wet look are the Armor AR350 and the Armor AR500. Both types of acrylic sealers are made from high quality U.S. resins and are designed to enhance and protect the surface of the concrete. 

  • Armor AR350 Wet Look Sealer with Low Gloss Finish (featured in photo)
  • Armor AR500 Wet Look Sealer with High Gloss Finish

If you want a high gloss but don't want the surface of the concrete to darken, then you want a water based acrylic sealer. Water based acrylic sealers are designed to enhance the surface without darkening it.

  • Armor WB15 Wet Look Sealer with Low Gloss Finish
  • Armor WB25 Wet Look Sealer with High Gloss Finish

Silicate concrete sealers, Siliconate concrete sealers, and Silane-Siloxane concrete sealers will not provide a wet look finish because they are designed to work below the surface of the concrete without changing the look or color. The best way to achive a wet look finish is with an acrylic concrete sealer.

How to Apply a Wet Look Concrete Sealer

Apply a wet look concrete sealer is fairly simple and can be done in a few steps. 

  1. First, you want to make sure that the concrete or paver surface is clean, and free of any old sealers, stains, or materials that can prevent the wet look sealer from properly being able to penetrate and bond. If the concrete is currently sealed, then you want to make sure the new wet look sealer is compatable with the old sealer. Solvent based acrylic sealers need to recoat solvent based acrylic sealers, and water based acrylic sealers need to recoat water based acrylic sealers. Mixing the two will result in coating failure.
  2. Next, make sure the surface of the concrete or pavers is completely dry. Wet look sealers are sensitive to water and moisture which is why it is important to give the surface at least 24 hours to dry. 
  3. When it comes time to apply the wet look sealer, you can use a 3/8-1/2" shedless nap roller. Do not go higher than that or you can run into issues with over-applying product. For water based acrylic sealers you will need to stay within the recoat window, but if using a solvent based acrylic sealer space the coats out at least 12-24 hours for better film formation on the surface. 
  4. Apply the wet look sealer in the late afternoon or evening. Dew can be present in the early morning, and the concrete heats up during the day. Applying it in the later afternoon or evening helps to prevent blushing or solvent bubbles from forming. 
  5. Let dry for 24-36 hours before wetting, walking on, or driving on.

Wet Look Concrete Sealer Problems

The most common types of wet look concrete sealer problems are blushing and bubbling. Blushing, which looks like a white haze, is caused by a few things:

  • Blushing is caused when a wet look sealer is applied to wet or damp concrete (or concrete with a high moisture content).
  • Blushing is caused when a wet look sealer is applied over a surface that has been previously sealed with a non-compatable sealer. 
  • Blushing is caused if the concrete is too dense for the wet look sealer to be able to penetrate and bond.
  • Blushing is caused when a wet look sealer is over applied. Wet look sealers are not high build coaitngs and should only be applied in thin light coats.  

In most cashes, blushing can easily be avoided by following application instructions and verifying that the old sealer, if an old sealer is down, is compatable with the new wet look sealer. 

Bubbling, also known as solvent pop, occurs when a wet look sealer is applied when the concrete surface or air temperature is too hot. This can be avoided by applying the wet look sealer in the late afternoon or evening.