Enhancing dull and faded pavers is a fairly easy process and can be done with a sealer or coating. The best enhancing paver sealers are as follows:
- Armor AR350 – This is a great sealer to use if you are looking to enhance the with a wet look, and protect them with a visible low gloss finish.
- Armor AR500 – This is a great sealer to use if you are looking to enhance the pavers with a wet look, and protect them with a visible higher gloss finish.
- Armor WL550 – This is a great sealer to use if you are looking to enhance the pavers with a slight wet look, but don’t want a visible film or coating, and don’t want a dramatic change in color.
- Armor WB15 – This is a great sealer to use if you want to enhance the pavers with faint low gloss finish, but don’t want the darkened wet look.
- Armor WB25 – This is a great sealer to use if you want to enhance the pavers with a higher gloss finish, but don’t want the darkened wet look.
If you are looking for a slight change in color, but don’t want to maintain a coating, the Armor WL550 is a popular option. You won’t get as deep of a wet look as you would if you used the Armor AR350 or Armor AR500, but you will get some color enhancement. Actual color enhancement depends heavily on the porosity of the pavers, so it is important to try the sealer on a test area to see if you like the level of enhancement, or if you need a solvent based acrylic sealer instead.
If you want a gloss but want little to no change in the color of your pavers, a water based acrylic sealer is a great option. While some water based acrylic sealers will offer a very slight enhancement in color, they won’t typically offer the same enhancement that a solvent based acrylic sealer would. Water based acrylic sealers are also great for applications where odor and clean-up is a concern. While solvent based acrylic sealers tend to have an odor that can linger for a few days, water based acrylic sealers have little to no odor.
If you are looking to use an acrylic sealer, it is important to understand how porosity impacts actual gloss level. If you apply the same sealer to a poured concrete driveway and a paver driveway, the gloss level will be higher on the poured concrete driveway because the poured concrete driveway won’t be as porous as the pavers. Pavers behave much like a sponge and will soak up a lot of material. The more material it soaks up, the deeper it penetrates. Surface film is what achieves gloss level so if the material is being pulled through the pavers, there won’t be much of a surface film left. For this reason, it is important to apply light coats, and space the coats out 24 hours. This will allow each coat to cure, forcing the new coat to cure closer to the surface. If your pavers haven’t been sealed in a while, or haven’t ever been sealed, it may take an additional coat to achieve a higher level of gloss. It is also important to apply a test sample on your pavers so you know what your pavers will look like sealed with that particular product. If you want a slight gloss, the Armor AR350 or Armor WB15 are a great choice. If you want the most gloss you can get with pavers, the Armor AR500 or Armor WB25 are best.
While it is important to determine what you want your pavers to look like once sealed, it is also important to take compatibility into consideration. If your pavers are unsealed, you can use any sealer you’d like. If your pavers are currently sealed, the sealer you have down will determine what you can re-seal the pavers with. Typically, if you have a water based acrylic sealer down, you recoat with a water-based acrylic; if you have a solvent based acrylic sealer down, you recoat with a solvent based acrylic. If you used a water repellent sealer in the past, but want to recoat with an acrylic, it is safest to apply a solvent based acrylic. If it has been years since you sealed and there is no longer a water repellent working in the pores, you can use a water-based acrylic, but that is only recommended after you talk to a technician and apply the water-based acrylic to a test area to verify adhesion.
Still not sure which sealer to use? Foundation Armor products are all available in 16-ounce samples. You can also talk to a Foundation Armor technician, and they can help you with product selection.