How you seal pavers will depend on the type of paver sealer you use, and to which type of pavers you are applying a sealer to.
If your pavers have never been sealed, make sure they are clean and free of anyting that would prevent proper penetrating and bonding. Once dry, you can proceed with applying one of the following types of sealers:
- Hardeners and Densifiers: Densifiers chemically react to form a hardened crystalline barrier within the pores. Densifiers are not often required on pavers and offer little to no other benefits aside from an increase in strength. If you use a densifier, considering following the the application of a water repellent sealer.
- Water Repellent Sealers: Water repellent sealers reduce the absorption of water and liquids on the surface. They prevent a variety of issues caused by water absorption including cracking, spalling, pitting, ice and salt damage, and the growth of mold and mildew.
- Wet Look Sealers: Wet look sealers will give pavers the appearance of being "wet" and will also leave behind a subtle satin sheen finish.
- High Gloss Sealers: High gloss sealers will give pavers a high gloss finish.
Hint: If you are applying a wet look or high gloss sealer to pavers, consider using a solvent based acrylic and space the coats out 24 hours. By spacing the coats out you allow for the first coat to be absorbed into the pavers and harden so that the second coat sits more on the surface. This will further enhance the wet look or high gloss finish.
Previously Sealed Pavers
If the pavers have been previously sealed with an acrylic, you need to stay consistant with the type of acrylic that was used. For example, if a solvent based acrylic is still on the pavers you want to recoat with another solvent based acrylic; if a water based acrylic is still on the pavers you want to recoat with a water based acrylic. If you are unsure about the type of acrylic that is used you can remove the acrylic and start fresh, or try to test the surface with Xylene. While it isn't always the case, in most cases if you apply Xylene to the surface and the coating looks unchanged, the same, or better, a solvent based acrylic was used; if the coating gets clumpy or goopy, or worsens in appearance, a water based acrylic was used.
If you aren't happy with the coating on the pavers you can remove what is down with a high PSI heated pressure washer and Xylene (or another type of coatings stripper).
Photos of Sealed Pavers