How you seal stamped concrete will depend on the type of stamped concrete sealer you use, and when during the stamping process you decide to seal the stamped concrete.
New, Uncured Stamped Concrete
If you want to seal stamped concrete that is not fully cured, or less than 28 days new, you need to use a cure and seal sealer. Cure and sealers are not as moisture sensitive as regular sealers and they are designed to prevent water from evaporating from the stamped concrete so that it may properly cure. Stamped concrete sealers can be applied in as little as 24 hours after the stamped concrete has been laid. There are three types of cure and seals that can be used:
- Armor LV25: Solvent based high solids acrylic co-polymer curing compound and high gloss sealer for interior and exterior concrete and paver surfaces.
- Armor AX25: Solvent based high solids Siloxane infused acrylic curing compound and high gloss sealer for interior and exterior concrete and paver surfaces.
- Armor WB25: Water based high solids acrylic co-polymer curing compound and high gloss sealer for interior and exterior concrete and paver surfaces.
Cure and sealers can be applied with a roller or 20 PSI or less sprayer. A roller may be easier if the applicator has little to no experience with applying acrylic sealers, or cure and seals, with a sprayer.
Unsealed, Stamped Concrete
If the stamped concrete is cured but has never been sealed, you have a few options:
- Water Repellent Sealer: A water repellent sealer, like the Armor SX5000, is a great type of sealer to use if you want to protect your stamped concrete without changing the look or color. Water repellent sealers won't protect color from fading from abrasion, but they will help to prevent damage caused by water absorption such as cracking, spalling, pitting, ice and salt damage, and the growth of mold and mildew. Water repellent sealers can be rolled or sprayed onto the surface. If you plan on using a wet look or high gloss sealer down the road, consider applying a solvent based water repellent to help with the acrylic bonding to the stamped concrete surface
- Armor SX5000: Solvent based, high solids, Department of Transportation approved water repellent sealer for concrete, brick, stone, masonry, and tile.
- Armor SX5000 WB: Water based water repellent sealer for concrete, brick, stone, masonry, and tile.
- Acrylic Sealer: Acrylic sealers will give you a wet look or high gloss finish. They are designed to enhance and protect stamped concrete surfaces by leaving behind a visible, protective surface film. Acrylic sealers come in a variety of forms and finishes and can be quickly applied with a roller or sprayer. Word of advice - solvent based acrylics tend to be easier to maintain when it comes to time to recoat (you can just add a new coat directly to the old coating). If the job or project does not call for a water based product, consider the use of a solvent based first.
- Armor AR350: Wet look sealer designed to give substrates the appearance of being "wet". Enhances with a satin sheen finish, available in clear and color options.
- Armor AR500: High gloss pure acrylic sealer designed to enhance and protect interior and exterior concrete and paver surfaces.
- Armor AX25: Siloxane infused high gloss acrylic sealer designed to enhance and protect interior and exterior concrete and paver surfaces.
- Armor LV25 and WB25: High gloss acrylic cure and seals designed to cure and seal interior and exterior concrete surfaces.
- Paint: Avoid using paint of any kind - acrylic, latex. Paint bonds to the surface, paint peels and flakes, paint can't be "touched up." Avoid the use of paint at any and all cost.
Previously Sealed Stamped Concrete
Previously sealed stamped concrete can still be sealed. How to seal stamped concrete with a sealer on it depends on what type of sealer you used.
- Densifier: While stamped concrete surfaces look rough, the surface pores are often very tiny because of how concrete is stamped. If you used a densifier on yoru stamped concrete you can apply a water repellent sealer without issue. If you want a wet look or high gloss coating, you will have to test the adhesion before applying. An acid etch may be required in order to open the surface pores and allow for proper bonding.
- Solvent Based Water Repellent: If your stamped concrete has a solvent based water repellent down, you can apply more water repellent to the surface. If you want a wet look or high gloss, you can add a solvent based acrylic to the surface.
- Water Based Water Repellent: If your stamped concrete has a water based water repellent down, and a year or more has passed, you can apply more water based water repellent to the surface. If you want a wet look or high gloss, you can apply a solvent based acrylic to the surface after you have verified adhesion in a test area.
- Solvent Based Acrylic: If your stamped concrete has been sealed with a solvent based acrylic and the solvent based acrylic is not delaminating (or covered in a white haze), you can apply more solvent based acrylic to the surface. If the solvent based acrylic currently down is damaged (delaminating or covered in a white haze) you will need to use the Armor Blush Repair, or a product like Xylene, to repair the acrylic coating to allow for proper bonding of the new acrylic coating.
- Water Based Acrylic: If your stamped concrete has been sealed with a water based acrylic you will need to scuff the surface before applying more water based acrylic to the surface.
- Paint: There is nothing you can do to stamped concrete with paint on it other than adding more paint to the surface. It would be in your best interest to remove the paint and start from scratch.
Stamped Concrete Photos