What is a wet look sealer?
That is a great question, and unfortunatly the answer will vary from one manufacturer to the next. For this reason, it is always suggested to thoroughly read product descriptions, and try products on a test area, before purchasing in bulk, or applying to your concrete and pavers.
We define a wet look sealer as a sealer darkens the surface to give it a similiar appearance to being wet. Gloss aside, wet look sealers are designed to enhance concrete and paver surfaces by darkening the natural color of the substrate. If you like the look or your concrete or pavers after they have been wet with water, you will love how a wet look sealer transforms them!
Foundation Armor manufactures a few different wet look sealers:
- Armor AR350: The Armor AR350 will darken the color of the concrete and pavers, and enhance with a low gloss finish.
- Armor AR500: The Armor AR500 will darken the color of the concrete and pavers, and enhance with a high gloss finish.
- Armor WL550: The Armor WL550 will slightly darken the color of the concrete and pavers, and will have a matte finish.
- Armor AX25: The Armor AX25 will darken the color of the concrete and pavers, and enhance with a high gloss finish.
The above wet look sealers are all great options, and the best sealer for your application will depend on what you want your concrete and pavers to look like once sealed. Each sealer is available in a 16 OZ samples so that you can try the sealer first to see what it looks like on your surface. Having trouble deciding? Check out our Concrete Sealer Photo Gallery for ideas!
What determines wet look?
Porosity, age, and condition of the concrete and pavers will determine how much of a wet look and gloss you will get with each type of sealer. You will experience a darker wet look and a higher gloss with concrete and pavers that aren’t very porous, and you will experience a lighter wet look and lower gloss with concrete and pavers that are very porous. Think of it this way. If you were to take a cup of sealer and apply it to a piece of wood, the wood would get really dark and have a high gloss. This is because the sealer can’t penetrate deep into the wood so there is a higher concentration of sealer on the surface. If you were to take a cup of the same sealer and apply it to a sponge, the material would absorb deep into the sponge and stop once it reached its maximum level absorbency. Because the cup of material was spread out through the entire sponge, less of the material was left on the surface, giving you a lighter wet look and lower gloss. For this reason, overly porous substrates will require more material to achieve your desired level of wet look and gloss, especially if it is your first time sealing. This is why we always suggest applying material to a test area, so you can 1) determine which sealer you prefer and 2) determine the best way to apply the sealer to your substrate, and how much sealer you need to apply.
How do I get a dark wet look?
As mentioned above, there are several factors that determine how dark of a wet look you will get. If you are resealing your concrete and pavers, and there is still a visible film on the surface, you will require 1-2 coats. We always suggest starting off with one coat and waiting 24 hours to see if you need a second coat. If this is your first time sealing, typically 2-3 coats will be required depending on porosity. We always suggest waiting 24 hours between coats we well because this allows the first coat to cure. If there is hardened material in the pores, it will reduce the porosity and force more of the material to stay on the surface. While 2 coats is sufficient for most applications, customers looking to achieve a higher level of gloss on very porous surfaces will require more material. Take for example pavers. Pavers are very porous – they are pretty much concrete sponges. They will absorb as much sealer as you apply. You can dump a gallon into one spot and it will likely find its way into the paver. For this reason, we suggest applying controlled coats, and spacing each coat out 24 hours. While square footage guidelines are there to help calculate material, they are also there to help control application and prevent overapplication and material waste. Samples are a great way to determine 1) what your concrete and pavers will look like once sealed and 2) how many coats will be required to achieve the look you want. Now, you really shouldn’t go over 3 coats because you want to make sure that the concrete or pavers remain breathable. If you have any questions about application, it is best to talk to a concrete technician before purchasing.
How do I get a high gloss?
Gloss works exactly the same way as achieving a wet look. Gloss is entirely determined why the amount of material that cures on the surface. Concrete and pavers that aren’t very porous will achieve a higher gloss with fewer coats than concrete and pavers that are very porous. Like with achieving a wet look, we suggst applying controlled coats, and spacing the coats out 24 hours. As previously mentioned, talking to a technician and applying a sample are great first steps when choosing the best wet look sealer.