Guard Industry

How to choose the best sealer

You could spend hours trawling the shop shelves and the internet, reading technical data and labels trying to find the right and best sealer. But first you need to know the right questions to ask. There are lots of products on the market that will try and convince you with just their name “Bluestone Sealer” but this can be misleading as it’s telling you “I’m the right product without understanding your specific needs”. 

We would always recommend you call 1300 249 767 or email us and speak to one of our friendly staff for a no obligation answer to all your questions.

4 main Sealer types and their primary uses – which is the best sealer for you?

  1. Penetrating or Impregnating Sealers – These are pore lining natural finish sealers that do not form a film on the surface, they allow the surface to breathe and are the very best for natural finish protection. They are mostly used on stone, marble, finished and precast concrete. These products are long life as they work in the surface not on it.
  2. Acrylics – Form a thin layer on the surface that will give a “wet” look in either semi-gloss or gloss generally. Usually quicker drying than other coating sealers but wear quickly – generally within 12-18 months.
  3. Epoxy – generally a 2 pac product with epoxy and hardener being mixed together right before application. Epoxy will apply a thick coating over the surface for hi-build protection. Generally used on internal concrete surfaces or warehouse floors as not usually a UV stable product, therefore not suitable for outside applications.
  4. Polyurethanes – very similar to epoxy except they are single component and UV stable so can be used inside and outside. Predominantly used on concrete floors and walls.

What am I Sealing and what is the best sealer for a surface?

Natural stone, marble, brick or concrete – all these surfaces have different levels of porosity, finishes, slip ratings etc. Putting an acrylic concrete sealer on a natural stone is a bad idea.

  • Natural Stone – generally you want a penetrating sealer to keep the natural look. You may want some slight colour enhancement but generally you wouldn’t place a coating over natural stone.
  • Marble – generally finished off to a high polish so the shine is already present prior to sealing. Again you need a penetrating sealer but you need to ensure the sealer mentions polished or marble surfaces, as not all penetrating sealers can penetrate into a dense polished marble surface.
  • Concrete – This is where you get a little more choice so you need more questions answered, like what type of finish, what type of area and what are you protecting from.

What finish do you require?

All sealers have a different finish so here we will explain some terminology you will need to understand and which sealers can achieve different finishes.

  • Natural Finish – to achieve a natural finish you will need a penetrating sealer. This will give you great protection but will not be visible to the eye.
  • Enhanced Finish – if you’re wanting to bring out the surface colour without a glossy finish, you will need a penetrating enhancing sealer.
  • Semi-Gloss – A small amount of shine or “wet” look will need an acrylic, epoxy or polyurethane product. Water-based products generally have less shine than solvent-based.
  • Gloss to Hi-Gloss – depends upon whether it is inside or outside application, but solvent-based epoxy and polyurethane will give a high gloss finish.

Where am I applying the sealer and why the right sealer matters?

So you know what you’re sealing and you know the finish you would like, now you need to ask “where am I sealing?” It may be indoors, outdoors, near a pool or an alfresco area. This is important as it will affect what you can use.

  • Penetrating sealers are the most versatile, they can be used indoors and out, and can protect all porous surfaces from concrete to marble. They also have water, stain and oil repellent properties. If you are sealing a sloped surface or around a pool or wet area then penetrating sealers are recommended as they don’t increase the slipperiness when wet.
  • Acrylics are also versatile but increase slipperiness and wear quickly in high traffic areas. They are UV stable but only for about 12 months.
  • Epoxy can only be used inside, and is predominantly used on garage and warehouse floors.
  • Polyurethanes can be used inside and outside. They are an expensive coating that is more difficult to install but more hard-wearing than an acrylic.

What am I protecting from and why all sealers aren’t the same?

This question is important as we need to know if you are sealing to protect from chemical spills in a warehouse or general household spills.

  • Penetrating sealers are the best natural protection you can buy, however they are not bullet proof. Spills and stains that are left to sit can eventually penetrate the surface. Acid and harsh chemicals will damage the surface so we wouldn’t recommend applying this type of sealer where these spills are likely.
  • Acrylics are a quick solution that will repel most stains for a short period of time.
  • Epoxy’s will repel all stains for a period of time.
  • Polyurethane would be the most bullet proof protection for heavy chemical and oil spills.
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