Acrylic Concrete Sealer

  • June 15, 2020
  • / By Dale Keese
Acrylic

Acrylic sealers require a very thin coating to be applied and they dry very quickly when applied. Acrylic concrete sealers are perfect for projects where ease of application, as well as affordability, are the main criteria for the selection of the concrete sealer.

Our pick for the best acrylic concrete sealer is the Foundation Armor AR500 High Gloss Acrylic Concrete Sealer due to its high gloss, breathable finish that restores dull and faded surfaces. It has a non-toxic formula and lasts up to 5 years with a 2-coat application.

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Armor AR500 Concrete Sealer

This type of sealer is suitable for both interior and exterior use and form a protective film that offers protection against the intrusion of water and chloride, while allowing the moisture in the concrete surface to escape, which makes these sealers ideal for use around the pool areas. Acrylic sealers are resistant to UV rays and are non-yellowing.

Applying interior concrete sealer

Acrylic sealers are available in two types of formulations: water- and solvent-based. The main difference between the water- and solvent-based versions is the sheen, VOC content, and life of the product. Typically, solvent-based acrylic sealers have a higher VOC content and solvent odors; however, they have a higher gloss and last longer compared to the water-based sealers. Also, if you are sealing exterior concrete surfaces, then solvent-based acrylic concrete sealers are stronger.

While solvent-based acrylic sealers may be an excellent option for decorative and exterior concrete and add a beautiful shine and glossy finish, acrylic concrete sealers can also make the concrete surfaces quite slippery if used on surfaces like pool decks. So, you may have to use the concrete sealer along with anti-slip additives.

The other option to avoid a high-gloss slippery surface is to opt for a water-based acrylic sealer. While the water-based concrete sealer may require to be reapplied frequently, they usually meet the VOC regulations. Water-based sealers give a satin or matte sheen.

Acrylic sealers are available in a wide range of sheen levels and can be used to augment the beauty of stamped, colored, and exposed aggregate concrete. However, compared to penetrating sealer, they wear out faster, requiring reapplication much sooner, especially if they are exposed to de-icing salts, in which case you may have to apply the sealer every year.

Because they require constant reapplication, in the long run, acrylic sealers tend to cost more. Typically, the lifetime of water-based acrylic sealer is around 1 to 3 years and solvent-based acrylic sealers last for around 2 to 5 years before requiring reapplication.

  • Use on exterior concrete surfaces offering protection against the intrusion of water and chloride.
  • Protecting the surface and enhancing the color of the interior floors.
  • Because they dry quickly in just an hour, they are suitable for fast-track projects

Application

You can apply an acrylic concrete sealer by using a sprayer or a roller. However, to prevent fracturing, you must apply it in very thin coats. The total thickness should be only around 1–2 mils, even with two coats of the sealer. Acrylic sealers are usually thinner than epoxy and polyurethane sealers, so they tend to wear away faster and need to be reapplied more often.

Over-applying the sealer can cause issues like cracking, bubbling and whitening. Make sure that you mix the product properly before applying and if you are using an anti-skid additive, then you must keep mixing throughout the process of application to prevent the additives from settling.

Before sealing, you should clean the area properly with a power washer, walk-behind scrubber or by hand and remove any dirt, grease, oil, etc. Clean one section first before moving to the next. Cleaning randomly can cause uneven streaks when the concrete dries. Ensure that you clean oil-soaked areas and stain because sealing over these areas can result in the sealer not penetrating properly and poor adhesion. If you use any detergent, then it should be rinsed off properly. Let the concrete surface dry properly before you apply the acrylic sealer. Do not seal the concrete surface if rain or condensation is expected within 12 hours of sealing.

For outdoor concrete surfaces, using a solvent-based acrylic sealer is better than water-based ones, as this helps to enhance the color better than the water-based concrete sealers. When using acrylic sealers on indoor surfaces, they need to be maintained regularly by using wax or sacrificial floor finish to prevent heel marks and wear.

Always follow the manufacturer’s directions when applying the sealer.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you tint acrylic concrete sealer?

By adding tint color to acrylic sealer you can create the desired effect you want on any concrete surface. Adding a color tint also helps to enhance or match an existing colored surface. There are tint concentrates available in the market in a wide range of colors. You can mix the tint to water-based and solvent-based concrete sealers. Water-based sealers give the surface a more translucent look compared to solvent-based sealers. And, when you are using a water-based sealer that has been tinted, you should avoid using a sprayer to spray the sealer because this can cause the color to separate from the sealer.

Adding a color tint to the acrylic concrete sealer is very simple. First, add the color to the sealer and then, before application, using a drill mixer, stir for 2 to 3 minutes or until the color completely mixes with the sealer. During the application stir the sealer occasionally to ensure a uniform color distribution. Remix the leftover material with a drill mixer before using it. Depending on the application, darker colors may take less, while lighter colors may require more. However, you must take care not to add too much of the color as over pigmenting may cause streaking or color float, especially in the case of darker colors.

Can you paint over acrylic concrete sealer?

If you want to match the acrylic sealer to your walls and decide to paint it, then it is extremely important to choose the correct paint because it is quite difficult to paint over acrylic concrete sealer. Some acrylic sealers cannot be painted on because they are elastic and shiny and have a rubbery texture.

Here are some steps to follow when painting over acrylic concrete sealer:

  1. 1
    Select the proper paint or the paint can get cracked or peel prematurely.
  2. 2
    If you have just sealed the surface, then let it dry completely before painting over it. Also, ensure that the sealer you have used can be painted over.
  3. 3
    Prepare the acrylic sealer before painting. The first method is to wipe the acrylic sealer with a mineral spirit or paint thinner. This will clean the dirt and oil residue and also prepare the surface for painting. The second method is to use rubbing alcohol on the acrylic concrete sealer and then apply a coat of shellac before painting.
  4. 4
    Apply two coats of primer. Remember not to use a cheap water-based primer. Apply the primer thinly so that the coat can dry quickly. Let the first coat dry before applying the next coat of primer.
  5. 5
    After the two coats of primer have dried completely, you can apply the paint. However, some sealers may be impossible to paint over. The paint may peel off or bubble up and separate. In this case, you must sand the surface properly to get an etched surface so that the paint will adhere to it. Once the first coat is completely dry, then you can apply another coat of paint. Make sure that the brush strokes are even and that the coating is solid but not very thick. Let the paint dry thoroughly.

How much acrylic based sealer do I need?

The amount of acrylic sealer you need for the concrete depends on the area, coverage rate and how many coats are required. For instance, if the area you want to seal is 200 sq. ft. and the acrylic sealer will cover 100 sq. ft. per gallon, then you will need two gallons of sealer. If the sealer needs two coats, then on the second application, you will need to apply the sealer twice. So, if you want to seal an area of 200 sq. ft., then you need 1 more gallon for the second coat, which means that you need 3 gallons in all.

The coverage rate will also depend on how porous your concrete surface is. Older concrete is generally more porous and requires more sealer. It is a good idea to have more quantity of sealer than what is necessary because you don’t want the sealer to run out before you complete your job. Stopping and re-starting the application of the acrylic sealer can cause performance and appearance issues.

How long does acrylic concrete sealer take to dry?

You can use acrylic sealers for both interior, as well as exterior concrete surfaces. Once the concrete sealer is applied, the drying time of the sealer depends on several factors such as humidity, temperature and the kind of concrete sealer you have used. Usually, solvent-based acrylic sealers dry to the touch in around 1 to 3 hours, while water-based acrylic sealers dry to the touch in around 3 to 6 hours. The sealer will keep hardening for up to 48 hours after application and you should not drive on the sealed surface or get it wet for at least up to 36 to 48 hours after application.

How long does acrylic sealer last on concrete?

Acrylic concrete sealers classify more as a coating as they leave a visible film on the surface. Acrylic sealers not only protect the concrete surface but also help to enhance them. The sealers enhance the shine and color and add gloss or wet look finishes of the concrete. Since acrylic sealers sit on the concrete’s surface and do not penetrate the surface, they face UV degradation and wear and hence have the shortest longevity.

As you already know, acrylic sealers are available as water-based or solvent-based products and usually last around 1-5 years before requiring a re-coating. Typically, solvent-based acrylic concrete sealers last longer compared to water-based sealers. Acrylic concrete sealers need to be reapplied once every 1 to 4 years to ensure that the gloss level is maintained.

Can acrylic coating be removed from concrete?

There are several methods by which acrylic concrete sealers can be removed from the concrete surface. You can use methods such as grinding and sandblasting, using solvents like xylene or using a floor coating stripper along with a power washer to blast off the old acrylic sealer effectively. However, all these processes are aggressive and can compromise the surface and aesthetics of the concrete.

Using a biodegradable stripper treatment is a safe, easy, effective and environmentally friendly method. The process is very simple. You need to clean the surface and remove all the debris. Cover the concrete surface with the biodegradable blanket and apply the biodegradable stripper on the top. For the larger areas, use a paint roller and use a brush for the smaller spaces and edges. Spread the stripper uniformly until the blanket is completely saturated. Then, allow the blanket to dry completely. The stripped chemicals are absorbed by the blanket. Just pull the blanket and discard it.