Oil Based Concrete Sealer

  • June 12, 2020
  • / By Dale Keese
oil based concrete sealer

Oil-based sealers are formulated for various types of interior and exterior concrete surfaces. The solvent of the sealer in which the resin is dissolved is oil-based and offers excellent adhesion. Nowadays, you can get both oil-based acrylic sealers and polyurethane sealers. Using an oil-based concrete sealer can help protect and extend the life of all concrete surfaces.

High gloss sealed walkway

These concrete sealers are usually clear and will not get yellow or discolored over time. It is also damage resistant from water, chemicals, salt, UV rays, heavy traffic, and cleaning agents. However, the downsides to oil-based sealers are that they have a strong smell and take a long time to dry.

  • Traffic-bearing concrete surfaces
  • Concrete walkways, driveways, pool decks, patios
  • Brick, stone, and masonry surfaces
  • Bare concrete, colored concrete, concrete pavers, decorative concrete, acid stained concrete, or concrete surfaces that have been stained previously


Oil-based concrete sealers accentuate all the inconsistencies on the concrete surface. So, before you apply the sealer, ensure that you sand the surface and remove all the dust and debris. Avoid shaking the sealer can because this can cause bubbles, which can leave bumps on the surface. If the sealer’s consistency is too thick, then use mineral spirits to thin the sealer.

You can apply this concrete sealer in a thin coat using a paintbrush. Wait for 24 hours or until the sealer is completely dry and then remove any dust or debris. Apply the second coat of sealer and allow it to dry completely. Just two coats of the oil-based sealer are sufficient. Wait for a few days and then polish the concrete surface using a polishing compound.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is better oil or water based concrete sealer?

Both oil- and water-based sealers can be used as topcoats for decoration as well as protection of the concrete. They are applied after the concrete has been cured and slowed down wear and tear. In addition to enhancing the aesthetics of the concrete by adding gloss and long-term color enhancement, they also ensure chemical and stain resistance for concrete. You may not see much difference between the two, with both making the concrete tough and durable. They both are easy to apply, whether they are sprayed or rolled based on the requirement. They are UV resistant, though 100% acrylic-based concrete sealers provide longer service and protection.

In matters of appearance, solvent-based sealers tend to provide a glossy look as they wet out and penetrate concrete surfaces well. Water-based sealers, on the other hand, impart a milky white appearance and a matte finish.

However, on the side of water-based sealants is the fact that they are non-flammable, do not leave an odor and are easy to clean-up after application.

How much oil based sealer will I need?

Normally the sealer will come with manufacturer directions on how much should be applied. It can be sprayed, rolled or broomed, but what is important is that, whatever the method followed, the sealer should be applied in thin coats as the excessive application can cause problems such as bubbling, cracking and whitening. So follow the coverage rate listed on the product labeling. It should be mixed well. If you are using an anti-skid additive, you may need to mix it continuously so that the flattening materials do not settle at the bottom.

How long does oil based sealer last on concrete?

Decorative sealants can last between six months to three years while durable coatings can have a life of 10 years or more. The life of a sealer will depend on the quality of the product used, the amount applied, the method of application, the condition of the substrate and how the surface was prepared.

Can oil based concrete sealer be removed?

Removing the sealer from a concrete surface is not a pleasant job, though it can be done. There are two ways of doing it:

  • Mechanical: The coating is removed by grinding, blasting or sanding.
  • Chemical: The mechanical method can damage the surface, is noisy and dusty. This makes the chemical method preferable. But chemicals also come with their own challenges. Despite many of them promising to be environment friendly, they contain harsh chemicals and so follow the safety guidelines given in the label and dispose of the waste material as per the local and state regulations.

Three types of chemical strippers are available to remove the coating:

  • Caustic: This is a strong alkaline-based stripper that destroys the coating film and makes it easy to remove the film. It can be used to remove latex, alkyds or enamel paints but not acrylic, epoxy or polyurethane coatings. For best results, use it when temperatures are above 50F.
  • Solvent-based: Most preferred type of stripper, they are fast and require only a small amount to remove a lot of coating. They work best when they are wet, so work in cooler temperatures.
  • Biochemical: The new kid on the block, they are becoming increasingly popular because of their sustainability as they are made from acids or esters derived from plants and plant-based products such as pine oil, corn sugars, citric acid and soy oil. But their use is limited due to being mild.

Which of the methods you opt for will depend on the type of sealer or coating that is being removed, where the concrete is used, the thickness of the sealer, the location where it is being stripped and so on.

About the Author

Hey guys, thanks for reading.. hopefully this article can save you some time and trouble with your sealing job. I'm also in the process of making some video walk-throughs for youtube so check back soon! thanks

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