What Kind of Roller Do You Use for Concrete Sealer? 

 December 27, 2021

By  Dale Keese

Rollers are an efficient way to apply certain types of concrete sealers. But with all the rollers available in the market, it can get confusing deciding which one to use.

Paint or nap rollers that are 1 ¼ to 1/4 of an inch are best for applying concrete sealers. Consider the nap, or the length of fibers when determining the right roller. Shorter naps are good for smooth surfaces while longer naps are best for rough and textured concrete surfaces.

Understanding the various types of rollers is key in ensuring proper application of concrete sealer. Read on below to learn more.

What Type of Roller To Use for Concrete Sealer

There are different size rollers in the market, which are designed to apply concrete sealers.

These can be differentiated by the thickness or length of its fabric, which are known as the nap. When a nap is thicker, it can hold more product. Generally speaking, thicker naps (1 ¼ to 1 ½ inch) are suitable for rough surfaces such as stamped or textured concrete, while shorter naps (1/2 to ¾ inch) are best for smooth surfaces.

Just keep in mind that when solvent based concrete sealers contain a high solid content (above 35%), it can be challenging to use a roller on rough surfaces, especially during high temperatures. This can result in surface bubbling and puddling. To resolve this, it’s best to use a sprayer and then back rolling with a thick nap roller to ensure proper application of solvent concrete sealer on textured or stamped surfaces.

Here are some examples of the right roller thicknesses to use in common concrete surfaces:

  1. 1
    Driveways: ¾ inch
  2. 2
    Countertops: ¼ to ½ inch
  3. 3
    Floors and walls: ½ to ¾ inch

Types Of Nap Rollers

Aside from the thickness of the nap, there are different fibers used for nap roller covers. These are synthetic and natural.

Synthetic nap rollers are usually made of nylon or polyester microfiber or a combination of both, while natural fibers are made from animal hair or natural bristles. Microfiber is usually the most popular and efficient nap cover of choice because they do a great job at applying concrete sealers smoothly, though the thickness of the nap is the most important consideration. Natural fibers are not recommended for applying concrete sealers because they are designed for use with oil-based coats, varnishes, and paints.

Best Roller for Concrete Sealer

There are many high-quality rollers for concrete sealers that are affordable and dependable. Here are some examples that are available on Amazon:

-   Wooster Brush Epoxy Glide Nap Roller Cover
-   Wooster Brush Super/Fab Roller Cover
-   ProGrade Paint Roller Covers

Frequently Asked Questions

How To Avoid Roller Marks When Applying Concrete Sealer

Roller marks and lap lines are common frustrating issues that can arise when sealing concrete with nap rollers.

They can occur with no matter what type of sealer you are using, and it’s not limited to concrete surfaces. However, the main reason why they happen is due to physical exertion on the sealer as you apply it. The most efficient way to avoid roller marks when applying concrete sealer is to use a light hand and apply thin coats one at a time.

Another way to avoid it is by keeping the roller edge wet; each time the roller is passed onto the concrete surface, it should be able to cover 2 or 3 inches of the last pass. Doing so will ensure that sealer build up on the edge is removed, thus avoiding the lap line. Experts recommend using low viscosity (solid content under 30%) products and those that have a longer shelf life in the can because if any lap lines do occur, they tend to resolve on their own.

Newer concrete sealer formulations, especially the fast curing types, are more prone to lap lines and roller marks because they can cure in just 30 minutes or even less. In addition, applying a high viscosity (above 35% solid content) on a smooth interior surface also increases the risk for lap lines because they don’t give the sealer the ability to move once it has been applied. Meanwhile, applying it on a stamped or textured surfaces gives the sealer more ability to flow through during its first application, which reduces most lap lines.

About the author

Hey, I'm Dale Keese.. 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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