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What Kind of Sprayer to Use for Concrete Sealer? 

 July 1, 2021

By  Dale Keese

When you have found the right concrete sealer to use, the next step is to apply it. Rollers and sprayers are the most common application methods, but oftentimes rollers leave an uneven coating on uneven surfaces. Because of this, people often wonder about the right type of sprayer to use for a concrete sealer.

Depending on whether you use water-based or solvent-based sealers, you can use garden sprayers, solvent-resistant pump sprayers, airless sprayers, low pressure sprayers, or battery operated pail pump spray systems. Each of these have their appropriate uses with certain sealer types.

There are other factors to consider when choosing sprayers for concrete sealers, so read on below.

How To Choose A Sprayer For Concrete Sealer Application

Sprayers have become the tool of choice when applying concrete sealers. It’s widely used because it allows you to spray the sealant directly on the surface with steady and even application, including corners and other hard-to-reach areas.

When using sprayers in general, keep in mind that less is always more. Sealers should be sprayed on in several thin coats, as opposed to one thick, heavy coating. There are also some things you should know about the type of sealer beforehand:

  • Water-based or solvent-based sealer? The liquid content in the sealer will determine how quickly it evaporates
  • Is it acrylic, epoxy, or polyurethane resin?
  • Solid content: this is usually

There are several sprayer types you can use:

Standard pump garden sprayers

You can use standard garden or weed sprayers for applying concrete sealers especially film forming sealers as well as certain penetrating sealers.

They are economical and offer good results for water-based sealers. Solvent-based sealers contain more corrosive agents and active chemicals, which is why they are not suitable for use in a garden sprayer.

It’s recommended to use a garden sprayer that is equipped with an adjustable fan tip because this will allow you to adjust sealer consistencies. Standard pump garden sprayers have rubber or plastic parts that don’t work well with lacquer and other types of solvent formulas.

Remember to use a solvent to clean the pump spray once the job is finished; lacquer thinner or other mineral spirits work just fine. Lacquer thinner is not recommended for cleaning plastic seals and other plastic parts. Last but not least, back rolling is critical when using a pump sprayer because it works the coat into the substrate instead of just leaving a layer on top, allowing the results to have a longer lifespan.

Solvent-resistant pump sprayers

These are ideal for solvent base and water base film forming concrete sealers. It’s not suitable to use solvent-resistant pump sprays for penetrating sealers. They are usually designed with Teflon, brass, or metal tips and Viton seals.

Some models are also known as Curing Compound Sprayers. Depending on the type, they may have adjustable fan tips or a fixed orifice with 1.0 or 0.5 GPM. Keep in mind that using a 0.5 GPM with 40psi leaves you with a lighter coating, recommended for medium or dense surfaces.

Meanwhile, a 1.0 GPM tip used at 40 psi will result in a heavy coating, suitable for porous surfaces. Don’t use cone sprayer tips for concrete sealer applications.

Airless or LPHV (low-pressure, high-velocity) sprayers

These sprayers are recommended for solvent and water based film forming sealers and not for certain penetrating sealers. These sprayers come in a range of nozzles and tips to choose from, depending on the kind of surface you’ll be spraying.

Battery-operated pail pump sprayers

This system offers quick concrete sealer application for both water and solvent based formulas. They are also portable and are easy to clean up. Many of these models in the market are built to last a long time, and have a 1.0 GPM spray rate for cost-efficient and fast application. 

Other helpful tips when using a concrete sealer sprayer:

  • If your project is a small surface area and you’ve decided to use a water-based sealer, hand pumps are recommended. Opt for a high volume, low-pressure sprayer as these are versatile enough to be used with any kind of sealer while leaving you with a professional finish.
  • When you are using water-based sealers, apply it with several thin coats but always refer to the manufacturer’s directions to know exactly how much time should be left between coats in order for it to properly dry.
  • If you are using film-forming sealers, apply 2-3 even, thin coats. Don’t let the sealer puddle on the surface and if they do occur, use a small paintbrush to smoothen it out.

Now that you know about the types of sprayers, it’s just as important to choose the right kind of nozzle for it. It’s always a good rule of thumb to go with what the sealer manufacturer recommends, because you don’t want to use a nozzle that’s too small. It can destroy the appearance of your sealed concrete surfaces.

Best Sprayers for Concrete Sealers

There are many high-quality sprayers out there for efficiently applying concrete sealers. These are some great examples which you can order online:

-   Smith Performance Sprayer
-   Solo Handheld Sprayer
-   Chapin Industrial Viton Open Head Sprayer

Frequently Asked Questions

How to clean a sprayer after using concrete sealer?

Sprayers should be cleaned properly after using any product on it, including concrete sealers. Without proper cleaning they may not end up working right and its lifespan will be cut short. It’s also good to use separate sprayers for water-based and solvent-based formulas.

Here are some tips for cleaning sprayers after using concrete sealers:

  1. 1Always empty the sprayer and remove any excess sealer. Don’t allow sealers to sit in it for over 10 minutes.
  2. 2
    Put a funnel-shaped paper filter on top of the sprayer’s opening, then add around a pint of xylene or acetone.
  3. 3
    Remove the filter, then tighten the lid; move the liquid around in the sprayer including the top portion. Don’t go light on this step.
  4. 4
    Pump the pressure then spray the excess xylene or acetone back into its container. This will effectively clean the sprayer’s wand.
  5. 5
    Once it’s empty, remove the pump and separate it from the tank; hold the wand up until the hose is completely straight and press the trigger so the cleaner is fully drained from the wand. Don’t let xylene or acetone sit in a nozzle or hose because this can affect its performance in the future.
  6. 6
    Open the pump so that there is no pressure inside it, then open the trigger to thoroughly drain the hose. If you have any xylene or acetone left, place it back into its container.
  7. 7
    When the spray tank is empty, put a paper filter on its opening to prevent the entrance of any debris or bugs. Leave the pump sideways to allow it to dry for 5-6 hours.

Is it better to spray or roll on concrete sealer?

If you are going to apply a decorative acrylic sealer or epoxy coat on your concrete floor, using a nap roller in either ¼” or 3/4” size since these are designed to handle rough surfaces. However, if the sealer has a high solid content of above 35%, rolling can be difficult when using solvent-based sealers. High temperatures and rough surfaces can also cause further problems when applying solvent based sealers, such as surface bubbling and puddling.

Spraying, followed by back rolling, when sealing textured or stamped concrete with solvent-based sealers is recommended.

On the other hand, spraying is more efficient and quicker for large-scale applications and uneven surfaces where using a roller would take up more time and consume more product. It’s also suitable for applying solvent-based sealers with a solid content under 35%.

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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