Concrete Countertop Sealer – DIY Guide
Concrete countertop sealer is necessary if you want concrete countertops. Remodeling a kitchen adds more value than remodeling any other room. This is because of the impression they make along with the components of a kitchen.
The components of a kitchen are very expensive compared to those in other rooms. People care much more about having an expensive kitchen than they do about other rooms. And the focus is always on the countertops.
While most people will have laminate, granite, or marble countertops, you can have concrete countertops too. This new trend is very attractive and the quality all comes down to how well the countertops are sealed.
What Is Concrete Countertop Sealer?
A concrete countertop sealer is a protective coating that you apply to concrete countertops to make them last longer and even look better. They come in many forms and don’t alter the color of your concrete as a stain does.
Related: Give Your Kitchen a Facelift with the Best Epoxy Countertop Kit
Do you know what else stains concrete though? Food, drinks, and anything else you may place on your countertops. A concrete countertop sealer will prevent these types of stains from ruining your countertop.
Concrete is quite porous so it is important to keep it well-protected. Without sealer, anything can seep into the pores and wreak havoc on your amazing countertops. So never use concrete countertops without a sealer.
Best Concrete Countertop Sealer
Although there are many different concrete countertop sealers that work fine, we are going to offer you two options that we know works well firsthand. These two products are all you need to seal your countertops.
Never use products that aren’t made for natural stone or ones that are dangerous to eat around. These include polyurethane and other similar formulas. Never use polyurethane on your countertops.
Miracle Sealants 511QT6 511 Impregnator Sealer
This miracle sealant really is a miracle. It can work on almost any natural surface and offers a great bit of protection, indoors or outdoors. So even if you have outdoor kitchen countertops, you can use this sealer.
The only thing that people tend to not like about this sealer is that it is invisible. This seems like a good thing but there are cases when you want to make your countertops shine too, not just be protected.
AFM Safecoat Acrylacq Gloss
When it comes to getting a shimmer that glimmers this is a great option. Oftentimes, both this topcoat and the Miracle Sealant are used. Because the Miracle Sealant has amazing protection and this one looks great.
The Safecoat also offers protection but people usually buy it for the gloss that it adds. You will not find a better concrete countertop sealer that does more than protect your countertops but makes them look ten times nicer.
If you only want to use one sealer, then use this one if you want your countertops to be shiny and the other if you only want protection. But if you can afford both then use both because they’re a dynamic duo.
How To Use Concrete Countertop Sealer
When it comes to sealing concrete countertops, all you really need to know is how to read. If you can read the instructions on the bottles of sealer then you can seal your concrete countertops. But just in case, we are offering a small tutorial.
This tutorial will take you through the few steps it takes to seal concrete countertops. You’ll find out that it is easier than you might think and that you can have it done in a week’s time when drying time is included.
Step 1: Gather Sealer
We’ve already talked about the two primary sealers for concrete countertops. For our concrete countertops, we used both sealers. We started with the 511 Impregnator Sealer and then did the Safecoat Acrylacq.
You can use your own concoction of sealers or find one single sealer that you feel will do the job well. But if you are looking for recommendations, these two sealers work together to create a sight seal and a glossy bond.
Step 2: Apply Sealer
After you have the sealer ready you can follow the directions on the bottle and slowly apply it to the countertop. Start by getting a separate container to use and carry it around with you. Then a soft bristle brush for applying.
Avoid using cheap sponge brushes for this job. Or any job really. Invest in a good set of soft bristle brushes made for projects like this. As for the container, it really doesn’t matter as long as you can hold it comfortably.
Step 3: Wipe Counter
Let the sealer sit for five to ten minutes then wipe off the excess. To be honest, the countertop may look a little dark and strange at this point, but that’s okay. It will dry to its natural color with this sealer.
Concrete sealer does darken as it ages, but this takes a long time. Your concrete won’t lose its natural color for quite a while and definitely not after the first application unless you buy a sealer with stain.
Step 4: Dry And Wait
Now it’s time to wait. You need to let the sealer dry for a day, or 24 hours. This is just for the first coat. You can apply as many coats as you want but it is difficult to tell how many you need, even after you apply them.
To be safe, if you are using a second sealer, then apply two coats, allow the first to dry for a day before applying the second. Or however long it says you need to wait on the bottle of the chosen sealer.
Step 5: Apply Second Sealer
This sealer works very well as a top coat and can protect the countertop against damage. Pour some of this onto the countertop directly and get to work. You will immediately notice a shimmer despite the milky texture.
This sealer will dry clear and you will be shocked at what it looks like when it does dry. If you see bubbles when you apply this sealer, then brush them away with a brush wet with sealer. Try not to leave bubbles.
Step 6: Let Dry
Now let this dry for eight hours or however long it happens to say on the package. You’ll notice that it doesn’t take as long to dry because it is thinner than the other sealer. But after you finish, there is a longer wait time.
You can always wait for longer than it says on the package but you can’t wait for a shorter amount of time without problems. Climate does matter but just to be safe, wait the extra hours. Only good can come from it.
Step7: Sand And Repeat
You can add as many coats of Safecoat as you want, just make sure that you lightly sand between each coat. As for the last coat, sanding is optional. If the countertop is the texture that you want it to be, then leave it.
If you want a super smooth countertop use very high count sandpaper. Then if you want a rougher texture more like stone, then use low-count sandpaper. Or, go with the naturally smooth texture of the unsanded sealer.
Step 8: Let Dry And Finish Up
It may only take eight hours for the sealer to dry but it can take up to three days for it to fully cure. So make sure you let it cure before using it unless you want to have problems later. These problems include two things.
The first thing that can happen is chemicals seeping into your food which is very dangerous. The second thing is the counter being easily scratched or stained, which will ensure you have to do touchups. So give it the three-day wait time.
Is Concrete Countertop Sealer Necessary?
Most of the time, concrete countertops do not need to be resealed, especially if they are well taken care of. If you have had them for over a decade, then there’s a good chance by the time that decade rolls around, you can add another coat.
Usually, you can just clean the countertop and add another topcoat. But if you want to stain them while you’re at it, then you’ll need to sand away the old sealer and apply the new coats after the stain has dried.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ
How Many Concrete Countertop Sealer Coats Do I Need?
You may be able to get by with one coat. But two coats are best. More than two and coats may stick together and peel off. Stick to two for best results.
How Long Does Concrete Countertop Sealer Last?
This depends on the sealer. Epoxy and polyethylene can last up to ten years. Weaker sealers may only last one or two years. Be careful when you use strong sealers in the kitchen as it can be toxic to eat off of a countertop that you seal with chemicals.
How Long Does Concrete Need To Cure Before Sealing?
Concrete needs to cure for about a month before you seal it. This seems like a long time but unless the conditions are perfect, you can’t seal it sooner than two weeks after you lay the concrete.
Is Water-Based Or Solvent-Based Sealer Better?
Solvent-based sealers penetrate concrete surfaces well. They give a rich and dark look. Water-based sealers with look matte after you finish and sit on the surface. Either works. Water-based is less toxic and solvent-based lasts longer.
Keeping Your Countertops Looking Nice
Maintaining your concrete countertops isn’t at all difficult. The first step is to clean them every single day with an all-purpose cleaner. It can also be important to keep them dry which is helpful with any type of countertop.
There are many things that can stain the sealer. Stains on the sealer are rare but keep them away when you can. So spray with the all-purpose cleaner, rinse with a clean rag without cleaner on it, then dry it well.
Keep in mind that stains on concrete sealers are very rare and hardly ever happen. But it is always best to keep surfaces clean to give them their best chance at having a long and beautiful life in your home.