Sealant for Redwood and Concrete: Any of the sealants in this guide can be applied with a sprayer or paintbrush/roller. I’d recommend 2-3 thin coats for proper sealing, testing absorption on a small area first. Reapply every 1-2 years for optimal durability.

Best Sealant for Redwood and Concrete

Sealant for Redwood and Concrete: Why Do I Need it?

I got a question from a user:

I am working against the advancing seasons to finish building a shell of a greenhouse. This is a building attached to our detached garage (my workshop!) It is framed with redwood and has reused glass for the glazing. The wall between the greenhouse and the garage is going to be covered in a stone veneer. The veneer is left over from another project and will work well as an additional mass/heat sink for the greenhouse.

To prolong the life of the structure, it is recommended that the framing be sealed. The stone veneer would also benefit from being sealed with something. Since this is where we are growing a lot of our own produce, and we try to keep things organic, I’m trying to find an effective sealer that is also safe for this type of environment. It would be great if it is something that could be sprayed on since it’s a large structure and the veneer will have a coarse texture.

#1 Rain Guard Water Sealers SP-1102 Gloss Sealer Concentrate

Rain Guard Water Sealers SP-1102 Gloss Sealer Concentrate
When I first came across this sealer, I was looking for something perfect for my patio. I had heard great things about it from other users, so I decided to give it a try. The reviews praised its ease of use and the beautiful finished appearance it provided. It seemed like the ideal solution for my needs.

Here are the pros of it:

  1. It is designed for use on wood, masonry, concrete, brick, and stone. So it can work on both your materials.
  2. The water-based formula is low VOC and low odor. Reviews mention it is safe and easy to apply.
  3. It provides a glossy, wet look finish and can enhance the appearance of surfaces. Some reviews say the gloss is subtle though.
  4. It is formulated to protect against moisture, UV light, freezing temps, etc. So it should provide good weatherproofing.
  5. Many reviews confirm it helped water bead and roll off their surfaces. Though a couple mentioned issues with milky white residue.
  6. Most reviews are positive and say it performed well. Some noted a smaller container size than expected.

I started by using this sealer on the MDF coasters I had made. It took a few coats to achieve the desired shine, but the end result was truly amazing. The sealer did a fantastic job of sealing in the coasters, giving them a glossy finish that made them look professional and polished. I was thrilled with the outcome.

Impressed by the success of the coasters, I decided to take it a step further and use the sealer on my pool coping. The coping, made of old-school sandstone-type concrete, was porous and rough, causing damage to swimsuits and deteriorating over time. I was determined to protect it and prevent further deterioration.

I prepared the coping by thoroughly hosing it down and allowing it to dry for a few days. Then, I applied three coats of the sealer, making sure to cover all the pits and holes. It was a bit tedious, but the effort paid off. The sealer filled in the imperfections and left a glossy finish that not only looked great but also felt smooth. I was delighted with the results, and to my surprise, it has remained perfect for three years with only occasional touch-ups.

I used a sprayer then went back over with a roller before it dried
In addition to the pool coping, I also used this sealer on my smooth-finish concrete patio. While it didn’t provide the same level of glossiness as on the coping, it still did an excellent job. The water-based sealer lasted for three years on the patio, repelling water and making cleaning a breeze. I found that lightly misting the concrete before applying the sealer helped with the application process.

Over the years, I have tried other brands, including a very glossy lacquer on aggregate, but none have lasted as long or been as economical as this one. The value for money is truly impressive. If you have a large area to cover and want a super glossy finish, this might not be the best choice. However, if you’re looking for a sealer that repels water and provides a decent shine, this product is a winner.

I must say, this sealer has exceeded my expectations. It’s a good buy for the money, and I believe it’s the best sealer I have ever used. I had been searching for a long time, and finally, I found the right product. The difference was noticeable from the moment I started using it. The glossy finish is provided with just a coat or two was fantastic. I am convinced that I will buy this sealer again in the future.

Rain Guard Water Sealers SP-1102 Gloss Sealer Concentrate

FAQ of Rain Guard Water Sealers SP-1102 Gloss Sealer Concentrate

Q: Will Rain Guard Water Sealers create a glossy finish for my fire pit?

A: If your fire pit is constructed from concrete, brick, or masonry, it will indeed result in a glossy finish. One coat provides a satin finish, two coats offer a low gloss, and three coats deliver a high gloss appearance.

Q: Is there a more suitable sealer for an acid-stained concrete driveway, considering slipperiness concerns?

A: I recommend trying Thompson’s sealer.

Q: Can I use Rain Guard Water Sealers to seal the pavers on my walkway?

A: Absolutely, this product can be used to seal your pavers. However, we advise considering the addition of a grit additive for horizontal surfaces, as the sealer may become slippery when wet.

Q: What is the coverage of Rain Guard Water Sealers, and can I apply it using a pump sprayer?

A: Yes, you can apply this product with a hand-pump garden sprayer. The coverage varies depending on the porosity, texture, and painted/unpainted condition of the surface. Brick, stone, and concrete surfaces typically have a coverage range of 70 to 140 sq ft per gallon, wood decking covers approximately 250 sq ft per gallon, and sidewalks cover around 125 sq ft per gallon. Additionally, applying additional coats will result in a glossier finish if desired.

Q: Do I need to dilute this product?

A: No, SP-1104 Gloss Sealer comes ready to use in a 5-gallon pail, so there is no need for dilution.

Q: Can Rain Guard Water Sealers be safely used indoors, or will the fumes be too strong?

A: Yes, you can use Gloss Sealer indoors. It emits very little to no fumes due to its water-based composition, containing minimal VOCs (<20g/L). However, it is advisable to ensure some ventilation by, for instance, opening a window.

Q: Does Rain Guard Water Sealers work effectively on porcelain tile?

A: If the tile is porous and lacks glaze, the product will adhere successfully. Otherwise, it may not adhere properly and could result in fisheye. In such cases, you might want to consider using Rainguard Polyurethane HD instead.

Q: Can I use Rain Guard Water Sealers to waterproof fake grass on a box project waterfall?

A: No, Gloss Sealer is not suitable for sealing plastic surfaces.

Q: Can I apply Rain Guard Water Sealers to seal the concrete loft ceiling in my condo, which tends to release dust? I plan to use a roller for application.

A: In short, yes, you can use this product for that purpose. However, it is important to ensure that the surface is clean, dry, and free of dust and debris. For roller application, you will need a 1/4″ nap roller, and it is recommended to apply three rolled coats for every spray coat.

Q: Can I use it on a natural porous stone veneer that was previously sealed with a water-based matte sealer? I want to achieve a wet look for the stone.

A: Generally, a film-forming sealer needs to penetrate the surface to create a “wet look.” If the surface has already been sealed against moisture penetration, this product will build up on the surface and result in a satin, low gloss, or high gloss sheen, depending on the number of coats applied.

Q: Can I paint over this sealer with acrylic paint?

A: Yes, you should be able to paint over this sealer with acrylic. We recommend conducting an adhesion test before painting the entire surface. Additionally, it is important to wait until the Gloss Sealer has fully cured before painting.

Q: Is Rain Guard Water Sealers recommended for outdoor travertine pavers if I desire a wet look?

A: It will indeed provide a wet look, but please note that it may make the surface semi-slick. To improve traction, you can mix some sand into the sealer for additional grip.

Q: Can Rain Guard Water Sealers be used on concrete, slate, or vinyl composite decking?

A: Gloss Sealer can be used on concrete and slate without any issues. However, for vinyl composite decking, it depends on its ability to adhere. In such cases, we recommend using Rainguard Polyurethane HD for proper adhesion.

Q: Can I use Rain Guard Water Sealers as a finishing sealer after applying a penetrating sealer?

A: Yes, you can use this product as a finishing sealer once the other product has fully chemically cured.

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#2 Thompsons Water Seal

Thompsons Water Seal
I recently purchased a water seal product for my fence, hoping it would provide the same results as the one I had previously ordered from Lowe’s. To my surprise, this one was designed for multiple surfaces rather than just wood (See also: best adhesive for mirror to wood). The previous clear wood seal I used had a unique quality of absorbing and darkening the wood, giving it a wet look. In comparison, this product performs well but doesn’t leave the same wet appearance. It’s important to know your preference and consistently purchase the same product to maintain a matching finish.

For a project involving my condo building’s beach crossover, I decided to buy four 1.25-gallon cans of the water seal. Using a sprayer, the application process was a breeze, and I finished in no time. It took approximately 30 hours for the sealant to dry completely, providing the protection we needed.

I also used this product to safeguard my repaired shed’s front and flooring. It seems to be doing a good job so far, as the little water that has come into contact with it beads nicely. I just hope it doesn’t attract ants like the previous wood did. However, I must mention that the package arrived in poor condition, with significant damage due to mishandling during delivery. The can’s base was completely dented inward, and the handle was bent down. Thankfully, nothing leaked, but the packaging could have been better.

using Thompsons Water Seal on my fence
In terms of functionality, this water seal has proven to be very effective. When applied to my fences, it didn’t darken the wood excessively, which was a pleasant surprise. The product lived up to its claims and provided the protection I was looking for.

The water seal served its purpose perfectly when it came to sealing a section of older concrete that was allowing water to seep into my house. It was easy to apply, and it dried within the expected timeframe. The previous leaks have been sealed, and I’m confident that this product will continue to keep my basement dry during rainy days.

I also decided to use the water seal to waterproof an outside bench, although I haven’t had a chance to test it in the rain yet. However, based on my past experience using it to seal my basement, I have no doubt that it will work effectively.

The versatility of this product is impressive. It seals ceramic materials flawlessly, protecting them from moisture. I’ve used it in the past to seal my basement from water leaks caused by rain, and it has performed perfectly, lasting for years without any issues.

Thompsons Water Seal

FAQ of Thompsons Water Seal

Q: Does Thompsons Water Seal have heat resistance?

A: I pressure-washed my driveway and then used the all-purpose Thompson’s Water Seal, but I was dissatisfied with the outcome. In the past, Thompsons Water Seal used to be excellent, but the hardware store employee informed me that the government mandated a formula change. It’s not as good as it used to be. On the other hand, I highly recommend the Thompson’s Clear Wood Sealer in the green can, as it works well and provides an excellent seal. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for the All Purpose sealer.

Q: Should I mix this solution with water, or can I use it directly?

A: It’s important not to dilute Thompsons’ Water Seal with water for two reasons. Firstly, the instructions on the can explicitly state, “Do not thin.” Secondly, the product I purchased is not water-based, so water would not mix properly with it. Mineral spirits are recommended for cleaning brushes or rollers. However, please be cautious as another customer mentioned that the newer version of the product with the same name might now be water-based without a name change. If that’s the case, you could mix water with it and use it for cleanup, but I suspect that even the water-based product still advises against thinning. Regardless, avoid diluting it. I have personally applied Thompsons Water Seal to the outdoor portion of my chimney and I am confident that it will solve the issue of water seeping and staining the brick surface in my living room. Best of luck with your own application.

Q: I want to prevent my redwood fence from fading further. Which product should I choose?

A: THOMPSONS WATERSEAL 21802 would be a better option as it provides higher UV protection.

Q: How long does it take for Thompsons’ Water Seal to dry? It’s been 24 hours and it’s still sticky.

A: I don’t recall the exact drying time, but it did take longer than expected. However, in today’s fast-paced world, we tend to expect instant results for everything, so I remained patient. I live in western PA where high humidity and limited sunlight make even house paint take a while to dry. Nonetheless, I am pleased with the results of the Thompson’s product.

Q: Does this work on surfaces that are already painted?

A: It works best on bare wood and concrete, especially if they are properly prepared (in the case of concrete, if it is “cured”). Before applying Thompsons’ Water Seal, it is recommended to scrape and pressure wash the old paint off.

Q: My basement walls have been leaking. Will Thompsons Water Seal seal the cracks and stop the leaks?

A: It’s unlikely. For general seepage, I suggest filling the cracks with hydraulic cement and then applying a coat of Thoroseal over the wall. Depending on the extent of water infiltration, you may also need to identify the source of water, slope the ground away from the house, seal it from the outside, or install an interior or exterior drainage system. Best of luck!

Q: Does it have a strong smell?

A: No, it does not.

Q: Is this an oil-based or water-based product?

A: Both options are available, but the specific item in question is oil-based.

Q: How much area does the 25 oz container cover?

A: This 1.2-gallon container can cover approximately 350 sq ft of smooth concrete, 250 sq ft of smooth wood, and half of that for rough wood surfaces.

Q: Does it have a glossy finish?

A: No, it dries clear.

Q: Can I use it on composite decks like Trex?

A: It is suitable for use on exterior surfaces such as wood and composite decks, fences, concrete, masonry, outdoor furniture, roofs, and siding. It effectively removes stains from dirt, mildew, algae, and fungus using a non-bleach, chlorine-free oxygenated foaming formula. Composite decks areincluded in the list of compatible surfaces.

Q: What does VOC stand for?

A: VOC stands for Volatile Organic Compound.

Q: Can I use this on ceramic or terracotta pots? Will it harm the plant roots?

A: Yes, you can use it on ceramic pots, and it will not harm the plants in the pot as it only penetrates the terra cotta surface to a limited extent. However, it does make the pot waterproof, so be cautious not to overwater the plants.

Q: Is Thompsons Water Seal suitable for sealing the ends of cut lumber in ground contact? Is there a more affordable alternative?

A: While using Thompsons Water Seal would be better than leaving the ends unprotected, it might be more effective to coat the entire section that will be buried with a substance like rubber roof coating or a similar product.

Q: Does Thompsons Water Seal work for protecting untreated wood?

A: Yes, it does.

Q: Can this be used on composite decks?

A: Composite decking is made of plastic, and if it’s cracked or broken, it’s best to replace the affected boards.

Q: How can I remove Thompsons Water Seal?

A: The best way to remove it is to wait over time.