Seal the Deal

ChemMasters Newsletter: Vol 1 Issue 6

Seal the Deal is intended to be an informative and educational publication for ChemMasters’ network of independent manufacturer’s representatives, distributors and contractors. We don’t want to make you chemical engineers, but we do want to help you feel better informed and more comfortable discussing construction chemicals. If there are specific products or topics you would like to see addressed in a future issue, please contact John Fauth.

Color Your World

There are two primary uses for adding color to decorative sealers; as a way to improve aesthetics, or a way to hide imperfections. Depending upon your individual needs and expectations, there are several product choices and critical application techniques.

Product Choices

Opaque Polyseal Tints are solid colors with “hide”

Translucent tints give add color without hiding the underlying concrete

  • Sealer pigments come in two varieties. Opaque pigments are solid colors that completely hide the underlying concrete much like the paint on your walls hides what is underneath. ChemMasters offers 12 standard Polyseal Tint colors in both water-based and solvent-based versions. Each half gallon can of Polyseal Tint is added to a 5-gallon pail of clear ChemMasters sealer. Custom colors are available with a minimum purchase of six units.

  • Translucent pigments add color tint but do not obscure the underlying concrete. ChemMasters offers 5 standard Translucent Tint colors for use in solvent-based sealers only. Each one quart can of Translucent Tint is added to a 5-gallon pail of clear ChemMasters sealer. Custom colors are available with a minimum purchase of six units.

Using Color to Improve Aesthetics

Translucent Tints are often added to sealers in order to improve the aesthetic qualities of decorative concrete. Translucent Tint colors are often selected to match the composition of exposed aggregate finishes, enhance the color development of stamped concrete, or simply to provide a subtle accent color for decorative purposes.

By their nature, Translucent Tints will not obstruct the appearance of underlying decorative concrete.

Hiding Imperfections

There are a wide variety of reasons why the appearance of concrete surfaces may be inconsistent. Multiple pours will result in a “checkerboard” appearance. Newer concrete placed alongside older concrete will look substantially different. Some concrete surfaces may appear stained or have unsightly patches and repairs. Differing textures will create contrast on concrete that is highly visible.

In some of these instances it may be desirable to hide the underlying surface appearance with an opaque pigment, like Polyseal Tints. They do a very good job hiding variations in color caused by multiple pours, stains.

Just keep in mind that even opaque pigmented products like Polyseal Tint will not hide differences in texture.

Concrete sealers will naturally darken concrete. Solvent-based sealers darken more than water-based products, with enhanced gloss characteristics. This darkening will have the effect of highlighting concrete color imperfections. Because Translucent Tints do not obscure the underlying surface, they too will tend to highlight rather than hide surface blemishes.

Application Techniques

When applied correctly, pigmented sealers can significantly enhance the appearance of concrete. Applied incorrectly, they will look unsightly and amateurish. Here are some techniques to keep in mind when using pigmented sealers:

  • Most importantly, apply pigmented sealers smoothly and evenly! Uneven application will leave highly visible and unsightly roller marks or spray overlaps.
  • When applying pigmented sealers to freshly poured, smooth troweled concrete (such as garage floors), do so within 1.5 hours of final finish… as soon as application will not mar the surface. Applying later will result in reduced adhesion and potential coating failure.
  • When applying pigmented sealers to cured smooth troweled concrete (such as garage floors), a light acid etch is required prior to application. Achieve a surface profile similar to 100 grit sandpaper to promote adhesion.
  • If roller marks or spray overlaps are visible, wet the surface with xylene and allow to dwell for two minutes, then backroll with a xylene dampened roller to more evenly disperse pigmented sealer.
  • Stir or agitate a pigmented sealer occasionally during application to keep pigment evenly dispersed.

When used correctly, pigmented sealers are an attractive cosmetic addition to any decorative concrete environment. Having realistic expectations about what you want to accomplish, and what pigmented sealers can and can’t do, will ensure that you’re satisfied with the results.

ChemMasters Pigmented Tints

Polyseal TintPolyseal™ Tint

Pigments to turn clear Polyseal™ Formulation into Decorative Colored Sealers

Polyseal Tint WBPolyseal™ Tint WB

Pigments to turn clear Polyseal™ Formulation into Decorative Colored Sealers

Translucent TintTranslucent Tint

System for Staining Concrete