It's important to do some surface prep before applying colored sealer. You want to make sure you get a good bond between the sealer and concrete for a long lasting finish.
Use a concrete cleaner/degreaser to thoroughly clean the entire surface. This combined with a power washer is best. If you don't have one, then scrub the surface with a brush or push broom and rinse. Remove any stains that may inhibit bonding such as oil, grease, rust, etc. Some stains can't be removed completely and have caused permanent discoloration. Just do the best you can with them.
One of the best advantages of using colored sealer to decorate concrete is you don't have to strip the cure and seal that may have been applied by the contractor when the concrete was poured. Many contractors apply a thin coat of acrylic sealer when finished, especially on exterior surfaces. Since colored sealers are also acrylic, this insn't a problem because acrylic sticks to acrylic. Some contractors may use a different type of sealer so check with them first.
After cleaning, allow the concrete to dry completely. Any moisture will cause discoloration or flaking of the sealer.
Important: Colored sealer must be mixed well before application. The solids and pigments settle to the bottom as it sits on the shelf.
Application is as simple as painting. Cut the edges first with a brush and roll the rest with a medium nap roller. Apply two coats, rolling the second coat perpendicular to the first. The important thing to remember is to apply thin and even coats. Heavy coats take too long to dry and may blister in the sun. Wait at least 24 hours for foot traffic and 72 hours for vehicle traffic.
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