A Guide to High Performance Sealers

Sealers… They are a topic that causes much debate and confusion. In the world of decorative concrete, there are few things that are so vital to the success of the project while posing such a potentially daunting question. Sealer choice and application can easily make or break your job. Choose well and your customers will be amazed and satisfied for years to come. Choose poorly and you could end up spending weeks and thousands of dollars making repairs. Read-on to learn more about Brickform’s three interior sealers and when to use them.

The Basics

All of the Brickform High Performance Sealers are best applied with two, thin coats. Each sealer or coating is ideal for high-traffic interior applications. Colors from acid stains, water based stains, and integral pigment are intensified. The full line of Brickform High Performance Sealers is also FDA US Food Code 6-101.11 compliant, making them suitable for food service operations and food preparation areas. Use a sacrificial coating, such as Brickform Premium Acrylic Floor Finish (Durawax), to maintain performance and appearance for years to come.

Making Your Choice

Choosing the best sealer for a project is imperative for a long-lasting and attractive finish.



Generally speaking, Poly-Astic will be the best option for most interior applications. As a solvent based sealer, Poly-Astic has a very fast set time. Under good conditions, it can be ready for foot traffic in as little as 4 hours. It’s high solids content also make Poly-Astic very durable and stain resistant. Poly-Astic has the most significant color enhancement of highest gloss of the Brickform High Performance Sealers. Unfortunately, this high solids content means Poly-Astic is not skid resistant and may become slippery when wet. The solvent base also means Poly-Astic will produce a strong solvent odor.

Use if:

A high gloss and significant color enhancement are desirable.
A highly durable coating is necessary
Fast turnaround times are required
A counter top is needs to be sealed

Avoid if:

Strong solvent smells are an issue
A non-skid surface is required

UreMax is a good option when Poly-Astic is not suitable for any number of reasons. As a water based sealer, UreMax does not have the same odor as Poly-Astic. UreMax is also good for decorative situations in which Poly-Astic’s high gloss is not desirable, but moderate color enhancement is. As it is very stain resistant, UreMax can also be used on vertical surfaces as an anti-graffiti barrier. The one significant challenge when using UreMax is set time. It takes 4 hours for UreMax to become tack-free, meaning a two coat application will take in excess of 8 hours.

Use if:

A matte finish with color enhancement is desirable
High durability and stain resistance are necessary
An anti-graffiti coating is needed

Avoid if:

Fast turnaround times are required

DecoPoxy is another water based sealer, meaning it does not have the solvent odor. Unlike UreMax, it is a high gloss product, making it good for situations when Poly-Astic’s gloss is desirable but the solvent smell is not. As a lower solids sealer than either UreMax or Poly-Astic, DecoPoxy may not be as durable. However, this also makes it a viable alternative when the project budget may not allow for the other two sealers. Finally, DecoPoxy can also serve as a primer for UreMax.

Use if:

A high gloss and significant color enhancement are desirable.
The project is cost-sensitive

Avoid if:

A more durable or stain resistant coating is required
A non-skid surface is required

Applying the Sealer

For detailed instructions, read the TIS for your sealer before beginning application. Generally speaking, however, there are a few common guidelines to follow for each sealer.

First and foremost, ensure that proper surface preparation is completed before application. This means the surface should be clean, dry, and ready to accept sealers. For recently acid stained surfaces, it is very important that residue has been completely removed, otherwise the sealer will delaminate. Similarly, previously sealed surfaces should also be completely stripped of all sealer before a new application (unless otherwise noted in the product TIS). Additionally, new concrete slabs should be allowed to cure for at least 28 days prior to sealer application.

Once the surface has been cleaned, dried, and otherwise prepared, you may begin preparing the sealer for application. All Brickform High Performance Sealers are two part mixes. Each comes in a kit containing an A component and B component. In order to avoid altering the component ratios, it is not advisable to mix partial kits. DecoPoxy and UreMax have limited pot-life, as well, it is important to consider the rate at which you can apply the product when planning.

All Brickform High Performance Sealers can be applied with a ¼” nap lint-free roller. DecoPoxy can also be applied with an airless sprayer. Carefully read the TIS sheet for your chosen sealer for specific application, recoat, and post-application instructions. Also keep in mind that Poly-Astic is a solvent based sealer so a strong odor may be present and proper ventilation is important.

Maintenance

Maintaining your sealed surface with a sacrificial coating that will absorb the bulk of wear and tear. After the sealer has completely cured, apply an acrylic sacrificial coating such as Brickform Premium Acrylic Floor Finish as detailed in the product information sheets. When applying make sure the surface is clean, free of residue, dry, and pH neutral before applying. Use a lambs wool or synthetic applicator to apply in thin, even coats over the surface. After 30 minutes, the Premium Acrylic Floor Finish should be sufficiently cured for an additional coat (view the Premium Acrylic Floor Finish TIS for details).

Sealed surfaces (with or without an acrylic coating) can be cleaned using neutral cleaners and water. Spills should be cleaned quickly. Advanced wear or deterioration may necessitate removal and reapplication. If that is the case, make sure to completely remove the old sealer and carefully follow surface preparation guidelines for the new application.

Always thoroughly read the TIS and SDS documentation for any and all products you use in a project before starting. It is also advisable to watch available instructional videos at www.brickform.com.