DIY Garage Floor Sealers

Written by nick

Topics: Question & Answer

Hey Nick,

I want to clear coat my garage floors; what brand or kind of clear sealer should I use? I’m not on a penny budget but don’t want to spend a small fortune either.

Val – Van Wert, OH



Thanks for the question. The type of clear sealer I recommend for consumers to apply themselves is an acrylic-based sealer. These sealers come in solvent and water-based formulas. This type of sealer is the easiest and most affordable to apply. These sealers vary in performance characteristics but the basis of these acrylic sealers is that they form a protective film on the surface thus protecting the porous concrete substrate from contaminants which will cause premature deterioration of the concrete.

Acrylic sealers are widely available at the top 3 big box home stores.  Solvent-based formulas will be sold in metal containers and water-based will be sold in plastic containers. The main thing to look for is the solids content. A solids content of 30% – 40% is usual. The small price tag paid to seal your concrete will provide many more years of usable life to the surface of a concrete slab.

Benefits of Solvent-based Acrylic Sealer

  • Deep color enhancement – Wet look
  • Provides good protection from many liquids
  • Reapplication every 2-3 years

Limitations of Solvent-based Acrylic Sealer

  • Foul and potential dangerous odor  – Must be used in ventilated area –NEVER USE INDOORS
  • Concrete substrate must be completely dry before application

Application of Solvent-based Sealer

  • Follow manufactures technical documents for substrate preparation prior to application
  • Use a lamb’s wool roller cover and apply in 2 coats
  • For best results mix the sealer with 1 part Xylene to 3 parts Sealer for the first coat
  • 2nd coat should be applied full strength
  • If white bubbles appear on the surface, this means that water was trapped under the sealer. Apply an additional coat after 24 hours of additional drying.

Benefits of Water-based Acrylic Sealer

  • Matte Finish – Dry look
  • Provides adequate protection from many liquids
  • Reapplication every 8 months-2 years

Limitations of Water-based Acrylic Sealer

  • No odor can be used indoors and in basements
  • The easiest to apply and get great results

Application of Water-based Sealer

  • Follow manufactures technical documents for substrate preparation prior to application
  • Using a pump up sprayer saturate a section of the floor. Use a microfiber pad to work the sealer on the surface. Application is just like this.
  • 2 coats are recommended. Additional coats will increase protection.

If you are wanting a more professional garage floor coating – professionals can apply high-build epoxies, urethanes, or polyaspartic sealers that give you the ease of maintenance and look of professional finished shop floors.

*Penetrating sealers should not be used in garages as they provide little protection against chemicals.


Nick Dancer

1 Comment For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Nik says:

    I’ve been in the concrete polishing business over 10 years and still to this day you learn tips and tricks from all around the world. I’ve found you’re site very informative. I’m a big fan! Cheers Nick!

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