The Best Sealer for Concrete Countertops

Written by nick

Topics: Question & Answer

Question: What is the best way to seal a concrete countertop? We have tried many different sealers and none of them look great or can hold up? Which sealer do you use or recommend?

Answer by Nick Dancer: I have tried countless amounts of sealers when I was just getting started. I got caught up in the marketing of each sealer and thought the next one was going to be end- all of the long struggle. After thousands and thousands of dollars spent trying all types of sealers, from acrylics, penetrating, polyaspartic and epoxy/urethanes, I finally found one that I like and I think offers the best protection for a concrete countertop in a home.

When deciding to use this sealer I knew that my clients were looking for maximum protection in their home. The sealer could not stain, it had to be heat resistant, and also provide protection against scratching.  It also had to be safe, eco-friendly, not contain any hazardous chemicals and have very low VOC’s. Concrete by nature is porous and needs to be sealed before being installed into a home.

The sealer I use is by Richard James Specialty Chemical Company. It is actually a 3-part system not just a typical sealer. The 3-parts are an OS-W Substrate Conditioner, a water-borne epoxy (E-3) and a water-dilatable urethane (2K). The 3-part system provides results that I have not gained with other sealers. The first part, OS-W Substrate Conditioner will strengthen and stabilize the surface, and also act as a bonding agent between the concrete and the sealer. The second step is to apply the E-3 (epoxy). Epoxy is great at bonding with concrete, offers excellent stain resistant but is glossy and scratches easy. The top coat urethane or the 2-K is then applied. The 2-K offers a matte finish, excellent stain protection and is very durable against scratches. The 2-K should not be applied directly to concrete as urethanes do not have the bonding power with concrete that epoxy does. This topcoat can also be easily repaired on site if the sealer were to scratch.

To order any of these products email

Note: All of Richard James Products come with instructions and need to be followed maliciously to provide the best results. When I first started using these products I encountered some problems such as outgassing, pinholes, sealer looking hazy, orange peel, roller marks, etc. After many long nights in my shop and repeated attempts, I finally developed a system and techniques to apply the sealer so it looked as smooth as the polished concrete is was protecting. If you have questions on how to eliminate these problems email me at

If you are having problems with any part of the fabrication process with your concrete countertops contact me, Nick Dancer at  I would love to help you eliminate mistakes on your next project. Instead on leaving your shop, I can come to your business and show you how to create a great looking project and educate your entire team on how to create beautiful and durable countertops.

*All photos are copyright of Nick Dancer Concrete.

If you use other types of sealers with success on your concrete countertops comment below!

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