Thursday, February 16, 2012

Can I Achieve a Gloss Finish with Water Base Sealer and Wax?

Ask a Pro

   Q. -  We are going to be using the Twilight color of standard grade acid stain by Concrete Camouflage and were wondering if we can get that Glossy look using the water based sealer and then waxing. If at all possible we would like to use the water based sealer as it just seems much more family friendly and less toxic.  We have 4 little ones and won't be able to easily leave the house overnight etc as solvent base sealers recommends. But we REALLY want to get a nice glossy look out of the floor so if we HAVE to use a less friendly product we will try and figure that out.

Thank you so much!  We have done some test areas with just the stain and are loving what we see so far!

Hello Kristin,
   A. -  The Clear Shield Advanced water base sealer will have a satin finish. However, the Top Shield floor wax will have a gloss finish. Most everyone uses the Clear Shield Advanced water base sealer, instead of using solvent base sealers, because it is so much safer, more family friendly, and also a green product. They then put the Top Shield floor wax over that to achieve the glossy finish. Unless of course they want a matte finish, which the Top Shield floor wax is also available in matte finish. But you stated that you want a very glossy finish, so let's proceed with some things to think about.
   Solvent base sealers are naturally a higher gloss sealer and has such a high gloss for a few reasons, but allot that has to do with it is the fact that solvent base sealers goes on so thick. When you apply water base sealer, you apply it in as thin of coats as possible, which diminishes the gloss achieved from the water base sealer. However, if you apply one or two extra coats of the water base sealer, then you can achieve somewhat of a higher gloss as the sealer builds up. Of course you will have to allow the sealer to completely dry between each coat, but that doesn't take too long, and still doesn't compare to the amount of time that you have to allow solvents to cure.
   Next, the wax also goes on in coats as thin as possible. It is glossy, but still, if you do two or three extra coats initially, you can build it up too, and achieve an even higher gloss. Of course you can also use a buffing machine to bring out more of a gloss but I think that really wouldn't be necessary. Again, you need to allow the wax to dry between each coat, but the wax dries quickly.
   In conclusion, using the water base sealer at the standard two coats and using the gloss finish wax over that at the standard two coats will give you a nice gloss finish. Though if you want more of the extremely high gloss finish that you would see with a solvent base sealer, you can simply do an extra coat or two of the sealer, and an extra coat or two of the wax. This should allow you to obtain the higher gloss look without having the hazards and trouble of using a solvent base sealer. I would suggest that you do a test in a closet or out of the way place first and then you'll know how many coats of each product to expect to have to use to achieve your desired level of gloss.
   A couple final notes about solvents vs. water base sealers. Solvent base sealers along with having a higher gloss will make the concrete look as it does when it is saturated wet. Many times this is simply too darkened and negates much of the color variances and nuances which makes stained concrete so artistic and beautiful. Water base sealers, or least the Clear Shield Advanced water base sealer, makes the concrete look as it does when it's lightly damp. The colors are still enhanced more than when the concrete is completely dry, but not darkened up so much as when it's saturated wet.
I hope this helps