Buying Guide

Types of Exterior Sealers


Wood repellents, water-repellant preservatives, wood toners and concrete sealers are the most common types of exterior sealers.

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Common Types of Exterior Sealers
concrete sealers
Waterproof - Wood Sealers
Waterproof - Wood - Wood Sealers
Toner - Wood
Description Concrete sealers Water repellents (Water Sealers) Water-repellent wood preservatives Wood toners
Feature/Benefits Protect against damaging effects of road salt, acids, household cleaners and weather Resist dust and make surface easy to clean Help control water evaporation Ideal for use under latex, alkyd or polyurethane paints or carpeting Form protective coating for surfaces, ranging from wood to masonry Provide protection from water damage, stains, wear and more Water repellents protect against rot and decay by preventing the growth of mildew, fungus, mold and more May also protect against wood-eating bugs EPA registered Water repellents with a tint Provide added protection from UV damage due to tint Can be applied over previously painted surfaces

Like paints and stains, sealers are available in water-based and oil-based variations. The more pigments a sealer has, the more opaque it is and the more it will mask its surface.

Water vs. Oil Bases

  • Water-based sealers have fewer volatile organic chemicals.
  • Oil-based sealers and applicators require special disposals to prevent fire and pollution.
  • Water-based sealers can be cleaned with soap and water, while oil-based need to be cleaned with solvents.


  • Sealers with more pigments last longer, but they mask the grain and sometimes color of their surface.
  • Sealers are available in an array of wood tones, as well as other colors.
  • Sealers are available in a variety of finishes, from flat to high gloss.


  • Sealers with more opaque block more UV rays and last longer.
  • A higher percentage of solids indicates better quality and longer life.

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