What Size Nap For Sealing Stamped Concrete With a Roller?

What Size Nap For Sealing Stamped Concrete With a Roller?




What Size Nap For Sealing Stamped Concrete With a Roller

So you put down some sweet stamped concrete in your driveway or patio. It looks pretty snazzy! But it’s missing that nice glossy shine that makes the colors “pop.” What’s the best way to get that sealed up, nice and shiny? A paint roller! Let me break it down for you. I’ll explain everything you need to know about sealing up stamped patterns. I’ll use a paint application method.


As a decorative concrete contractor for four decades, I’ve found that a 3/8″ application size is ideal for applying solvent-based sealers. It works best for medium to heavy surfaces in patterned concrete. The slightly longer nap allows the sealer to saturate the surface thoroughly. This prevents excess puddling, leading to uneven sealing and glossy spots. Proper spread tool selection ensures uniform coverage across the peaks and valleys of the pattern. This way, the sealer protects the concrete without altering its natural appearance.” 

I will use a 1/2″ application size on smoother surfaces like slate skin low-texture finishes. This way, I won’t have any roller marks or lap lines because less sealer is used on the surface. Also, it is used with water-based concrete sealants. This is because it is thinner and applies evenly with ease.

Decorative Concrete Texture Levels And Right Size Applicator To Use

Texture Level Stamped Patterns Size
High Random Stone, Cobblestone, Flagstone, Fractured Granite, Fractured Quartz, Fractured Thin Slate, Canyon Slate 3/8″
Medium Brick, Stone, Travertine, Italian Marble, Quartz, Spanish Slate, Ashlar Slate 3/8″
Low Slate, River Slate, Light Quarry Stone, Wood Planks, Old Wood Grain 1/2″

Gearin’ Up

First things first, you have to get yourself the right DIY supplies. The main piece of the puzzle here is the spreading instrument itself. To protect the concrete, you wanna use a “nap roller”—the fuzzy part of the roller that holds the sealer. For stamped concrete patios, you’ll wanna use one with a 3/8″ or 1/2” size to work the sealer into those surface grooves.

As for the frame, you’ll want one with a 9″ or 18″ width. That’ll let you cover more ground in fewer swipes. I’d go with an 18″ size for big areas like driveways and larger pool decks over 1000 sq. ft.. For smaller spaces under 1000 sq. ft., a 9″ will be easier to handle. You’ll also need:

  • A manufacturer’s painter’s pan to hold the sealer
  • An extension pole to reach them hard to get spots
  • Painters tape to mask off areas you don’t want to stain
  • A bucket and rags to clean up drips

And, of course – the solvent-based sealer! Use a glossy acrylic sealer made specifically for that surface for patterned concrete. Chat with the pros at your local hardware shop, and they’ll set you up right.

Preppin’ the Concrete

Before rollin’ on that glossy goodness, you must prep the concrete. That means cleaning it nicely to eliminate dirt, stains, oils, or other funk. These could keep the concrete sealer from sticking tight.

First up, sweep away any loose debris. Then, scrub it down with some warm, soapy water if needed. Let it dry out completely – we’re talkin’ 24 hours at least if you’ve washed it. There are no wet spots here!

The last step is “etching” the concrete. This opens up tiny pores in the concrete so the sealer can grab on tight and snugly. Mix up some muriatic acid with water per the instructions on the bottle. Use a pump sprayer to spritz it evenly over the surface, then let it sit for a few minutes. Rinse it off thoroughly and let it dry out again.



Get Rollin’!

Alright, now for the fun part! Pour some concrete sealer application into your pan and dip just the fuzzy part in about 1/4 of the way. Roll it back and forth a few times on the ridged part of the pan. This will be evenly distributed through the paint applicator.

Start along one edge of the concrete, rolling the sealer on nice and even – no thick spots or bare patches. Just like painting a wall, work top to bottom in straight “W” motions. Go back and forth across the section you’re working on. Make sure to overlap each pass by a few inches.

Run the spreading instrument vertically when you get to a corner or edge. Do this instead of horizontally to avoid drips. If you get drips or runs, use that rag to wipe them immediately before drying.

As you empty the pan, pour more sealer and keep goin’ section by section. If the paint-spreading tool starts to drag a little, it’s soaked up what it can hold. Reload with more sealer and keep on rolling.

One Coat? Or Two?

Here’s the million-dollar question – one thick coat or two thinner coverings? Well, partner, for colored patterned concrete, I recommend TWO layers. Yup, double the fun!

That colored surface has lots of nooks and crannies that need filling up. So roll on that first layer nice and even get into all those spots. Let it dry for 2-4 hours, then do another covering to ensure you have everything locked up tight.

This second coat will also leave you with a thicker, glossier finish. The first layer partially soaks in and binds to the concrete. The second layer sits mainly on the surface. More sealer on top means more shine!

Cleanup & Callbacks

While the second layer is drying, clean your sealer tool and pan to remove any dried concrete sealer gunk. Use mineral spirits and an old rag or brush to scrub them out nicely.

Once it’s all dry, step back and eyeball that beautiful glossy finish! See any thin spots or uneven sheen? Hit those spots with a little extra sealer to even it out.

And there you have it! That’s everything you need to know to get pro-level concrete stamping sealant results. Use the paint sealer tool to protect your colored concrete. Just take your time, use the suitable materials, and don’t hesitate to call your buddy if you have any questions!


Our Locations:


Nashua, NH

North Hampton, NH

Concord, NH