Written by Terry Smith

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Patio sealer: the best patio sealers tested for price and durability

This article was last updated on April 23rd, 2022 at 5:41 am

I’m sitting here making a list of jobs that need doing again soon and patio sealing is up the list. To make sure that work lasts, a quality patio sealer is a must but only if your patio grout is in tip top condition – get the jobs done in the right order! This also applies to Algae – get yourself a good algae remover too if necessary – patios with a green tinge don’t look great. You might as well make a full job of it and why not check out how to use patio sealer properly if you’re unsure!

Image credit Smartseal: Patio sealer

Patio sealers save an awful lot of maintenance down the line as well as looking great – assuming you buy a good one for your patio type! Stone or porous material absorbs dirt and stained water, as well as allows Algae and lichen to attach itself. The result is an old looking block paving, driveway, or patio that might only be five minutes old! After you use cleaning solution or patio cleaner in conjunction with a pressure washer (preferably a petrol pressure washer to really lift the dirt – I have to say I love my Wilks 750 – just had to thrown that in, the next step is patio sealer and it’ll save you repeating the cleaning process so often. Patio sealers should be easy to apply with any common brushes or rollers, dry quickly leaving a lovely finish(please check some are low sheen, while others high), non toxic to your children and pets, and ideally helps to stop mould growth too. Based on those important criteria I have reviewed the best patio sealers for you. So I have rated the best block paving sealers based on these criteria for you and my personal experiences helps some too 🙂

Best patio sealers: editor top picks:

Best patio sealer overall: Everbuild 405 Path and Patio Seal Paving Sealer – super combination of quality and value
Best matt (dry look) finish: Smartseal Block Paving Sealer – Matt Finish
Best silky semi gloss sealer: Sika Patio Seal-Clear Paving Sealer or the Smartseal Block Paving Sealer – Silk Finish
Best glossy wet look for printed concrete driveways and patios: Smartseal Imprinted Concrete Sealer or Adseal
Best for a dry natural stone look (sandstone or slate): Smartseal Natural Stone Sealer – Dry Finish – best of the best for stone but do you want to pay?
Best budget pick: Everbuild 405 Path and Patio Seal Paving Sealer – rare a top pick is also budget!!!
Professionals choices: Sika, Everbuild, or Smartseal

This is my third update of this article and you could say it’s evolving. The Everbuild 405 and Smartseal Block Paving Sealer – Silk Finish are great choices but if I’m ever installing patio grout I generally use Sika where I can, so it seems natural to use the Sika sealer too -it’s a commercially used product. SmartSeal edges it for me though- the results were possibly too shiny if that’s possible? Some don’t like it THAT shiny 😀. Please read the review to be sure before purchasing – there’s a big difference between dry, matt, silky, and wet looks! talking of wet looks – my other favourite is the Smartseal Imprinted Concrete Sealer. It makes lovely work of imprinted concrete patios. Like new in fact in some cases!

A guide to buying the best patio sealer:

There are some really important things to consider when buying a quality patio sealer – and these aren’t just the purchase. It’s rare that you buy a product and it is equalled in importance by the preparation work that’s required – but this is the case with patio sealer.

Wet look or matt?

There’s a big big difference between a wet look and matt and some in between as well. You’ve got wet high gloss, silky semi gloss, matt, and those that don’t change the look at all (specially designed for stunning natural stone). Sometimes a sealer can significantly change the look – for example a wet look on stone doesn’t do it for me. The drier matt look is the better looking for my money – basically it is there protecting and stopping dirt ingress but has very minimal impact on the look of your stone. Sometimes you cant beat what you’ve already got:

A wet look patio sealer would not look good so good on natural stone

By contrast, a block paving or printed concrete aesthetically improves miles:

Wet look on concrete and block paving is superb

When to seal the patio

The time to tackle the patio sealing boils down to weather. You need dry conditions. You’ll need some serious elbow grease or a powerful pressure washer, pressure washer detergent, and a good strong weed killer for block paving. Finally you’ll need the best block paving sealer. There are some excellent choices this time around that’ll make you really want to get this chore over and done with so you can sit back and admire for many years to come.

What tools help

Block paving sealer should be easy to apply using a roller or broom, it should be extremely hard wearing that even the most powerful petrol pressure washers can’t blast the resin off when cleaning, stop weeds coming through, and look amazing with a glossy or matt finish as you prefer.

How long will it last?

This largely depends on the quality of the product but more crucially if you used your patio sealer correctly. If you follow the instructions linked then you’re very unlikely to walk away with a substandard finish using any of the products that are listed.

How to use patio sealer properly

There’s a huge difference in finish between someone that gives their patio a sweep and then rolls on a load of patio sealer and someone who fully prepares and plans their patio seal. One person ends up being online giving out 1 star reviews because of their mistakes 😀 – Don’t be that person follow this guide carefully and you’ll be one of those online reviewing and gloating about how good your patio or driveway looks 😀

  1. Plan your patio sealing project well
  2. Remove any weeds and use ant repeller if necessary
  3. Clean your patio thoroughly
  4. Use patio grout
  5. Apply your patio sealer

Plan your patio sealing project well

When the time comes, you want to make sure you have a decent run of dry weather. Almost all mishaps occur when you don’t have bone dry conditions. So you’ll want to hit this when it makes sense – some jobs such as the weed removal and cleaning can be done in advance.

Remove any weeds and use ant repeller if necessary

You can prep by removing all weeds on your block paving or patio – if you do have a problem with weeds I would suggest looking at my article on how to apply new patio grout as this is definitely a pre-requisite to patio sealer and a happy ending!

To recap, scrape or your old sand (it may contain seeds that’ll ruin the finish) re-grout and if you can see signs of ants I would highly suggest using some form of ant repellant to stop them wanting to come up through their original pathways.

Clean your patio thoroughly

This is the most important step in my mind – if you don’t clean well you’ll trap in the dirt and produce a poor overall finish- the best way to get dirt and stains that are stubborn out is a big powerful petrol pressure washer. That’s what I do:

Clean down your patio properly with a petrol pressure washer if you have one

You can probably get away with one of the more powerful electric pressure washer versions as they really are becoming something comparable these days!

After the patio is clean you need it to dry out thoroughly and then you don’t need to wait as most sand can be brushed in wet.

Use patio grout

If you didn’t follow the prerequisite above because it wasn’t that bad, you should still now top off your block paving or patio stones with sand. Push it in firmly – you can use a brick layers pointing tool, a bit of folded copper pipe – anything with a smooth edge:

Image credit: EverBuild

 

Then of course get any remaining sand up and off the patio – you’ll probably need to wait for this to dry so you can use a soft broom to really clean it up.

Apply your patio sealer

Going back to planning, check the weather – if you know you’ve got a clear two or three days and the forecast isn’t likely to change then t’s time to lay your patio sealer. You can do this with a large roller, squeegee mop if the stone is flat enough, or a soft broom. Check the manufacturer recommended as they all have different best methods.

The biggest problem at this point is coverage. Make sure you give your patio three coats – if using Sika for example that will give you a nice semi gloss silky finish. Two may still look a little dull. Follow the instructions for time between coats carefully too- almost all problems occur from not following the guide specs.

I decided to update this review because I used a new product recently on a clients patio. The Everbuild 405 Path and Patio Seal Paving Sealer is quite exceptional. I didn’t have to do anything fancy after we cleaned off the block paving, I simply went at it with a standard garden sprayer. You can use the link to grab one if necessary. We applied three coats. This product is so good at keeping moisture and dirt out that you lose a little of the aesthetics you get from a wet sandstone – you probably want to look for a drier look as the colours aren’t quite so vibrant but block block paving, patios, and concrete it’ll give the whole area a big lift.

However, with that said, I know plenty of people that have used this to great effect on sandstone with just a couple of coats but it should be made very very clear, you will lose a bit of the lovely vibrant colour you have.

To give you an idea when using this product, the patio we did was about 4m by 5m. So about 20m2 in total. We got round the patio three times with a pretty generous coating each time. Don’t try your luck with the weather. It needs to be bone dry. The drier the stone, the better the absorption of the sealant, that simple.

To avoid disappointing results do things right. Make sure your patio is cleaned and clear of dust. Make sure it’s completely free of weeds and you’ve used a pressure washer to blast any lichen and algae out of the pores of the stone – basically do the very best to clean it as anything not removed will never be as it’ll be sealed in! Use a quality weed killer and patio cleaner if necessary. Only then, once you’ve done the leg work is it time to apply the sealer. If you don’t follow these steps, all patio sealer will seem disappointing!

From a price point, hard wearing as it is, and ease of application I would say this is one of my top picks – many professionals use this.

Pros:

  • Quality product at excellent money
  • Professionals use this
  • Excellent finish to patios

Cons:

  • Some have weeds grow through

My first pick for silk (what I would call semi-gloss) finish is the Smartseal Block Paving Sealer – Silk Finish and it gives a nice wet ish look! The only product in my opinion that comes anywhere near it, is Everbuild and Sika. Naturally the Smartseal Block Paving Sealer – Matt Finish is another top notch product but for a different look. The only difference is the amount of sheen of course.

There is no doubt in my mind that if you like a silk finish, this is the best block paving sealer. You can really lift block paving with this:

Battered patio from years of neglect

As you can see this patio hasn’t really been looked after, and I’m not criticising, I’ve let mine get worse in patches before now, pre lockdown, running around busy all the time!

After using SmartSeal products to restore a patio and seal it

Your block paving can go from zero to hero over the course of a few days. This might well be exciting and inspiring to look at but one must consider there’s a fair amount of hard work to get from a to b.

You’ll need to de-weed and then use an ultra strong weed killer. I personally like Barclay Gallup when I really want to purge weeds hard. Then, get out your most powerful pressure washer and clean, clean away. Honestly, the hardest bit is the prep work. Once you have those steps sorted you get a roller and roll on SmartSeals miracle solution and you too will restore a five or ten year old grubby looking block paving to near new condition.

This formula also hardens sand so it’ll go a long way to keeping weeds at bay for a fair while. If you take the steps above and really put the leg work in you’ll give this amazing product a chance to work to its full potential.

There’s really nothing to say negatively about this product. I would love to bring some balance but it’s really top notch. You could argue it’s pricey, but let’s be honest, you get what you pay for and to me value is never expensive. You’ll get about 25m2 out of one 25 litre can per coat. You want to apply at least two coats. The second coat can be thinner but the hard work is the prep, you might as well give it a really deep sheen and as much chance of holding back any weed seeds as possible. The thicker the coating, the better the durability and deeper the sheen if you like a glossy look.

Do not forget, bone dry is your secret weapon for all block paving sealing. Clean your patio thoroughly and give it a week to dry out. This is a job for the middle of summer and cross your fingers we get a week without rain and plenty of sun so get your block paving sealer now and keep it ready for the right weather in the next couple of weeks.

Pros:

  • Looks great
  • Nice and silky
  • Seals very well
  • Easy to apply

Cons:

  • Occasional unhappy customer!

The first thing that’ll throw you when you pop open the lid if a slightly milky colour, don’t panic, this is perfectly normal. It’s like PVA glue in the sense it drys clear but has a white milky look prior to setting.

Let’s be clear about something. Sika have made a name producing high quality products used commercially, everyday. In my professional life (away from the fun I have reviewing cool products I use), I use Sika products to stop water ingress. I also know people that swear by Sika 4A water stop in the building trade. So when you look at the price point here, and availability in 5 litres, this is a great choice if you want to seal the patio for sensible money.

For me, it has the distinct advantage of being pretty easily applied with a garden sprayer. Now, I know you find that a little contradictory because the ‘thicker’ the better so to speak, but a couple of coats really really does work with this product. And when I say work, I mean it’ll sheen nicely, not too glossy. I can see you processing the information right now “if I had Indian sandstone, I might only go with one coat to minimise the impact on appearance” you say to yourself, but durability and protection wise two is the way to go, cleaning stains out of stone is killer, so a little loss in aesthetics for a far easier clean is my preference. Cost wise, this is a great product and certainly the average review online would back this statement up.

It’ll help with mould and algae too. If you have that problem, take a look at my algae remover article. Never go into patio sealing half hearted. Almost every single negative review you will find online of my favourite picks will have a root cause problem, simply, a lack of preparation. Don’t be that 1%! Clean and clear weeds well. You will love the results.

You’ll get about 20m2 from a 5 litre container, that’s two coats so pretty similar to the Everbuild. It’ll dry off pretty quick in direct sunlight. Keep the kids and pets off for the day is my best advice, after that, you’ll be good to go.

Pros:

  • This is a solvent-free formulation.
  • It is non-flammable in nature.
  • It produces very low odour.
  • It is dustproof.
  • It also helps to prevent the growth of fungus and mould.

Cons:

  • More expensive than Everbuild

Smartseal Imprinted Concrete Sealer is designed specifically for concrete patios. Concrete imprinted patios will with no exaggeration, begin to look like new. The sealer itself is super easy to apply and it will

In terms of application, it’s really very easy. It goes without saying make sure the concrete is clean and dust free. You simply brush it on with a soft broom. Wait a couple of hours and you can walk on it. You want to make sure of two things, firstly, it’s a bone dry day and the concrete is bone dry too. Secondly, when you brush on a second coat, make sure that you can easily walk on the first coat without pulling it up. To be really sure, on a hot summers day, give it a good few hours in direct contact with sunlight and you’ll be ready to lay the second coat.

One thing to watch for, make sure if it’s a really hot day that you don’t mess about. As you brush it on, do so quickly and move on, if you try to brush into a patch you laid just before, you’ll potentially leave marks and not allow it to ‘settle’ so to speak. Apart from that you can’t go wrong. A handy tip that!

Then watch the magic. It is no exaggeration as I said before, to be amazed by the results of this product. It will make a ten year old install look like new. Very rarely do I use a product and feel overwhelmed by the results. This is a very rare product, Smartseal have really got this one in the bag. I don’t often include a picture, but you can expect results like these:

Being as potent and quality as it is, you want decent PPE. A good face mask will help with the smell.

Pros:

Cons:

  • A bit of a smell on application

Let’s assume you’ve got lovely Indian Sandstone and the colours are vibrant and beautiful – and you don’t want to lay on a sealer that gives a glossy effect – in a sense I agree – it can detract from the look considerably. The best options is Smartseal Natural Stone Sealer – the dry finish version.

Let’s be honest, this is an extremely expensive product so you’ve high hopes for a quality finish. Well here’s what you can expect from the manufacturer:

Dry stone finish – minimal change to the look

And yes it does what it says, the protection is definitely there – some people use this as a means to stop leaks on stone baths! No questioning the quality of the product against rain then!

It’s just a simple case of whether or not you can justify the cost – if you’ve spent big on the stone it might be that you really want to maintain the look – fine, use this then, if you were just curious and don’t mind losing a bit of aesthetic you can probably go and read the Sika or Everbuild review. Many have used those to great effect on their sandstone. Of course this is a bit subjective because everyone has a different idea about what looks good!

Pros:

  • Keep your original natural stone colour
  • Easy to apply
  • Real protection

Cons:

  • The price is the only drawback

This is basically exactly the same product as the Smartseal Block Paving Sealer – Silk Finish. The only difference is that it is matt. So if you like the dull look then pick this one. I couldn’t really leave it out as the products are sold separately and I didn’t want you to miss the chance of buying this amazing product just because you were looking for a matt finish.

If there’s anything to add to the review of it’s sister above, I would say make sure you have a face covering when applying it as it has an odour, and give it a couple of hours between coats if the weathers nice and hot. If it’s not a great day, you should wait for one and keep an eye on the weather forecast. Make sure it’s totally dry before applying the sealer and that there’s no rain forecast that day will save you from time wasted and material costs too. Pay attention to the instructions on drying times for your block paving after cleaning and you won’t go wrong.

The only other piece of advice I can offer is don’t try to muck about with a sprayer, buy a roller and go at it. You won’t need to spend that much time rolling and it’ll be a nice even finish.

This is yet another great patio sealer we have on our list. This product is designed to provide you with advanced protection for paving. With the use of this performance sealer, you can easily seal and protect against chemicals and dirt.

Not just that, but it is also meant to resist the penetration of fuels and oils. This means you can achieve complete protection from Ronseal, as you might expect for such a great name over the years.

The product contains an effective biocide which helps it to prevent the growth of moss and algae. Using this sealer you can both protect and improve the appearance of your patio.

The product has also received good reviews from the users. If you are looking for something that can give you maximum protection then this is the perfect fit for you. Also, the product is available at an affordable cost.

Pros:

  • It is meant to provide you with advanced protection.
  • It prevents the growth of algae and moss.
  • It is resistant against penetration.
  • It seals and protects against dirt and chemicals.

Cons:

  • Need to use enough to get a wet look so some have had disappointing results

Rycal for me has a decent balance between cost and performance Sika and Everbuild. If you don’t want to shell out for the top notch product ergo Smartseal, this is going to do a pretty decent job at half the money. But as always, you get what you pay for in this world and with Everbuild being less money now I find this a tough one to buy.

With 4 plus star ratings online, this is one of the best sealers available on the list. This is a professional-grade product and is exactly what you need to protect your patios and other pathways on a budget. You’ll get about one good roller coat, covering around 40m2 well (not patchy). You can use a garden sprayer too but you won’t get quite so much cover.

This ready to use clear sealant have been the best-selling product. With the use of this product, you can add an attractive finish to your patio. It gives a gloss finish which is fine if you’re into that finish.

It spreads and dries easily, provides excellent resistance against rains and is also 100% UVA and fade resistant.

The best part is that it can be used for all types of blocks, flags, pattern imprint. It’s a great allrounder and will protect against spills and is pretty good at repelling moisture as well as helping to protect against weeds and mould.

Pros:

  • This is a quality block and concrete sealer.
  • It can be used for all types of blocks.
  • It protects your blocks from damage.
  • Ideal product on a budget.
  • Prevents moss and weed growth.

Cons:

Adseal is a quality product and I feel it needed including to bring a little balance given I have three Smartseal products on this review. They have a decent video to see you through the process which I agree with in principle:

If you like a ‘wet’ looking finish, want to get over 60m2 out of a big tin, and are looking for an easy to apply sealer then this one is a safe bet. Adseal is a commercial grade, high quality block paving sealer that’s now available direct to homes.

The product is designed to be used for all types of block paving, imprinted concrete and slabs. The best thing is that this sealant is easier to apply. You don’t have to struggle or put in much effort in the process. All you need is a roller, or spray or a brush to apply the sealant and then wait for the results.

The sealant is a solvent-based product and thus, it dries up quickly. It adds a tough and glossy finish which make your blocks look wet and bright again.

Pros:

  • It is a quality product.
  • It adds an excellent glossy finish.
  • It is shipped for free.
  • It dries quickly.
  • It is easy to apply.

Cons:

  • Some complaints of durability

Last but definitely not least, is Resiblock. Launched in 1993 in the UK, Resiblock happens to be one of the best products in the market for reliability and after sales care. It provides you with no oil stains guarantee.

The product provides you with a matt finish and can last up to 5 years, and it’s easy to apply but like all great patio sealing, much relies on preparation. You’ll need to follow the exact same steps noted in the SmartSeal review. Personally, for the cost, I prefer SmartSeal. This isn’t to say this isn’t a great product. Not at all, I feel this is exactly and every bit as good as SmartSeal but costs significantly more.

It can be rolled on easily and make no mistake, will produce brilliant results on your patio. The drying time is pretty standard and in keeping with the rest of the reviews here.

Pros:

  • Prevents the growth of weeds.
  • Prevents your patio from getting stained.
  • Can last up to 5 years.

Cons:

  • Way more expensive than an already quality SmartSeal

So, these are some of the best patio sealers available. With any of these products, you can easily keep your patio protected. Also, it helps you in improving your appearance.

If you made it this far, I hope you found the patio sealer you need and I’ll update this article again soon!


About Terry Smith

I’m Terry Smith from gardentoolbox.co.uk, a professional landscape designer, hobbyist gardener, and barbecue fanatic with 20 years experience building and restoring. So as you go through my site you'll watch me document some of the professional garden installs I make as well as the major projects I take on at home. While sharing those experiences and guiding you, I'll be recommending some great tools I use to enable this along the way so you can really buy in confidence. Always feel free to pop me a message: info@gardentoolbox.co.uk

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