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Do you have to seal flexcolor cq?

Flexcolor CQ is a water-based concrete stain that can add a lot of aesthetic appeal to plain concrete surfaces. It comes in a variety of opaque colors that are designed to penetrate into the concrete and leave a lasting, vivid finish. One of the most frequently asked questions about using Flexcolor CQ is whether or not it needs to be sealed after application. The short answer is that sealing is highly recommended for most situations, but not absolutely required in all cases. In this article, we’ll look at the benefits of sealing Flexcolor CQ, which sealing products to use, and when you can get away without sealing.

Why Seal Flexcolor CQ

There are a few key reasons why it’s advisable to apply a sealer on top of Flexcolor CQ:

Enhances the color

A quality concrete sealer enhances the depth and richness of Flexcolor CQ’s colors. It adds a clear protective layer that brings out the tones and prevents them from appearing faded or washed-out over time. Sealing brings out a more vibrant, wet look.

Provides protection

Without a sealer, the color particles of Flexcolor CQ are more vulnerable at the surface level of the concrete. A sealer provides a protective barrier that prevents the color from wearing away from foot traffic, exposure to spills, UV rays, snow and ice, and other elements. This extends the life and durability of the finish.

Easy to clean

Sealed concrete is much easier to clean and maintain over the long run. Dirt, debris, and stains have a harder time penetrating into the concrete and can often be removed with just soap and water. Unsealed concrete is more prone to staining.

Here is a table summarizing the benefits of sealing Flexcolor CQ:

Benefit Description
Enhances color Brings out a richer, more vibrant colored finish
Protection Forms a protective barrier that prevents premature fading, erosion, and staining
Easy to clean Sealed concrete resists penetrating dirt and stains for easier maintenance

Recommended Sealers

These types of sealers are well-suited for use with Flexcolor CQ:

Acrylic sealers

Acrylic sealers are suitable for both indoor and outdoor concrete surfaces. They provide good protection against moisture, stains, and UV exposure while allowing the concrete to still breathe. Leading acrylic sealers include Premium Sealers CS-309 and CS-309 EF.

Polyurethane sealers

Polyurethane concrete sealers provide the highest level of protection. They form a durable, long-lasting barrier that prevents moisture penetration, stains, and chemical damage. Leading options are Premium Sealers WB-MS and Dura-Kote WB Satin.

Penetrating sealers

Penetrating sealers are a good choice when you want to preserve the natural concrete appearance. They soak into the concrete pores instead of leaving a coating on the surface. Pros are they allow vapor transmission and won’t change the skid resistance. Examples are Premium Sealers Stain Protect and CS-300 EF.

Here is a comparison table of these sealer options:

Sealer Type Benefits Considerations
  • Allow vapor transmission
  • Enhance color well
  • Good protection
  • Not as durable as polyurethane
  • Need reapplication every 1-4 years
  • Extremely durable protection
  • Excellent stain resistance
  • Doesn’t allow vapor transmission
  • Can change surface appearance
  • Retains natural concrete look
  • Allows vapor transmission
  • Minimal change to skid resistance
  • Less protection than film-forming sealers
  • May need frequent reapplication

When You Can Skip Sealing

While sealing is ideal for most situations, here are some instances where it may be acceptable to leave Flexcolor CQ unsealed:

Indoor concrete floors

For indoor concrete floors that won’t be exposed to the elements or heavy foot traffic, sealing is optional. The colors will hold up reasonably well without a sealer in low-wear environments.

Dry environments

In consistently hot, arid environments where moisture is minimal, Flexcolor CQ can potentially last longer without a sealer. Though sealing is still preferable for best results.

Inaccessible areas

For concrete surfaces that are difficult to access and won’t be walked on, like beneath back decks, sealing is generally not necessary.

Testing colors

When applying Flexcolor CQ samples to test out colors before doing the full project, you can skip sealing at the testing stage. Just be sure to seal when doing the final color application.

Over-colored concrete

If applying Flexcolor CQ to previously sealed or painted concrete, sealing is not required. But if the existing finish ever wears away, expose concrete should be sealed.

Here are the main situations where sealing Flexcolor CQ is optional:

Situation Reason
Indoor concrete Not exposed to harsh elements or heavy traffic
Dry environments Minimal moisture exposure extends stain life
Inaccessible areas Difficult to reach areas that won’t be walked on
Color testing Just doing samples before full application
Previously finished concrete Existing sealer or paint provides protection

Application Tips

To get the best results when sealing Flexcolor CQ:

– Wait at least 72 hours after staining before applying sealer, to allow it to fully cure.

– Make sure concrete is clean and dry before sealing. Remove any dust, debris, dirt, or stains.

– Use an acidic cleaner to etch smooth or dense concrete before sealing, to improve absorption.

– Apply using a high quality sealer sprayer, brush, or roller. Use thin, even coats.

– Follow manufacturer’s application instructions, including recoat times.

– Keep area well-ventilated and avoid sealing in very hot or humid conditions.

– Consider a two-coat application for optimal protection, with the second coat applied at 90° to the first.

– Avoid heavy traffic until the sealer has fully cured.

– Reseal as needed based on wear and exposure levels, usually every 1-5 years.


Sealing over Flexcolor CQ is highly recommended in most cases, as it enhances the color vibrancy, protects the finish, and makes the surface easier to clean. Recommended sealer types include quality acrylic, polyurethane, and penetrating sealers. Make sure to follow proper application techniques for best durability. There are some situations where sealing Flexcolor CQ is optional but for long-lasting, professional results, take the time to add a sealer on top. This will maximize the lifespan and aesthetics of the finish. Let the sealer fully cure before heavy use of the surface. And remember to reapply sealer periodically as needed to maintain the protection.