Clear sealant is a type of liquid used to protect a surface against damage from weather conditions, chemicals, traffic, and other elements that can damage a surface. There are clear sealants for concrete and indoor and outdoor wood products. Sealants are also available to protect tile and grout work, metal, and masonry. Clear sealant types include acrylic urethane, polyurethane, silicone, lacquers, butyl, and varnishes. Sealants can be water or oil based, color can be added to some of the products, and many of these products are available as matte, semi-gloss, or glossy to produce the type of finish desired.
Acrylic urethane can be brushed on or it comes in a spray bottle. It can be used on a variety of products, including wood, and it is one of the less durable sealants available. Lacquer is another wood sealant that comes in a clear formula. Many commercial furniture companies use lacquer to seal the piece and create a shiny finish. Lacquer dries very quickly and numerous coats can be applied within a short period of time.
Varnish is also a quality clear sealant that made from resin and mixed with oil products or acrylics. It is a slow-drying sealant so there is risk of dust or particles build-up during the curing process. It is easily applied and a common choice for those with little experience in finishing wood.
Polyurethane is a popular sealant that is used on a variety of products, including roof and gutters. It is very resistant to scratches and other corrosion, but the product’s odor is strong after applied and can be detected even months after application. It can be sprayed, brushed on, or applied with a caulk gun. Polyurethane is a flexible material, and it is commonly used to seal joints because of its elasticity.
Silicone is a flexible material that is water-resistant, can withstand extreme temperatures, and is ultraviolet (UV) light resistant, making it a preferred product for boats and engines. It is best to use silicone on glass, porcelain, epoxy, rubber, vinyl, and ceramic products. Unlike acrylic, silicone cannot be painted over.
Another type of clear sealant is butyl. Butyl is a water-resistant adhesive that is very sticky, causing it to be hard to work with. It is commonly used as a clear sealant for concrete, masonry, and metal roofs because of its durability, longevity, and its ability to adhere to many different types of material.