Home> Brick Paver Restoration> How To Strip a Failed Brick Paver Sealer That Has Turned White

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Note: These Steps will work on Failed Brick Paver, Stamped Concrete, and Decorative Concrete Sealers.

spraysealerBrick Paver Sealers are different then regular concrete sealers in that they:

  • Darken the appearance by giving a "wet" look.
  • Can give a gloss appearance that ranges between satin to high gloss.
  • Helps solidify joint sand.
  • Film on the surface somewhat instead of penetrating completely into the concrete.

Unfortunately Brick Paver and Decorative Concrete Sealers sometimes fail by discoloring and turning milky white or yellow in color. Typically this happens for one of these reasons:

  • Moisture was trapped under sealer.
  • Efflorescence (white salt deposits) was not removed prior to sealer application.
  • Sealer used was low grade causing the acrylic in the sealer to blush white from the sun. Please stay away from sealers sold at Big Box Stores!
  • Buildup of too many coats through the years or excessive over application.
  • Use of a polymeric sand. This is actually the fault of these types of sand. If you do not remove all the sand from the surface of the pavers, the sand can turn white under the paver sealer.

In many cases applying a solvent to the pavers will "reset" the sealer, making the white haze disappear. This usually works for trapped moisture and if you have sealer buildup. Unfortunately if the white haze is from something else then you will need to strip off all of the old sealer and start over. This is not a fun process but it is better then replacing everything!

Please follow these steps to ensure success:

  1. You will need to buy a brick paver sealer stripper. They typically cover 100-200 square feet per gallon.
  2. Cover all delicate shrubs, vegetation, furniture, etc. with plastic sheeting. Tape plastic sheeting to home if near area to be cleaned.
  3. Use protective clothing, gloves, and eye wear. The use of a charcoal filter respirator is suggested.
  4. Using a paint try and paint roller, apply the paver sealer stripper in a section of about 100 square feet. This stripper is very thick and applies like a paste. *If you apply to much stripper at one time you will run the risk of it drying before you get a chance to pressure wash.
  5. Wait about 10 minutes after applying the stripper then pressure wash off the old sealer. This can be messy as the sealer "peels" off in white pieces. Best to push this into the grass or dirt areas.
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 until completed.
  7. If needed spot strip any areas that did not come clean after first attempt. If old sealer is excessively thick, you may need to repeat the entire process.

If you plan on resealing the pavers it is best to remove as much as possible of the old sealer. If you do not there is a strong chance that the "white haze" will come back in those areas.

The Brick Paver Sealers we sell are not prone to discoloring when used on concrete that is free of any old sealers. Main reason is that they are all "breathable" sealers which greatly reduces any chance of the dreaded "white haze".

If you have any questions please ask below.

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Homeowner
Last year I had a brick patio laid against my pool.The brick pavers were gorgeous before they were grouted and sealed. They look like mud afterwords. There was also white haze over large areas. Multiple acids strippers removers etc. were used and then the pavers were resealed restoring the natural beauty by only a third of the original color. Now a year later they look nothing like they did before they were grouted and sealed. How can I return the pavers to their original color and beauty before they were stained with the grout and all the multiple chemicals that were applied multiple times?
John khoury , October 22, 2016
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Have they been sealed before? If so then you would want this:
http://www.opwdecks.com/paver-sealer-stripper.htm
TheSealerStore , November 22, 2015
...
I have a six year old patio made with grey concrete pavers. What product do you recommend that will help in removing the white haze that has developed over the past few years

Dale Chaney , November 21, 2015
re: Strip old "white" sealer off pavers
You cannot just scrub off a sealer when trying to strip them. Needs to be pressure washed off and rinsed well.
TheSealerStore , October 14, 2015
Strip old "white" sealer off pavers
Having a problem to hire someone that can strip the "white" sealer off my pavers around my swimming pool. No one will do it because what they will use will damage the paint on my home and also will damage my cage around the pool. This is a mess. Is there any type of solution to just spray on it and scrub them? I have not sealed my pool pavers for three years. Prior to that I used the Home Depot sealer, which everyone is saying that made my pavers white.......NEED HELP CANNOT GET ANYONE TO DO THIS JOB!!
Joanne Siena , October 13, 2015
re: OLD DECORATIVE PAVERS
No they do not come pre sealed. The white is probably mineral or efflorescence stains. You may need a cleaner for those areas to remove first.
TheSealerStore , October 01, 2015
old decorative pavers
My pavers are 23 years old and I doubt that they have ever been sealed once they were put down. Do pavers come from the factory sealed and if so, will I need to strip it this many years later or just give it a good cleaning? The color is dull, but in some areas the red colored pavers have white rings. I
Skind52 , September 30, 2015
RE: re: SB6000 turned a little white in direct sun??
Yes I have plenty. Bought extra to redo every two years. This application has only been on one season and about 10 months. I did apply two coats when I first applied, so maybe that's a problem. Very surprised I'd be doing it every year. I'll try an area to see what happens. Either way, I won't redo it until next spring if it works, or, if I have to strip and start over. I'll post my findings.
Glenn , September 19, 2015
...
Looks like sun fading. Do you have any leftover that you can apply to a faded brick to see if it restore the wet look? It does not look like it needs to be stripped, just reapplied.
TheSealerStore , September 17, 2015
RE: re: SB6000 turned a little white in direct sun??
Pictures are below. Any suggestions on what this is, or how it happened?
Glenn , September 16, 2015
Pictures of "fade out"?
Here's a few pictures without the sun directly on them. I can take more in sun if you'd like. paver_dry and paver_wet are the same area and you can see how they look in both conditions. paver_fade is in the same area and shows a good representation of what's going on. It only effected pavers in direct sun. Under our patio tables look just fine.





Glenn , September 06, 2015
re: SB6000 turned a little white in direct sun??
The SB-6000 should not turn white. Can you email a picture please?
TheSealerStore , September 04, 2015
SB6000 turned a little white in direct sun??
I used SB6000 to seal my concrete pavers last year and during this summer, all the pavers in direct sun were faded out. You could say they might be white, but when wet with due or moisture, they show fine. Do I need to strip and start over? If so, I'll do it next spring.
Glenn , September 03, 2015
...
24 hours should be okay.
TheSealerStore , August 28, 2015
sealer 30
How soon after applying can i resume my lawn sprinkler, water gets on the drive way smilies/cry.gif
bill bayerlein , August 27, 2015
re: Cambridge Pavers turning white
You cannot "clean" spots under a sealer. You will have to strip it all first, then clean any white spots that are under.
TheSealerStore , August 14, 2015
Cambridge Pavers turning white
I used shampoo and a stiff brush and plenty of water to clean the pavers before sealing them with the wet look.
Many of them have a white film on them.
How do I clean them?
Judith Corvino , August 13, 2015
re: Removing Sealed in sand off pavers
Yes you will need to strip and start over.
TheSealerStore , September 25, 2014
Removing Sealed in sand off pavers
Before sealing my paver brick patio I first swept sand into gaps between pavers but in my haste sealing I didn't remove all the sand from surface before and now the sand is "bound" to the surface of the pavers and deck looks horrible. Powerwashing wont remove the sand, would the sealer remover do the trick? Any recommendation is greatly appreciated.
den , September 24, 2014
re: ...help please...
They will fade somewhat. It is normal to darken the colors when using a brick paver sealer.
opwdecks , September 12, 2014
...help please...
Had a drive done recently and then had a sealer put on. All is well apart from the colours of the bricks are alot darker than from it's original state - especially the light grey bricks. After 2 to 3 years when the seal disappears, will the bricks go back to it's original colour?
Shar , September 12, 2014
re: Recent wet look sealer with white spots
The sealer does nit just wear and go away. You will need to strip it off.
TheSealerStore , September 01, 2014
...
Xylene is not a stripper but a solvent. completely different product.
TheSealerStore , September 01, 2014
Concrete seal stripper
How is your seal stripper product different than straight xylene? i.e. Does it evaporate more slowly, less toxic to grass and shrubs, more effective stripping action....

Thanks
Dan
Dan Kelsch , September 01, 2014
Sorry I meant baking soda not powder
Baking soda not powder below
Julie T , August 29, 2014
Recent wet look sealer with white spots
My husband cleaned the brick with muriatic acid, power washed them then neutralized with water and baking powder mix prior to sealing with Glaze n Seal Wet Look Green. He waited two days to let brick dry before applying sealer. A month later white spots are appearing. If we leave it how long does it take a wet look sealer to wear off? Thank you for any advice.
Julie T , August 29, 2014
...
Adel, use the Concrete Sealer Stripper we suggest in the article to remove.

http://www.opwdecks.com/paver-sealer-stripper.htm
TheSealerStore , August 20, 2014
re: Will this product when stripped with also strip the color on Belgrade colored pavers
No it does not remove the color out of the pavers. Resealing will enhance the color as well after the stripping.
TheSealerStore , August 20, 2014
...
Will this product when stripped with also strip the color on Belgrade colored pavers
glenda ramsey , August 20, 2014
...
We have a sealer with color on our brick driveway the Hoa is ording us to remove it saying that only clear sealer is aloud.we leave in southwest florida any sugestion.Thank you
Adel Pimpgnano , August 19, 2014
re: Eliminate white spot of brick paver
Try the Aromatic Solvent we sell:

http://www.opwdecks.com/aromatic-100-solvent.htm
TheSealerStore , June 25, 2014
Eliminate white spot of brick paver
One company reaseal the drive way but show up a lot of white spot , what could I do to lean it off and reseal it again??
Fabio , June 24, 2014
...
Maxie, it probably needs to be stripped and removed to fix correctly. Adding more sealer may make it worse until this sealer is gone. This should work:

http://www.opwdecks.com/paver-sealer-stripper.htm
TheSealerStore , March 25, 2014
...
I had a brick paver installed on my 50'x8' porch last summer and sealed it with "black Bear" sealer. It now has white spots through out the area. What is your suggestion for eliminating the problem. Thanks
Maxie Martin , March 25, 2014
...
It is not possible to strip without the use of a pressure washer.
TheSealerStore , March 07, 2014
...
Need to get rid of my "Behr" problem. My pavers are surrounded by a tile patio and synthetic grass. Use of the power washer would not be an option to clean up the stripper after it is applied. Can I clean up with water and a bucket and brush.
R Santee , March 06, 2014
re: Removing sealant from pavers
3000 psi is fine. More is better for this. Use a fan tip, not the red tip.
TheSealerStore , October 03, 2013
Removing sealant from pavers
Thanks for the great article. We are ordering 5 gallons of the remover today.
My question is, how powerful must the pressure washer be? 3000 psi? More?
Thanks,
Peter
Peter Boswell , October 02, 2013
...
If the haze is old sealer that has turned white then it will work. If it is something else it will not.
TheSealerStore , September 30, 2013
...
My question, would Paver Sealer Stripper remove a haze of concrete from my 12 year old paver's.
Osvaldo J. Rubi , September 30, 2013
Some spotting
I just put second coat of sealer on brick pavers, but some spots turned out super glossy.Did I put to much on them spots? I used sealer fromOld Castle where I bought brick pavers. Will the brighter spots eventually even out??
Doug DeVoogel , August 19, 2013
...
Steven, to remove the spots you would need to strip it all off with our Paver Sealer Stripper than you will need to address the white spots. Hard to say what will remove these spots without knowing what is causing them. It can be many things.
TheSealerStore , August 11, 2013
...
I have more of a wet look in the shaded area than sunny area. It doesn't appear to be white because the pavers appear to be the same color as before after pressure wash.
Nathaniel Garvin , August 11, 2013
...
I had my pavers flipped over and after rinsing them, I used muriatic acid and water mixed to clean them and then pressure washed them. I used a sealer by
Valspar which is supposed to be a wet look sealer. I put two thin coats and haven't yet achieved the wet look I'm looking for. Can I put too much sealer and do I need a better grade sealant? Would I have to strip the sealant that I just applied? This is of course the first sealant to be applied to this side of the pavers.
Nathaniel Garvin , August 11, 2013
owner
Hello,
I had a company pressure wash. apply some type of acid wash. Then the next day, came back to apply a sealer by spraying it. The area where it is shaded under the roof line, the pavers had white spots. Someone said the pavers did not dry and when the sealer was applied it was too soon. the company came back to spray some type of (reactivate the sealer?)it did not work and the pavers have white spots. I have noticed that there are some white spots on the open area and I have noticed some green growing in some areas that show some black (mold?) between the pavers. Please send me some idea as to how to proceed from this point.
Steven hochman , August 11, 2013
...
The sealant does not just disappear. You could wait but most likely you will need to strip eventually if you have an issue.
TheSealerStore , June 02, 2013
sealant
Please let me rephrase. Can one wait for the sealant to fade rather than stripping?. The problem the sealant caused were white spots.
Marsha , June 01, 2013
stripping sealant
In an article above , it makes mention of the need to strip off sealant if you abbreviate areas. My question is if you just let time pass will this also work.like the resurrection 2-3 years when the sealant disappears.
Marsha , June 01, 2013
re: Used too much sealant
The concrete sealer strippers we sell are used for outdoor removal only. I do not know of anything that can be used inside effectively and safely.
TheSealerStore , February 19, 2013
Used too much sealant
Hi, I'm in Los Angeles, and I used too much sealant when sealing a brick kitchen floor. The wet-look sealant has puddled in several spots and it looks horrible! There are also little drops and smears where the sponge did not cover it completely. Any recommendations on how to remove the sealant and make it look more uniform is greatly apprecated.
Nikki , February 18, 2013
re: Blushing White Sealant on pavers
It would be best to strip it all off and start over.
TheSealerStore , September 17, 2012
Blushing White Sealant on pavers
I have 12X12 pavers that were sealed with H&S Water Based "Wet Look" sealer. In one spot that was covered the sealant stayed white? I assume it was due to moisture because all other areas in open sun look good. I stripped some of it away with pressure washer and sealant.So I have parts stripped and parts still white. Should I strip it all and reseal or try to reactivate the white spots with solvent and then seal the other areas. I am totally lost!
Kurt Kocik , September 16, 2012
re: sealed my pavers with Behrs wet look sealer about three years ago
You would need to strip it all off with this:

Concrete Paver Sealer Stripper
TheSealerStore , September 06, 2012
...
I live in so. florida, I sealed my pavers with Behrs wet look sealer about three years ago. I want to remove the sealer because the pavers have lost their shine and I used some muriactic acid on them and have areas that are still sealed and areas that are not sealed .What do I have to do to make the pavers all one clean shade.
barry r , September 05, 2012
re: sealant gone bad
This should remove the old sealer: Paver Sealer Stripper
TheSealerStore , June 13, 2012
sealant gone bad
Hi, I JUST HAD MY PATIO INTERLOCKING SEALED TWO DAYS AGO AND WISH i HAD NEVER HAD IT DONE......THE SEALANT LOOKS PATCHY,WHITE SPOTS, STICKY AND A WET LOOK...THE CONTRACTOR SAYS i MAY HAVE TO LIVE WITH IT, NOT A CHANCE I NEED YOUR HELP, PLEASE TELL ME THAT I CAN RESTORE MY ORIGINAL BRICKS BACK ,CAN I REMOVE THE SEALANT WITHOUT DAMAGING MY INTERLOCKING BRICKS????? PLEASE TELL ME I CAN FIX THIS SITUATION.....THANK YOU.
maria clarke , June 13, 2012
re: homeowner
Acid does not remove old sealers. You need a concrete sealer stripper. You can order form website and have it delivered.
TheSealerStore , June 10, 2012
homeowner
Hi..I'm in Canada, just over the line from WA state. Don't want to use muriatic acid on my brick patio, which is at least 30 years old, and the sealer has gone grey and yellow....is your product available in Canada? I wouldn't be able to bring over border sounds like! I've tried many methods..can't power wash it off, the mortar damages....HELP! Thanks, April
April , June 10, 2012
re: owner Safe Air Services
You would need to strip with this:
Paver Sealer stripper

Sand/bead blasting will not work or will damage the pavers.
TheSealerStore , January 01, 2012
owner Safe Air Services
I sealed my pavers at home two years ago. I added a two foot border, which was all new pavers. When I sealed it both the new and the old pavers turned
white The home is in Florida. Will I still have to strip it? What about bead blasting? Can you give me the name of one of your contractors that could
take care of it for me?
Philip McAdam , January 01, 2012

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