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The Best Sealer Finish for a Finishing Touch in 2022

  1. Minwax Polycrylic Sealer
  2. Minwax 657000000 Water-Based Sanding Sealer
  3. Olympic Wood Protector Sealer
  4. Behr Transparent Sealer
  5. Watco Lacquer Clear Wood Finish
  6. Miracle Sealants 511 Anti-Slip Formula
  7. LastiSeal Concrete Stain and Waterproofing Sealer
  8. Seal Krete SS-10 Clear Silane-Siloxane Waterproofer
  9. Custom Building Products Tilelab Grout And Tile Sealer
  10. DuPont StoneTech Professional Heavy Duty Grout Sealer for Ceramic Tile
  11. Buyer's Guide

A wood sealant/finisher is a coating that's used on wood to seal it. They're used to provide a level of protection from scratches, minor dents, water, etc. In my experience, sealants are most popular for outdoor applications on decks, fences, playground equipment, and the like. However, some sealers are also used on woods found indoors, like floors or furniture. For the purposes of this article, I will include some of both. As mentioned above, sealants are designed to offer protection. So, every sealant I have included below offers protection against at least water (most offer protection against other things as well), which can be quite damaging to wood. Additionally, the over-application of a finisher is not good for wood. It can absorb too much and mess up the wood you're working on. To help combat this problem, each of the sealants below is applied in very few coats (most take two). This makes your job a lot easier. Finally, every one of the sealants I put on this list are in liquid form, as opposed to those that come in an aerosol can. That's not because aerosol sealants are necessarily bad (I have used them on occasion), but to keep uniformity among the sealants listed below. With our list, as well as the accompanying buying guide, your decision should be pretty easy to make.

A List of Our Top Ten Sealers

Minwax Polycrylic Sealer - Best Sealer Overall

The Minwax Polycrylic Protective Finish (an indoor finisher) is the top sealant because it can be used on bare wood that has had oil or water based stains applied to it. This makes this sealant more valuable because it can be used with most stains sold. Additionally, it's water based. That means it doesn't emit a lot of odors whilst using it and it can be cleaned up with soap and water. It's also safer to use indoors. I also like that it's not only water resistant, but also scuff, chip, alcohol and chemical resistant. This is good if your have children, where abuse of your wood would be more common.

Minwax 657000000 Water-Based Sanding Sealer - Runner Up

The Minwax Fast-Drying Polyurethane (an indoor finisher) is one of the best sealants because it dries very quickly in comparison to other multi coat finishers (in as little as four hours). It's also more durable than the average sealant, which is great if you want as strong a finish on your wood as possible. Additionally, it comes in three different sheens, which will help better suit it to different types of wood in your home. My final favorite thing about this product is that it can be used on both finished and unfinished wood. This makes it a more valuable purchase because odds are, it will work with any kind of wood you want a protective coating on in your home.

best Olympic Wood Protector Sealer

Olympic Wood Protector Sealer - Honorable Mention

The Olympic Wood Protector Stain + Sealant In One (an outdoor sealant) is another great sealant to buy because in addition to being waterproof it protects whatever wood you apply it to from harmful UV rays and mildew. This is good if you want a finisher that will protect whatever you apply it to as best as possible. Furthermore, I love that this finisher is self-priming. That saves you both time and hassle because it eliminates a step for you. The final best thing about this sealant is that it comes with a 5-year warranty on decks and a 15-year warranty on fences and siding. This makes the purchase easier because you don't have to worry about something bad happening.

best Behr Transparent Sealer

Behr Transparent Sealer - Consider

The Behr Transparent Waterproofing Wood Finish (an outdoor sealant) is a really good sealant to consider buying. I have used it personally on my grandmother's deck and can testify to how strong of a finish it provides. Like the Olympic sealant, it's both UV and mildew resistant, in addition to being waterproof. I also like the fact that like the top finisher on this list, it can be cleaned up with soap and water. This makes things a bit safer, as I mentioned above. It's also available three different transparent colors that accent whatever wood grain you happen to be working with. This is good because it increases the chance that the sealant will look great with the wood you want to work on. Finally, this sealant also comes with a warranty (two years for horizontal surfaces and four years for vertical surfaces).

Watco Lacquer Clear Wood Finish - Best Wood Sealer

The Watco Lacquer Clear Wood Finish (an indoor finisher) is the final sealant on this list because it is designed to fill in the pores on most every wood type. This eliminates the need to use wood filler, which saves you time if you're working with a type of wood that has large, visible pores (such as mahogany, Spanish cedar, koa, walnut, rosewood, teak, oak or ash). Additionally, this sealant is formulated to dry super quickly, only 30 minutes. This saves you a lot of time. Furthermore, even more time is saved because it does not require sanding in between coats. That makes this a great sealant to use if you need one for quick jobs.

best Miracle Sealants 511 Anti-Slip Formula

Miracle Sealants 511 Anti-Slip Formula - Best Stone Sealer

If you’re dealing with a polished stone floor you understand how dangerously slippery it can be and how important even a small amount of extra grip can be. This combination sealer will protect the stone as well as increase the friction co-efficient significantly without altering the appearance of the stone work. I have found this to be indispensable in high traffic areas in both home and public settings. The price is actually more reasonable than I originally thought it would be when you consider the strength of the seal and the price of the other 511 products.

LastiSeal Concrete Stain and Waterproofing Sealer - Best Concrete Sealer

I was very excited to find this product because almost all of the concrete sealers on the market are designed to avoid changing the appearance of the surface to which it is applied. This sealer comes in 37 colors and cuts your time in half if you want to get creative with the appearance of your driveway, walls, monuments or patios. The colors look great and can even be mixed, layered or diluted for further customization. Beyond that the seal is truly amazing and penetrates quite deeply into the surface to actually strengthen the exterior of the concrete a bit. The only drawback is the price. It is expensive.

best Seal Krete SS-10 Clear Silane-Siloxane Waterproofer

Seal Krete SS-10 Clear Silane-Siloxane Waterproofer - Best Concrete Sealer

The combination of both silane and siloxane means that this sealer offers good water resistance both on the surface and deeper into the actual concrete. The Siloxane is a larger molecule that will essentially plug up some of the pores without changing the visual appearance of the material. Silane is smaller and narrows gets below the surface to narrow rather than plug pores. It has been formulated to resist the UV damage to which silane and siloxane are susceptible, which makes this a long lasting product with good durability.

Custom Building Products Tilelab Grout And Tile Sealer - Best Grout Sealer

Most products like this are known for smelling fairly foul, but this one is not half bad. The coverage is good and the seal is solid without the need for a second application. Skip the spray bottle and apply it with a sponge for the best coverage and save your fingers some stress or you’ll be pumping all day. I was pleased to see that this product dried without leaving a hazy film on the surrounding tile, which I’ve dealt with in the past when using other sealers. The best selling point for this sealer is definitely the price as it is very economical and worth every penny.

DuPont StoneTech Professional Heavy Duty Grout Sealer for Ceramic Tile - Best Grout Sealer

I was concerned with how thin this sealer was until I applied the second coat. The first was absorbed in almost no time at all and didn’t seem to do much of anything. When allowed to dry for 10 minutes, wiped down and given a second coating the results were much more obvious. The seal is solid, durable and lasts for a very long time. The only drawback is that is slightly darkens very light grout. It’s not a huge change, but it is notable if you want the grout to stay perfectly white.

Buyer's Guide

Wood is the most common material used to design furniture, fences, decks, homes, and so much more. The beauty of wood is incomparable, but it can be hard to maintain wood without using a high-quality wood sealer. Especially when it comes to outdoor wooden objects, water, mildew, UV rays, and many other factors contribute to deteriorating it. Eventually, there comes a time when the wood becomes weak enough to rot. Luckily, you don't need to worry because wood sealers provide a solid protective coating to your wood and increase its durability.

How Does a Wood Sealer Work?

Penetration is the key to the success of sealer products. When you apply the sealer on your wooden surface, it is soaked up in the wood in liquid form. Once it starts to set, it becomes hard and eventually strengthens the surface of the wood. The penetration of the sealer depends on the quality of your wood sealer and the type of wood.

Please also note that stains and sealers are two separate things. Mostly, people confuse them both to be one because many sealers also have the properties of stains. Stains are for coloring the wood; on the other hand, sealers are for strengthening wood and preventing moisture.

What Types of Wood Sealers Are There?

There are two main types of wood sealers: oil-based wood sealers and water-based sealers. Water-based wood sealers are more commonly used than oil-based ones because the former has less smell and toxicity. Most of the sealer formulation that is being made these days is based on the water formula.


The results of water-based sealers are more promising as the wood becomes hard. The best part of water-based solutions is that they don't take long to dry so that you can wrap up your work quickly. Some users complain that the color of the wood changes rapidly and results in a cloudy finish. The natural grain of the wood is lost, therefore it's a natural charm too. However, you won't have to face this issue unless you use an expired can of wood sealer.


If you are leaning more towards the appearance of the wood than its protection and strength, you should go for oil-based wood sealers. Unlike water-based wood sealers, oil-based sealers bring out the grace and beauty of wood by darkening its grain. Has it ever happened to you that you looked at some wood surface and saw sunlight reflecting from it? This magic usually happens for oil-based wood surfaces as oil adds some extra shine to the wood to improve its appearance.

Considerations Before Buying

If you plan to get the best results from your wood sealers, then randomly picking some products from the local store won't help. Forget about perfect results; it might not even give the slightest results. Thus, to settle for the right and ideal sealer products, you need to analyze different products and consider the following before buying ideally:

Local weather conditions

Is it usually humid in your area? Or is it sunny and dry? Weather conditions are essential to consider before buying a wood sealer as you want a product that can protect your wood from specific weather conditions. For instance, if it is sunny, primarily in your city, you will need a wood sealer to protect against UV rays. Similarly, if it is usually rainy, you will have to opt for a product to protect against water. Extreme weather conditions need extra protection and care.

Effect on the environment

What is the use of a wood sealer that protects your wood but harms the environment? Some sealers have VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) that emit hazardous fumes that are toxic for the environment and your health. The safest sealer is the one that has 0% VOC in it. If you take wood from nature, you might also return the favor by protecting it from toxic materials. Furthermore, when working with the sealer, there is a high chance that you will also inhale the fumes, which can lead to headaches, nausea, and breathing problems. Not only this, but it can also result in severe issues like kidney damage or even damage to the central nervous system.

Application process

The mode of applications differs from sealer to sealer. Some wood sealers can be applied by brush, others require a paint roller, and some might even need a spraying bottle. You would want to buy a sealer that can work well with the tools you have at home. Otherwise, you might have to spend some extra bucks for accepting the meeting the application requirements.


Different sealers are made of various components so that they would have a different lifespan as well. The best sealer will last longer than the others. If you intend to use your project for a long time, it is best to choose a sealer with a long lifespan and excellent durability.

Some Wood Sealer Buyers Ask

Q: How long will it take a sealer to dry?
A: Different sealers have different drying times. In general, if your project is placed under direct sunlight, you can expect it to dry within 48 hours. On the other hand, if you have placed your object under shade, the drying time can exceed up to 72 hours or even longer.

Q: How often should I apply a sealer to wood?
A: Resealing your wood once a year is an excellent practice. You can also conduct a short experiment to find out if it's time to reseal your wood. Sprinkle some water on the wood and observe whether the water is absorbed or not. If it does not get absorbed, your sealing is intact and does not need resealing. On the other hand, if water manages to penetrate the wood, it's time to reseal your wood.

Q: Can a sealed wood be painted?
A: Yes, you can easily paint a sealed wood. Before you begin the process, make sure to prep the wood with an oil-based primer. An oil-based primer sticks to the surface of a sealed wood easily and adds a little shine to it as well. Then, you can apply latex paint of your choice to cover it nicely.

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