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What are the Different Methods for Sealant Application?

By Lori Kilchermann
Updated May 17, 2024
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There are many methods of sealant application available to use on any number of materials. From rubber to asphalt and wood to clothing, sealant application is a matter of choice. Sealants come in a variety of compounds, each having a preferred method of application. Many products offer the same or comparable protection in a variety of compounds. The use and time allotted to complete the job is often a determining factor in which type of sealant application to select.

Some sealants require elaborate machinery to apply the product. Still others require only a brush or mop. Some are sprayed on and others come from a caulking gun. Research into the benefits of some application methods should be done when considering a sealant application. The time of year can play a role in determining the method for some applications, as heat or cold could affect the way the sealant cures.

For driveway sealant applications, the preferred method is to mop it on with an old mop or broom, and in some cases even a paint roller to spread the material around is recommended. Depending on the type of sealant used, there are some brands that allow them to be sprayed on. This method generally does not cover the surface as well or as thick. The preferred driveway sealant application most people select is to brush it on.

For sealants in the bathroom, the preferred sealant application is by caulking gun. Sealant in a tube or a silicone-based product is very easily dispensed through the use of a caulking gun. The sealant is applied in a very fine bead by moving the caulking gun slowly and steadily along any cracks or gaps that are to be filled. This type of sealant dries rapidly and clean-up is easy.

In a manufacturing environment, sealant application is typically accomplished by spraying. Materials, typically wood, move along on an assembly conveyor and pass beneath a sprayer. The sprayer applies a predetermined amount of sealant to the product as it passes through the machine. The sealant is most often a fast-drying blend and the items dry as they are moving down the conveyor line to the next station.

In some high-end furniture manufacturing settings, sealant is applied by hand. Workers apply sealant to furniture with soft rags and brushes. The sealant is applied to the furniture and wiped off to create a stunning finish. This type of application requires the most physical labor, but it often produces the finest results.

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Discussion Comments
By Perdido — On Jan 14, 2013

A lot of artists use a clear spray sealant to protect their work. I prefer the kind that you paint on, because I feel like I have more control over it.

I mix the sealant with water and use a big brush to paint it on in single strokes. I let it dry for a few hours and apply another coat.

I use the kind that is super glossy, because I like for my art to shine. My friend prefers a matte sealant, but to me, it dulls the appearance of the painting too much.

By cloudel — On Jan 13, 2013

That sealant that you rub on furniture and then wipe off makes wood look awesome. It's amazing how just a little sealant can make a piece of furniture look so new and shiny.

By feasting — On Jan 12, 2013

@healthy4life – That's the stuff you apply with a caulking gun, right? I remember it from my childhood.

My dad built two workshops on our property, and he used a lot of this kind of sealant to fill in gaps. Over the years, the wood would shift a little, and new gaps would form, so he would always keep some sealant around to squeeze between the cracks.

I always thought it was cool that he could just squirt it in a gap like that. He didn't have to bother with a paintbrush, which would have taken a lot longer.

By healthy4life — On Jan 12, 2013

My uncle used a polyurethane sealant to fill in some gaps on the outside of our house. It helped a lot with problems we were having with bugs and moisture getting into the house.

The smell was strong, but only on the outside. I'm glad that I couldn't smell that inside the house.

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