A faux brick backsplash can add visual interest and dimension to your kitchen. However, sealing it properly is important for protection and easy cleaning. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to seal faux brick backsplash.
Why Seal a Faux Brick Backsplash
Sealing a faux brick backsplash provides the following benefits:
- Prevents Stains and Damage: Sealing creates a protective barrier that prevents sauces, grease, and other cooking splatters from soaking into the porous brick surface and staining it. This maintains the beautiful look of your backsplash.
- Easier Cleaning: Sealing makes it much easier to clean your faux brick backsplash. Food and grime can simply be wiped away instead of having to scrub into the unsealed porous brick.
- Longevity: Sealing protects the integrity of the materials and prevents deterioration over time from moisture damage or other factors. This extends the life of your backsplash so you don’t have to replace it as often.
- Enhanced Color: Sealing can enrich the color of the brick and make the tones pop more vibrantly.
Choosing a Sealant
There are a few types of sealants recommended for faux brick:
- Clear silicone caulk specifically formulated for kitchen and bath provides water resistance as well as stain protection.
- Flexible finish allows movement without cracking.
- Provides long-lasting result for up to 10 years.
- Easy water clean-up.
- Available in clear matte or shiny finish.
- Water-based acrylic formula offers stain protection.
- Dries clear and leaves matte finish.
- Can apply multiple coats for added durability.
- Lower odor than solvent-based sealers.
- Cleans up with soap and water.
- Two-part epoxy formula provides the most heavy-duty seal.
- Highly resistant to moisture, heat, staining, and scratching.
- Glossy finish enhances color vibrancy.
- Most challenging to apply as it requires mixing two components.
- Durable oil-based formula resists moisture, heat, and staining.
- Long-lasting protection up to 5 years.
- Enhances color and provides light gloss finish.
- Potential yellowing over time.
For most faux brick backsplashes, a clear silicone or acrylic formula is recommended. They offer optimal stain protection, easy application, and cleaned up. Epoxy and polyurethane provide heavier-duty sealing but can be more challenging to work with.
Preparing Faux Brick Surface
Proper preparation is key to achieving best sealing results:
- Ensure faux brick is completely clean before sealing. Use mild dish soap and warm water to wash surface and rinse thoroughly.
- Allow a minimum 24 hours to fully dry before sealing.
- Lightly sand any rough edges on brick facing to help sealant adhere.
- For previously sealed surfaces, use sealant stripper to remove old sealer if worn or damaged.
- Check manufacturer instructions for any specific preparation guidelines.
Ensuring a clean dry surface helps the sealant properly coat and bond to the brickwork. Sanding smooths rough areas so there is no uneven seepage or holes in coverage. Old failing sealer must be removed for optimal new application.
How to Apply Sealant
Follow these key steps when applying sealant:
1. Prepare Workspace
- Protect any nearby surfaces with drop cloths. Accidental drips or overspray may occur.
- Have paper towels and cleaning supplies on hand.
- Provide proper ventilation by opening windows. Some fumes may occur.
2. Follow Safety Precautions
- Wear gloves and eye protection. Sealant content could irritate skin or eyes if exposed.
- Check for adequate airflow to avoid inhaling fumes.
- Keep children and pets away during application.
3. Apply First Coat
- Use a small foam roller, paintbrush or cotton cloth to apply first coat.
- Spread sealant in thin, even layer allowing it to soak fully into brickwork.
- For silicone caulk, apply by squeezing directly from tube into affected areas.
- Work in small sections so sealant does not dry before spreading.
4. Allow Drying Time
- Let first coat dry completely according to manufacturer instructions. This may take 2-4 hours.
- Drying prevents bubbling or cracking when second coat is applied.
- Turn on vents/fans or open windows to improve air circulation and speed drying.
5. Apply Second Coat
- Once first coat is fully dry, check for any missed spots and apply a second thin coat.
- Two coats provide maximum sealing protection for your faux brick.
6. Remove Any Drips
- Carefully look over surface and use a plastic scraper to remove any drips.
- Wipe the end of the scraper after each swipe to prevent redistributing drips.
7. Let Fully Cure
- Allow sealant to cure fully before use. This may take up to 72 hours.
- Avoid cleaning or placing any items on backsplash during cure time.
Applying thin even coats, allowing proper drying time between coats, and full curing delivers optimal sealing results.
Cleaning and Maintenance
To keep your faux brick backsplash looking like new:
- Use mild dish soap and soft cloth to clean sealed surface as needed. Avoid abrasive cleaners.
- Reapply sealant once a year or as directed by manufacturer. Annual touch-ups rejuvenate sealing protection.
- Watch for worn spots and reapply sealant as needed for problem areas.
- If sealant cracks or peels, remove old coating and reseal surface completely.
Proper care preserves the sealed finish and beauty of your faux brick backsplash. Reapply sealant before wear and tear degrades staining and moisture protection.
Tips for Successful Sealing
Follow these useful tips for a trouble-free sealing experience:
- Test sealant in an inconspicuous spot first to ensure compatibility with faux brick finish.
- Apply in temperatures between 50-90°F for proper drying and curing.
- Opt for low-odor water-based sealants to avoid overwhelming fumes.
- Use steady even strokes and avoid excess overlapping of sealant.
- Immediately wipe up any drips or spills during application.
- Check that brick color and texture is enhanced not obscured by chosen sealer.
- Allow extra drying and curing time if applying in high humidity conditions.
Careful testing, ideal application environment, and workmanship help deliver optimal faux brick sealing results.
Troubleshooting Common Sealing Issues
Bubbling and Cracking
- Caused by applying too thick of a coat or sealing damp surface.
- Prevent by applying thin even layers and ensuring brick is fully dry before sealing.
- Oil-based sealants like polyurethane can yellow over time when exposed to UV light.
- Use a water-based acrylic sealant to avoid potential yellow discoloration.
- Results from applying sealant too quickly before spreading.
- Work in small sections and allow each to fully absorb into brick before moving on.
Sealant Peeling or Flaking
- Typically caused by a poor bond with surface due to lack of proper prep and cleaning.
- Ensure brick is cleaned, dried, and sanded before applying new sealant.
Dull or Mottled Appearance
- Usually occurs when sealing over dirty or previously sealed brick.
- Strip old sealant and clean brick thoroughly before applying fresh coats.
Proper application technique, drying time, and surface preparation help avoid common sealing challenges.
Faux Brick Backsplash Sealing FAQs
What sheen level is best for sealing faux brick?
A matte or satin sheen is typically preferred to provide protection while maintaining a natural brick appearance. Glossy sealants can make faux brick look overly shiny and fake.
Can I use an oil-based sealant on a faux brick backsplash?
Oil-based polyurethanes provide a durable finish but may amber over time. Water-based acrylics are recommended for retaining original faux brick color.
How long does faux brick sealer last?
On average, sealants last 1-5 years depending on product quality and usage conditions. Higher traffic kitchen areas may require more frequent reapplication every 1-2 years.
How many coats of sealer should be used?
Two thin, even coats are recommended for optimal faux brick sealing and the most durable, long-lasting finish.
Can you seal over painted faux brick?
Yes, painted faux bricks can be sealed but may require a primer first since paint has a different porosity than bare brick. Always test compatibility.
Sealing your faux brick backsplash properly not only protects it from damage but keeps it looking beautifully vibrant for years of use. With the right sealant and application technique, you can easily achieve a long-lasting water-resistant finish. Follow the recommendations in this guide for best sealing results. And be sure to admire how the colors pop once your faux brickwork is fully protected with its attractive matte sheen.
A properly sealed faux brick backsplash is a must for any kitchen. Sealing provides stain, moisture, and heat protection to maintain the beauty of the faux bricks for years to come. Be sure to clean and dry the surface thoroughly before applying two coats of a compatible sealant like silicone or acrylic. Allow proper drying and curing time for maximum durability. With regular cleaning and annual sealing touch-ups, your faux brick backsplash will continue providing visual interest and an enticing rustic or vintage look for your kitchen.