Sealing a Stepping Stone to Protect It

A collection of stepping stones.
What You'll Need
Stepping stones

You’ve created unique stepping stones to add a personal touch to your garden landscaping. Before you lay them in the ground, apply several coats of a waterproof, clear-drying sealant to protect the surface of your concrete stepping stones from exposure to weather, water, sunlight, and foot traffic.

Step 1 - Choose a Sealant

There are several different kinds of sealants appropriate for use on homemade stepping stones. Popular choices include clear finish polyurethane, waterproof acrylic sealer, and concrete sealer. Concrete sealers are made specifically to seal porous materials and may be the best choice for sealing the surface of your concrete stepping stones. All of the sealants have a significant drying time and require several thin applications. Be sure to follow the directions for whatever sealant you choose.

Step 2 - Prepare Your Work Space

If you have just finished making your stepping stone, allow it to dry for at least 48 hours before sealing it. Sealants often have a strong odor and are difficult to remove from surfaces. Work in a well-ventilated space and be certain to cover your work surface with newspapers or old towels. Have a rag nearby to clean up drips and spills. Open the sealant and mix it up according to the instructions.

Step 3 - Seal the Stepping Stone

A stepping stone path.

Use a damp cloth to wipe any dirt or dust from your stepping stone, then dry it off. Use a paintbrush to brush a thin coat of sealant onto the surface of your stepping stone. If there are embellishments on the stepping stone or engraved writing, be certain the sealant gets inside all the nooks and crannies of your design. You can also seal the sides of the stepping stone, but it isn’t necessary. Your goal is to protect the surface of the stepping stone. Wait the suggested amount of time before brushing on another coat of sealant. Apply four or five coats to the surface of your stepping stone for maximum protection. Wait 48 to 72 hours after the last coat to give the sealant time to fully dry before placing the stepping stones in the ground.

Sealing the surface of your stepping stones is the best way to protect them from the outside elements, as well as wear and tear from walking on them. Choose a sealant that is waterproof and dries to a clear finish. For the best results, brush on multiple coats of the sealant and wait the recommended time between coats. Finally, for the best protection, let your stepping stones thoroughly dry before embedding them into your yard. Now you can be confident that the surface of your stepping stones will last for many years.