travertine pavers look milky after sealing

by Diana
(Pembroke Pines, FL)

I had travertine pavers installed around my pool area and had the installer seal them with a water based sealer. I don't know what sealer was used as they didn't leave any behind. Initially they looked great but after a few months, the areas which are exposed to the rain/sun look washed out, with streaks and cloudy. The sealer was applied the same day they did the installation so I don't know if this has anything to do with it as the pavers were still damp. What can I use to remove the sealer completely and just leave the stone natural?


You could try muriatic acid, but do this with great care. I would test it on an out of the way stone or two first and see if it works.

Visit my page on travertine sealers, in case you want to try another one.

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Feb 25, 2016
Travertine Pool Deck
by: JKay

I also have a Travertine pool deck and square coping. I hired a company that swore by Seal N Lock sealant. They used a water based formula and applied using battery operated pump sprayers. Only around the pool coping is there cloudy white stains. They definitely applied to a wet surface since the sealant was applied immediately after pressure washing and wet sand application. They said it would dry clear but 1 yr later still looks cloudy, murky. I have a salt water pool so that could be a contributor or some site say that water was trapped below the sealant. Regardless it isn't up to my standards so I'll be stripping and reapplying a different wet look product asap!

Oct 06, 2011
Travertine Pavers
by: Ken A

Jon wish your comment had some value to it to intelligently comment about. Oh well a lot of talk and not much substance is par for the course. Your comment that "Solvent based penetrating sealers don't penetrate Travertine any more than water based sealers" is ludricious. In fact, even in your own statement you have contradicted yourself. Believe me, I've sealed more travertine then you ever dreamed of. I've been in the stone restoration business for 12 years guy. Moreover I didn't get my training from a book at Barnes & Nobles.

Beleive me looking at someones website is far from a major qualification in hiring someone. Its a very small piece of the pie. As are refrences. One example: We had a client sveral years ago that called me and wanted their travertine floors restored etc. They said let us take you to our neighbors house so you can see exactly the way we want it to look. I said, "fine". But had to ask them why they didn't get the compnay that did their neighbors floors. They said, "we did and they messed them up." They had a different crew. I hear these stories all the time. We clean up after so called "professionals with beautiful websites" all the time.

Ken A

Oct 06, 2011
be careful with acid
by: Jon Chapman

Seriously Ken,
How much travertine have you sealed? Solvent based penetrating sealers don't penetrate Travertine any more than water based sealers. Seal N Lock has better absorption than any other water based sealer I have ever used and the Super Wet has an excellent mechanical bond to the surface, whereas I have seen acrylic sealers delaminate from travertine.
And muratic acid can and will ruin your day and your travertine. Seal N Lock can be removed with acid, but there are safer acids like Safe Restore from EcoChem. Dads Easy Spray works well too but is a caustic.
You were right about one thing though, dont have an unqualified contractor seal your travertine. My experience is that the installers have their lowest paid employee with little or no training seal the pavers. But many contracters enter the business each year and just experiment.
For goodness sake, get references, and at least look at their website to see the level of experience.

Oct 24, 2010
Travertine Pavers milky white
by: Diana

Thank you for your replies. I will contact Seal N Lock and let them know my situation to see what they recommend. I had sent an email to Dupont but haven't heard back just yet. I will give them a call as well.

The paver installer is checking with the Seal N Lock Distributor he bought the sealer from but I want to do my homework. At this point I just want the sealer removed, without incident to the travertine and leave it natural.

Thanks and wish me luck!

Oct 24, 2010
Milky Paver Problem
by: Anonymous

I did go to the website of Seal n Lock and looked around. If you go to their product page and click on the link for Product Data?Application (PDF), it states in part "Pavers will not turn white from moisture (eliminating call backs)" I'm of the opinion that it may be worth investing some time to call them and convey what was done, who did it etc. See if they will provide you with some straightforward solutions. 813-852-1500.


Oct 24, 2010
Milky Paver Problem
by: Ken A

Travertine is a calcite based stone. With that said, muratic acid is VERY strong. Even diluting it quite a bit you will run the risk of etching the travertine. This will create even more headaches that are more expensive in my humble opinion. When in doubt ... TEST in a very small area. Like one paver.

When using a solvent based penetrating sealer it is not always necessary to have it completely dry and it will displace what moisture is present. Water based to be effective must be considerably dryer. Again the distinction must be made was it a penetrating sealer or a topical sealer?

We never apply sealer with a roller even in large areas. We use a large brush and work into the surface. Too many people want to hurry a process to get it done and collect a check.

Nevertheless, sometimes scenarios take some investigation combined with some working knowledge. As far as the DuPont product its not bad. The main two I typically use is Bare Bones by NCL and when we do Mexican Tile we often use the Kleen Strip from Home Cheapo (very toxic).

The closet stone guy I know is in Casselberry, Fl.

Oct 23, 2010
Travertine pavers milky after sealing
by: Diana

Ken A- I thought about that but was told that since the sealer was a water based sealer it was to be applied when still damp. I would also like to mention that the problem didn't start right away, it probably took a month or so before we noticed the dullness on the travertine and streaks from the roller used to apply the sealer. However, this is ONLY seen on the travertine pavers which are in the open areas. The ones which are under the covered patio look perfectly fine. It's as if the sun/rain affected the coating in some way.

Is muratic acid the only way to get the sealer off?

Oct 23, 2010
Milky Paver Problem
by: Ken A

From what you have mentioned in your post the reason for the milky appearance is typically caused from excess moisture being trapped underneath the sealer. I'm willing to bet that the pavers were not completely dry prior to applying the sealer AND the sealer was a topical coating versus a penetrating sealer. Probably so. What needs to be done is that the "sealer" needs to be stripped off, cleaned and rinsed and then thoroughly allowed to dry. Then apply a good quality solvent based penetrating sealer. What you have as I see so often is that you have people doing projects (so-called professionals)that are not truly educated.

Heaven Sent Floor Care

Oct 22, 2010
Sealing Travertine Pavers
by: Susan

Yes, that may be the problem. As mentioned, try the muriatic acid. If it works on a small area, try a larger area and if that's successful, do the entire patio. Then use a sealer specified for travertine, as from DuPont.

Good luck, and let me know how it works out please!


Oct 22, 2010
travertine pavers look milky after sealing
by: Anonymous

Thanks for the info.

I was able to reach the company that sealed my travertine pavers and found out they used a sealer by Seal N Lock. The Dealer recommended this for our deck. I looked at their website and do not see any information that their sealer is made for travertine pavers, only brick and concrete pavers. I am not sure if this is the reason why the pavers are now messed up?!?

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