When it comes to choosing an exposed aggregate sealer or coating you must first decide the finish and the level of protection you are looking for. If you are looking for an exposed aggregate sealer to enhance the colors and textures with a wet look or gloss finish you are going to want to use a decorative concrete sealer. If you are looking to keep the appearance of the exposed aggregate in its natural state you are going to want to use a penetrating concrete sealer.
Decorative concrete sealers are used to add a decorative finish and they are usually acrylic or urethane based. They are used to protect concrete stains and concrete dyes bringing out the colors and textures.
Penetrating sealers are used when a natural, flat finish is desired. Penetrating concrete sealers can be water based or solvent based. They are used to protect against salts, including deicing salts and salt water pool decks, and they are able to resist staining from oils and greases.