Marble is a beautiful and gives a great look to countertops. However, it’s also much more porous and soft than most of the other kinds of stones. This means that you have to put extra care into it and do regular maintenance. So, one of the things you should know is how to seal marble counters.
Sealing a stone slab means applying onto it a protective layer made of resin or wax. This layer can protect the stone against light scratches, but, most importantly, it makes the stone more waterproof. This way, it’s harder for it to become stained.
Sealing is a bit of a tough process and requires experience and the appropriate equipment, so it would be a better idea to leave it for professional sealers. However, it’s always good to know how it works, so you understand it better and know what to expect from a sealing job.
How To Seal Marble Counters: A Short Guide
Before you start the process, you need to make sure that you have the appropriate equipment for the task. The sealers can emit toxic fumes when wet, so you need to have a respirator, eye protection, and gloves, which you’ll wear during the entire process. Make sure that the room where you’ll do the sealing is well ventilated to help deal with the fumes away.
You’ll also need brushes, sponges, towels, applicator pad (to apply the sealer), drill with a buffing attachment (to buff dry it later on), painters tape (to protect things that may be nearby), and maybe more. The sealer you get may come with recommendations on the packaging for other stuff you may need.
If you have everything ready, then you can start thinking about sealing.
Step 01 – Picking A Sealer
There are many kinds of sealers around, and you need to pick the one that fits better what you’re using the counter for. And you also need to make sure that they’re fit for marble.
For example, sealers with acidic solvents are going to etch the stone, surface sealers won’t protect it enough, and linseed oil-based sealers will make the stone look too yellow.
You’ll want to get an impregnating sealer, as it can get into the marble’s pores and fill them in, making the countertop more resistant to stains.
If possible, they should also be acid-resistant, to protect it against etching, hydrophobic (to prevent stains from water-based products, like wine), and oleophobic (to protect against oil-based products, like grease).
If it’s a kitchen countertop, you’ll also want it to be food-safe, so there is no risk of the sealer contaminating food you prepare on the counter. Fortunately, it shouldn’t be too hard to find.
Step 02 – Prepare The Counter
Before applying the sealer, you’ll want to clean the counter first. Remove everything that’s on top of it, move the counter somewhere else, then clean it up.
To clean it, the best product to use is a marble cleaner, as it’s a product made exactly for this purpose, and it can help remove all the impurities without damaging the stone.
However, if you can’t find a marble cleaner, don’t use water! It will get into the pores, and it can take a while to fully evaporate. Instead, use acetone, as not only it’s stronger, but it also dries much more quickly. Don’t forget to use a respirator and keep the room when ventilated when using it! Its smell is pretty strong and can be toxic in large amounts.
Clean it completely, and make sure you don’t miss a spot, or the stone can end up looking wrong at the end of the process.
Step 03 – Apply The Sealer
You’ll also the respirator and glasses for this step, do not forget! Pour the sealer into something big enough to put your brush in. You’ll use the brush to do the first coat of sealer, so that will make it easier to apply it.
Use the brush to spread the sealer throughout the entire surface of the counter. Do not use overlapping strokes, though, as that can make some bumps on the surface after it dries. Instead, make the strokes overlap just slightly on the sides, to make sure that you’re not missing any part of the counter.
After that, you can also use an applicator pad to make sure the coat is level.
Let it dry for about 15 minutes. During this time, it’ll seep into the pores and get drier. Use a cloth to remove the excess of sealer on the surface, then let it dry for another 30 minutes.
Then, apply the second coat of the sealer in the same way, and follow the same drying process.
To finish it off, you can use the drill along with the applicator pad or a towel to buff dry the entire slab, taking out the excess sealer and moisture.
After that, just let the marble rest for 24 hours, and you’ll be ready to use it. It’s possible for the marble to look a bit gray after applying the sealer, but this should fade away in up to 48 hours.
Get A Professional Who Can Seal Marble Counters
If you’ve never sealed marble or any stone before, this process is going to be pretty difficult, even if it looks simple. A lot can go wrong: you can end up scratching the stone, using the wrong sealer, or making the surface uneven.
To ensure everything goes well, and your marble countertop comes out looking better than ever, get a professional sealing job. If you’re trying to seal marble counters for the first time, you’ll probably get it wrong, then you’ll have to level it an try it again. A professional job ends up saving you money.
Here at Eagle Stones, we specialize in granite and marble, and we can help you out. Get in touch, and we can send a specialist to help figure out the best way to seal your marble counter.