Can I (how to) stain existing tumbled travertine backsplash?

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Old 09-07-16, 02:20 PM
J
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Can I (how to) stain existing tumbled travertine backsplash?

Hi everyone!

My kitchen has tumbled travertine backsplash (the boring beige kind in small-ish squares - maybe 3" or 4" sq). I want to make my kitchen less brown and more gray/white by painting the walls and cabinets, but I'm afraid that beige travertine tile will be a yellow-y eyesore. I'm wondering if I can stain it with a gray stain to neutralize the yellow tone. I've looked around and can't find much information on how to do this or if it is even advisable. I'm sure the tile is sealed or else it wouldn't appear beige/yellow (right?). How do I check to make sure it's sealed? So would I need to strip it first or could I stain over the sealant and then re-seal?

I've found some things on un-sealed travertine floors which were successfully stained with wood stain prior to grouting, but I haven't found anything on the sealed kind with existing grout.

Any guidance would be much appreciated. Thank you!
 
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Old 09-07-16, 02:48 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

For not much more effort and a lot more likely lasting result, why not just re-tile with something you like?
 
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Old 09-07-16, 02:53 PM
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Thanks for your reply and the warm welcome!

I figured if I can just crack open a can of stain and rub it on (if that's the case), it would be less time consuming and more economical than ripping out the entire backsplash and redoing that part of my kitchen. Plus it's perfectly good tile, just not the color tone I want. I like recycling and re-purposing things if I can. :-)

I just want to evaluate what sort of effort staining it might take and then decide from there. Any thoughts?
 
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Old 09-07-16, 03:17 PM
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Trying to stain an item that is not meant to be stained is a crap shoot. Who knows how the stain will take, will it take the same over by the Range where oil and grease has splattered, what kind of cleaning chemicals were used in the past, too many variables.

If your travertine is full of the little holes traditionally present in that type of tile, I would use unsanded grout to fill in all the holes and than ask someone to come in and re-glaze the tiles to a color of your choice. It is a process that involves an acid wash to prep the tiles, a primer and then a final glaze coat. It is your best chance of a successful cover of the existing tile that will have some lasting power.
 
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Old 09-07-16, 03:29 PM
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Thanks for your input czizzi. Much appreciated!
 
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