How to Polish a Travertine Counter

  • 2 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 25
What You'll Need
Damp cloth
Talcum powder
Hydrogen peroxide
Small bowl
Popsicle stick
Plastic wrap
Masking tape
Plastic putty knife
400-grit sandpaper
600-grit sandpaper
800-grit sandpaper
Soft-bristled brush
Damp, soft cloth
Stone sealer
Lambswool applicator
Buffing pad
Dust mask

A travertine counter is an impressive feature in any home. Travertine is a sedimentary rock with a high content of calcium carbonate. The rock has a unique textured surface and is available in a wide range of colors. This makes it an excellent choice to boost the natural beauty of your home. Although it is a soft stone, it is fairly durable. However, travertine requires special care due to its high porosity level. You need to clean your counter regularly to prevent the buildup of dirt. Etches and scratches are common on travertine due to its soft nature. To make your counter look as good as new, you need to polish and then seal it. The guide below will help you undertake the job efficiently.

Step 1 - Wipe the Counter

Use a damp cloth to clear dust and fine debris from your counter. It is vital that you have a clean surface because dust and dirt make it harder to polish efficiently. Once the surface dirt is removed, any stains should be quite visible. It is best to clean stains before you proceed to polish your counter.

Step 2 – Stain Removal

Prepare a poultice to eliminate stains on your counter. Place some talcum powder and hydrogen peroxide in a small bowl. Use a popsicle stick to mix the contents into a thick paste. Apply the poultice onto the stains, and completely cover them. Attach some plastic wrap over the poultice with the help of masking tape. Let the poultice dry. Remove the plastic wrap and scrape away the dried poultice with a plastic putty knife. Wipe the area with a clean, damp cloth to remove dirt and small debris.

Step 3 – Sand with 400-Grit Sandpaper

Put on a dust mask. Carefully sand your counter with 400-grit sandpaper. It is best to begin on the edges as you advance inwards. Use just the required amount of pressure to remove surface imperfections on the counter. Sand until you encounter reduced resistance. Clear away dust and fine particles with a soft-bristled brush.

Step 4 – Switch to 600-Grit Sandpaper

Discard the 400-grit sandpaper. Continue to sand with 600-grit to remove scuffs created in Step 3. You should also aim to create a bit of a shine on the counter.

Step 5 – Complete with 800-Grit Sandpaper

Make a final switch to 800-grit sandpaper. Sand the entire counter until you get a smooth, shiny surface. Use your brush to clear away dust and fine debris. Wipe the counter with a soft, damp cloth. Allow one day for the stone to dry well.

Step 6 – Sealing

Make use of a lambswool applicator to apply sealer onto the counter. Use long, smooth strokes for application. Allow adequate time for the sealer to be absorbed into the stone. Once the surface is dry to the touch, apply an additional coat.

Step 7 – Buff the Counter

Use a buffing pad to create a glossy shine on the counter.