A slate table is susceptible to scratches due to direct contact and pressure with objects. You can repair these scratches at home, but to do so, you need experience in operating electric hand tools. Otherwise, seek a professional to do the job. Follow the simple steps below to complete a moderately easy project.
Step 1 - Clean the Table
Mix mild detergent with water, dip the old cloth on it, and wipe the cloth on the table to remove dirt and grease. Rinse with water. Next, apply oxygen bleach solution to disinfect the slate table. Rinse with water. Wipe it dry with old cloth. Let it dry completely.
Step 2 - Strip the Stones
Apply acetone stripper on the entire table. Sand lightly with sandpaper. Brush off powdery residue with paint brush.
Step 3 - Determine Problem Areas
Select the areas that need repairing. Not all areas may have scratches, so use masking tape to create a perimeter around the "for repair" areas. Make a note on what type of repair need to be done per area. Say, one area needs deep honing, the second area needs light polishing only. This is to protect the other areas that are in good condition. Write your note on the masking tape using a pencil.
Step 4 - Hone Deep Scratches
Read instructions on how to operate portable electric polisher. For deep scratches, select the proper disc to use (the grit number) for honing. Usually, you start with a lower grit number, particularly 100-grit, and up the level of the disc's grit gradually to achieve a consistent polish, and back to lower grit number for finishing.
Step 5 - Polish Light Scratches
Use the proper disc for polishing light scratches. Sometimes mechanical grit sandpaper can do the job.
Step 6 - Buff the Entire Table
Using sandpaper or a wet polisher, buff the entire table one last time to even out the color of the slates.
Step 7 - Neutralize
Remove pulverized remains (from honing) using a paint brush, putting extra attention on uneven areas. Wash the stones with a natural stone tile cleanser to remove traces of acetone stripper and to neutralize the Ph level of the slates. Rinse with distilled water. Don’t use mineral water as the last rinsing solution as this may cause staining. Let it dry overnight. Use a fan to hasten the drying process.
Step 8 - Apply Sealer
If you are still unsure if the slate table is dry, leave it to dry for another day. Purchase a waterbase sealer that works best with natural stone. There are sealers that not only seal stone tiles but the grout as well. You may buy this type of sealer so you can seal both the tiles and the grout in one application. Apply several thin coats of sealer for maximum protection. Let the sealer dry for another 48 hours before you use the slate table again.