Low maintenance and beautiful in their simplicity, natural stone countertops can be the perfect finishing touch to your kitchen, and with regular maintenance, appropriate care and an effective sealer, they can last a few generations, at the very least. Sealing natural stone countertops protects them from the wear and tear associated with most household surfaces by adding a protective layer.
That prevents contaminants and moisture from seeping through the stone. Stone typically has fine pores through which water and acids can percolate and cause damage to color and structural integrity. This implies that stone sealers makes it harder for stains to form over the surface, therefore maintaining the durability and toughness of the stone.
Step 1 - Wipe the Natural Stone Countertop Clean
Before the application of the stone sealant, wipe clean the countertop to remove any dirt. Make sure to do so with a dry, clean rag. Once this is done, disinfect the countertop using a cleaner and then clean the surface with a cloth. Allow the countertop to sit a few hours after drying it well.
Step 2 - Application of Sealant
Using a brush, a clean rag or a spray, apply the relevant stone sealer to your natural stone countertops by working one section of 4 to 5 square foot at a time. Allow approximately four minutes for the sealer to seep into the stone. When it is nearly dry, apply another layer of sealer and wipe it off with a clean cloth.
Step 3 - Repeat Step 1
Repeat the first step on the remaining sections of the stone countertop. Wait another two hours to re-apply the sealant.
This sealant layer can be worn down with time, so it is advisable to repeat the procedure at least once a year. An easy way to test the effectiveness of the sealant is by placing a few drops of water on it, allowing the water to sit for half an hour and then wiping it away. If the area where water stood has become darkened, then it is time to reapply a layer of sealant.
The Marble Institute of America states that it is unnecessary to seal granite because it has natural stain resistant qualities, but many prefer to seal it still to enhance the resistance of the stone, making it resistant to spills and other damage. Some of the most popular companies manufacturing high quality sealers for natural stone surfaces include Cerama Seal, Granite Gold Aqua Mix, Simple Green, and Miracle Sealants.
When using a sealer for your surface, make sure window cleaners are not applied, because many of those are vinegar based and can dull the finish of the stone, and break it over time. The best way to clean a stone countertop is by using a soft cloth and a pH-balanced cleaner. Some products come with ready-to use wipes which are highly advisable if a quick but highly effective stone sealing is required.