How to Seal Granite Countertops by protector
Always test the absorbency of your granite before you apply a sealer. There are many varieties of granite, and a large percentage of them are actively harmed by the sealer. That said, if your granite does absorb water or oil rapidly, a penetrating sealer will make maintenance much easier. There is no such thing as a safe, stain-proof sealer for granite, but a good sealer will give you the time you need to wipe up spills before they are absorbed. Note that sealing has nothing to do with how shiny your countertops are; this is caused by polishing.
- If the granite will be exposed to petroleum-based products, repeat the test with a few drops of mineral oil. Seal if either test darkens the granite.
- If the water doesn’t soak in, don’t seal it anyway “just in case.” The sealer needs to soak into the stone to be effective, and if it can’t, you’ll end up with an ugly, hazy residue.
2.Do the lemon juice test to see if there’s a deeper problem. Apply a few drops of lemon juice onto the granite. Take a look at the granite underneath the drops. If dark spots are developing within the first minute, set down the sealer! Your stone is very absorbent and probably shouldn’t be sealed, or in use at all. Call an expert to get a professional opinion and discuss your options.
- If it takes 4-5 minutes or more for the granite to darken under the lemon drops, go ahead and seal the granite. If the stone never darkens or takes half an hour or more, there’s no need to seal–your granite is stain-proof!
3.Select a penetrating sealer for natural stone. Only use products specifically designed for natural stone, and ideally for granite specifically. A penetrating or “impregnating” sealer will soak into the countertop to slow stain absorption, without causing the structural or aesthetic issues caused by top sealers in this application.These guidelines are enough to prevent harm to your countertop, but you can dive into the fine print if you’re interested
- For best results, choose a carbon resin sealer. Look for one that mentions “fluorocarbon aliphatic resin” on the label. These can provide years of good protection but are also the most expensive.
4.Read the instructions on the label. There are many varieties of sealer, and it’s best to follow the specific instructions if available. The method below provides more detail than most labels will give you, but always go with the label if the two sets of instructions contradict each other.
Sealing the Granite Countertop
1.Clean the granite. Wipe off the granite with water and dish soap or a specialized stone cleaner like Tenax, then wipe with a dry towel or cloth, preferably lint-free. Use a degreasing product, then do a final clean with denatured alcohol. Wait 24 hours to allow the granite to dry completely and return to its original color before continuing, or 8 hours if a strong breeze is blowing across it.
2.Wear gloves and ventilate the area. Solvent-based sealers may produce unpleasant or harmful vapors during application, so open a window and put on a pair of gloves. Don’t worry; the sealer will not leave any harmful chemicals in your kitchen.
3.Test in a small corner. Choose an unobtrusive corner of the granite, perhaps where a microwave or other appliance is normally located. Follow the steps below on a tiny area first, to make sure the sealer is compatible with the granite. If the sealer leaves a hazy residue or discolors the granite, find a different product.
- While the advice in the preparation section should prevent most of these problems, the extreme variety found among granite surfaces makes it impossible to reduce the chance to zero.
4.Apply the sealer evenly. Cover the surface evenly with the spray bottle, or using a completely clean, sealer-dampened, lint-free cloth or brush if the sealer is not in a spray bottle. The entire surface should be damp, but not soaked.
5.Let the sealer absorb into the stone. Check your instructions for the exact time, as leaving it on too long can cause discoloration. Typically, the sealer needs about 20 minutes to soak into the stone, but trust the label for this one.
6.Apply a second coat if necessary. If the label directs you to add a second coat, this is usually done when the first coat is almost, but not completely dry. Wipe this over the surface to ensure even application.
7.Wipe up the sealer. After you leave the sealer on for twenty minutes or as long as the label direct, wipe up the remaining sealer with a clean rag. Too much sealer left on the counter can cause an unattractive haze.
8. Leave the counter alone for 48 hours. This is another number that depends on the exact product, but the sealer will need to “cure” for some length of time before it is effective. Some products cure after an hour or two, but it’s still a good idea to avoid washing the counter for the first 48 hours after application.