A new custom granite countertop adds beautiful functionality to any kitchen or bathroom. Unfortunately, time and use can dull the luster of this gorgeous material. While granite is very durable, spills can stain the stone, rough handling can cause scratches, and general wear and tear can strip the shine from the surface. Polishing a granite countertop restores its splendor and helps to protect the stone from damage. It is a simple process that can be completed in just five easy steps.
1. Gather the Necessary Materials
Before beginning the task, gather the necessary materials. These include clean, soft cotton clothes, water in a cup or spray bottle, stone cleaner, granite polish, and granite sealer. Be sure to read and understand the product directions before beginning any work.
2. Clean the Granite Countertop Thoroughly
For the best results, clean the granite countertop thoroughly with a cleaning product that is designed specifically for stone. If the countertop is used for meal preparation and cooking tasks, be sure that the product is listed as safe for use on food-prep areas. When applying the product, follow the directions provided by the manufacturer. Generally, this involves spraying the cleaner onto the countertop and allowing it to sit for a minute or so before wiping the counter with a clean, soft cloth. Do not forget the edges of the countertop and the area underneath the edge.
3. Apply a Granite Polish to the Granite Countertop
Once the countertop is clean, it is time to apply a high-quality granite polish. Most of these products require users to spray the polish on the countertop and then spread it evenly over the surface. Let the product sit for a few minutes. Then, gently buff the granite countertop with a lint-free cotton cloth. Work slowly and carefully until the surface is streak-free and displays a glossy shine.
4. Test the Granite Countertop’s Seal
To ensure the granite countertop continues to look fantastic, check its seal by pouring or spraying a little water in a small area. If the water promptly forms into beads on the countertop’s surface, the seal is intact. No further work is necessary. If the water penetrates the stone, darkening it, then it is time to reseal the stone.
5. Protect the Granite Countertop by Resealing It
Sealing a granite countertop helps prevent damage by providing a protective barrier against the stains and scratches that might otherwise mar the surface. Since the seal gradually loses its effectiveness, periodic resealing is necessary. To reseal the countertop, spray a thin layer of granite sealer on a small section of the countertop. Wipe the surface immediately with a lint-free cloth; allowing the sealer to dry on the surface may cause hazing. Next, buff the area with a clean cotton cloth. Continue the process, always working in small, manageable sections, until the entire countertop has been resealed. For maximum protection, apply the granite sealant two or three times.
It is not hard to keep granite countertops looking fantastic. Prevent damage by blotting up any spills promptly, placing hot pads beneath hot pots or plates, and always using a cutting board. Make sure that any cleaning products used on the surface are safe for stone and clean, polish and reseal the countertops regularly. With proper cleaning and maintenance, custom granite countertops will retain their natural beauty for years.
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