The Best Way to Reseal Granite Countertops

Why Should I Reseal My Granite Countertops?

The most important reason to reseal your granite countertops is to prevent the countertops from becoming stained. Granite is a natural stone that is largely created of mica, quartz, and feldspar. It is an extremely strong material but things like red wine, pizza grease, and cooking oil can soak into the granite countertops and lead to stains. When the surface is sealed, this helps prevent any kind of damage. How often you should reseal the granite will depend on how light or dark the surface is. Lighter colored granite will typically need to be resealed on a more frequent basis than darker granite. If you want to prevent stains on your beautiful countertops, resealing is an important maintenance task.

What Happens If I Don’t Reseal My Granite Countertops?

Resealing granite and other natural stone countertops is crucial to keep any liquids from getting into the stone to cause damage. If the stone you have is more porous, it’s more likely that stains and damage will occur. Granite countertops can be stained in only a few minutes, even if a spill is cleaned up quickly. Stone is also capable of absorbing pigments and grease as well as water. When a stone is unsealed, it absorbs liquid more quickly, which can be a problem in the kitchen or bathroom where a lot of moisture is present. Choosing not to seal the stone can lead to watermarks which will make the stone look dirty no matter how often you clean it.

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Resealing Your Granite Countertops:

Step-By-Step

  • 1. Test whether resealing is needed.
    • The first thing you want to do is find out if sealing is needed. This can be done by wetting a paper towel, placing it on the counter, and leaving it for about 10 minutes. If the granite begins to darken, you should go ahead with resealing the surface. If water beads up on the counters instead, there is no need to move forward.

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  • 2. Do the lemon juice test.
    • Next, you want to take out your lemon juice and apply a few drops to the granite. Look underneath the drops for any dark spots. If you notice spots within a minute or so, sealing is not the best option. Instead, the stone is extra absorbent and should be dealt with by a professional. If it takes five minutes or so to see darkening, you can move on to the sealing process. If the stone doesn’t darken in 30 minutes, there is no need to seal the granite.

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  • 3. Choose the appropriate sealer.
    • The sealer you use should be one that is designed for use with natural stone. A carbon resin sealer will offer the best results but may be expensive. Silane and siloxane sealers are the next best option, but not as efficient at repelling oil. Linseed and silicone-based sealers should be avoided as they can cause color degradation and will need to be reapplied more often.

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  • 4. Clean the granite countertops.
    • Before applying a sealer, you should clean off the stone using dish soap or another appropriate cleaner. After you’re done, use a cloth to wide down the countertops. Next, use a degreasing product and then follow up by cleaning the counters with denatured alcohol. You will need to let the granite dry for about 24 hours before moving on.

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  • 5. Test the area before sealing.
    • Next, you want to ventilate the area through opening a window. You should also put on gloves to avoid contact with the sealer. Before applying the sealer to the entire countertop, do a spot test in an area that is largely hidden. Use the steps below but in a small area. If you see that the substance discolors the granite or leaves a hazy residue, you should choose a different product.

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  • 6. Evenly apply the sealer.
    • Now that you are ready to seal the granite, use a cloth, brush, or spray bottle to apply the sealer to the countertops. You want to make sure the entire surface is damp but not overly soaked. Next, you should let the sealer absorb into the stone. The instructions on the sealer will let you know how long to wait, but on average it takes around 20 minutes.

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  • 7. Add a second coat if needed.
    • Check the instructions on the bottle to determine if a second coat is needed. In most cases, this will be done when the first coat is mostly but not entirely dry. Wipe the second coat over the surface so you can ensure the application is even.

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  • 8. Remove the sealer.
    • Once your sealer has set for as long as the bottle instructs you, it’s time to clean up the remaining sealer using another clean cloth. This is an important step because leaving excess cleaner can lead to a haze on the granite that isn’t pleasing to look at.

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  • 9. Do not use the counter for 48 hours.
    • While the exact amount of time you will need to avoid the use of the countertops will vary, most are going to need to spend hours or days curing to be effective. Even if the curing process takes only a handful of hours, it’s best to avoid washing the counter for at least 48 hours before normal use can begin.

      At this point, you are good to go! Your granite countertop will be property resealed and ready for use without worrying about stains and damage. While the process can take some time, most of that is waiting time. This is an easy project that most people can handle without a problem.

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