Granite countertops convey more than your good decorating taste. They impart a certain class and sophistication to your kitchen or bathroom. But when your granite counters look more dull and smudgy than polished and gleaming, that sophistication goes right out the window.
Fortunately, maintaining lustrous granite isn’t difficult; it simply requires a bit of diligence and a few minutes of your time. Ready to discover how simple and easy it is to maintain gleaming granite? The natural stone experts at Wholesale Granite Direct outline the granite polishing process below.
What to Know Before You Polish Granite
Before you take granite polishing into your own hands, it’s important to determine the level of damage you’re working with. If your countertops contain only minor damage — blemishes that don’t extend beyond the upper layers of stone — you can fix the issue with widely available remedies. Deeper damages, on the other hand, should always be remedied by a trained professional with experience in natural stone restoration. Types of damage you can typically fix on your own include:
- Light etching
- Light scratches
- Heat damage
To remedy any of the above forms of granite damage, polishing powder is generally the go-to fix because it’s easy to use and does not require any specialized equipment. You should be able to find a suitable product at any of your local home improvement stores or major box stores. Select a powder that is specifically designed to polish the primary color of stone you have.
Seal Your Granite Before Polishing
Sealing granite after polishing is a common mistake; however, the correct order of operations is to clean, seal, and then polish the stone. Before you apply granite polishing powder, it’s critical that you thoroughly clean and seal your countertops, because granite can only be polished successfully over a strong seal. If you’re unsure about the existing seal on your granite, perform this simple water penetration test:
- Fill a cup with water.
- Pour small amounts of water in various locations on your countertops. You don’t need much at all — two to three inches in diameter is plenty.
- Observe the pools of water to see whether they sink through the upper layer of granite and leave dark rings or spots on the countertops.
- If that water seeped through the stone, you must thoroughly seal your countertops with granite sealer before you proceed with polishing.
After you’ve thoroughly cleaned your countertops with warm, soapy water and sealed the granite, allow a minimum of 24 hours for the seal to dry and cure completely before you apply polishing products.
How to Polish Granite Countertops: 3 Steps
Once your granite is fully sealed, dried, and cured, it’s time to move on to the polishing process. Here’s what you’ll need to do:
Step 1: Apply a Granite Polishing Product
If you purchased polishing powder, you can apply it to your countertops wet or dry. However, a wet application method will create a considerable mess, not to mention wet polishing is typically reserved for only the most severe forms of granite damage and almost always requires the expertise of a trained professional. For this polishing guide, we’ll be covering how to polish your granite countertops using the dry application method.
Step 2: Buff the Granite
Granite polishing products, both powders and creams, contain light abrasives that gently restore the surface of the stone. As such, you only need to apply light to moderate pressure when buffing to achieve a truly remarkable finish.
After you’ve applied the product according to the manufacturer’s directions, use a buff polishing pad to work the product over the stone’s surface in wide, circular motions. After you’ve worked the polish into the granite with a buffing pad, you can use a soft, clean cloth to give the surface a final, gentle buffing.
Step 3: Remove Any Polish Residue
When you finish buffing the stone, there will be traces of polish left on the surface that you’ll need to remove. Simply wet a clean, soft cloth with warm water, and gently wipe away any remaining polish residue from the granite. If you notice any water droplets or streaks on the surface, rinse out the cloth, and clean the countertops with another round of warm water.
Maintaining the Sheen on Your Granite Countertops
Most granite countertops only require periodic polishing at five- to 15-year intervals. In the interim between polishes, it’s important to take proper care of your stone countertops to maintain their lustrous sheen. The following routine maintenance actions go a long way toward maintaining long-lasting, attractive granite surfaces:
- Wipe up spills immediately to avoid staining.
- Always use cutting boards to avoid scratching the stone.
- Use heat-resistant pads beneath hot objects, such as pots, pans, and hair-styling tools.
- Avoid placing cosmetic products directly on granite surfaces, as chemicals can damage the stone.
- Apply specialty granite cleaner periodically to maintain the stone’s natural shine.
- Periodically reseal granite surfaces every five to 10 years.
Wholesale Granite Direct: Your Dallas–Fort Worth Source for Premier Granite
Looking to upgrade your existing countertops? Building a brand new home? At Wholesale Granite Direct, we offer an extensive selection of the natural stone products you need to create a stunning home interior. Stop by our showroom today or contact our team online to learn more about our products and discover how natural stone can completely transform your home!