How to Strip and Reseal Granite Countertops
Granite, while hard, is surprisingly absorbent. In terms of practicality, synthetic surfaces such as Corian, solid surface, or quartz countertops are often better than natural stone. Homeowners sometimes buy granite countertops more for the product's natural beauty than for its functionality.
Sealing your granite is one of the many things you just need to do if you want to own this type of countertop. In fact, it should come as no surprise that granite needs to be sealed. It is like any other natural material. Wood has its grain, and stone has its pores. Fortunately, it's easy to seal a granite countertop. It takes just a few minutes and requires little more than a granite sealer and a clean pad.
What You'll Need
Equipment / Tools
- 5 microfiber pads
- 5 microfiber towels
- 1 nylon scrubbing pad or fine steel wool
- 1 bottle granite sealer
- 1 bottle granite cleaner
Strip Off Old Sealer
Unless the old sealer is sticky, hazy, or otherwise in bad condition, it should not need to be stripped off. If you do need to strip off old sealer, begin with very fine steel wool and rub gently. Alternatively, chemical strippers applied with a nylon scrubbing pad may help to strip off the old sealer.
Clean the Surface
Whether or not old sealer was removed, the granite still needs to be cleaned prior to sealing. Spray a daily granite cleaner on the surface and wipe off with microfiber pads. The pads must come up clean (no dirt or residue) before proceeding to the next step.
Spray the Granite Surface
After the granite cleaner has dried, spray the granite countertop in 2-foot-square sections
Wipe the Granite Surface
Immediately after spraying the granite, wipe off the sealer with the microfiber pad. Do not let the sealer sit on the surface for a long time as hazing may occur.
Buff the Surface
With a clean microfiber towel, buff the surface to a smooth glossy finish.
One coat of granite sealer is not enough if the granite has been completely stripped of sealer. For this type of countertop, apply up to three coats of sealer.
How if I still cannot strip the sealer from the granite?
Try using mineral spirits, isopropyl alcohol, or acetone to remove the sealer from the granite countertop. If none of those methods work, then call a countertop technician experienced at working with natural stone.
Do all granite countertops need to be sealed?
Yes, all natural granite countertops need to be sealed, unless previously sealed at the factory or by an installer. Also, many countertop surfaces that appear to be granite really aren't. Quartz countertops often look much natural stone, yet quartz cannot and should be be sealed.
What do you permanently seal granite countertops?
You cannot permanently seal granite countertops. But some granite sealers do last longer than others. The best way to ensure that your granite sealer will last a long time is by properly stripping (if needed) and cleaning the granite. You also need to make sure that enough coats of the sealer have been applied.
Tips for Removing Stains from Granite Counters
Some types of stains can be removed from granite by making a simple poultice.
Make a paste mixture of hydrogen peroxide and diatomaceous earth and place it over the stain. Diatomaceous earth is an inexpensive sedimentary rock that can be purchased in small bags online for $10 to $20.
Cover this with plastic wrap and seal the edges of the plastic with masking tape. Leave it on the stone for a couple of days.
Remove the plastic wrap and let the paste dry. Repeat if necessary. Also, sometimes, bleach can be added to the mixture.
When to Call a Professional
A countertop fabrication and installation company that deals with natural stone can help with stripping old granite sealer and applying new sealer. Even if you plan to apply sealer by yourself in the long-term, you may want to have the first sealer applied by professionals.