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All natural stone is porous and should be sealed before use. Sealers will not only prevent the surface from getting stained or discolored, but will also make the surface more durable against wear and tear.
Sealer (also called impregnator) comes in water or oil-based variants and can have a natural or glossy finish. In general water-based sealers or easier to apply and are safer for the environment; if your countertop has a shiny polished surface, a sealer with a glossy finish is unnecessary. Applying sealer in most cases is quite simple, does not require any special tools, and can be completed in a few minutes.
- Before sealing it is important to make sure the countertop is clean. Often a mild liquid detergent does the trick but for the best results use denatured alcohol.
- After cleaning make sure the surface is completely dry.
- Apply the sealer according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Wait at least 2 hours before applying an additional coat. Generally, one coat is sufficient but in a high traffic area you may want to apply as many as three coats. One way to test your stone countertops to see if they need an additional coat is to apply a few drops of water to the surface:
- If the water beads on the surface and doesn’t absorb at all, your countertop does not need an additional coat.
- If the water is absorbed by the stone within a few minutes, it needs an additional coat of sealer.