If you have granite countertops that are worn, scratched or simply looking dull – there’s no need to pay someone to come in to your home to restore them. With the right equipment any DIY home enthusiast can be polishing worn granite countertops themselves and save themselves a lot of money. The most important thing to remember when you start polishing worn granite countertops is that it’s not like using beeswax or your favorite furniture polish.
Buffing the Surface
Before starting to polish a granite countertop you should, of course, make sure that the surface is generally clean – using one of the preparatory granite cleaning products. Being a naturally occurring stone granite is polished by actually grinding, or abrading, the surface and then buffing it; with increasingly finer abrasive materials that have diamond particles on the pads. Unless you have some particularly deep scratches in the granite countertop, using these abrasive pads shouldn’t be necessary.
If it is necessary you should proceed with caution as by re-grinding the surface you will actually strip away a layer of granite; which could result in a patch that is a different to its original coloring. However, under normal circumstances the starting point for polishing a worn granite countertop is to spray it with a specialized crystal spray and to then buff it.
The buffing action does have to be done strongly and vigorously so as to really work the crystals into the granite; to do this job you are recommended to buy a hand-held, electric powered, orbital buffer for the job – with an appropriate buffing pad fitted to it.
Both the spray and the buffing should be applied evenly over the entire granite countertop surface. You should be able to find supplies of the crystal spray that vary from having a coarse action to a finer action. If the one you buy doesn’t seem to make much impression on the granite countertop – then try a coarser one.
Protecting Polished Granite
Having gone to all the trouble of polishing and restoring a worn granite countertop you’ll want to retain its bright and fresh appearance for as long as possible. You can buy granite sealing compounds that will give the granite surface an extra layer of protection.
Like the granite polish it usually comes in a spray dispenser and prevents the day-today staining from food, liquids and dirt that can cause granite to look worn. To work the sealant into the granite you can use the powered buffing tool, with an appropriate pad; or you can use a soft buffing cloth.
Keeping your Granite Countertop Clean
Whilst it might be tempting to use your usual domestic cleaning products on a granite countertop – it is not to be recommended. One of the major reasons why granite countertops can look worn and dull is because people have been using ordinary domestic cleaning products on them. Despite being a very durable natural stone – granite is susceptible to attack by chemicals such as strong acids and alkalis.
Most domestic cleaning materials in common use in kitchens and bathrooms are chemically very strong alkalis – which should be avoided on a granite surface. Using your usual anti-bacterial sprays on a granite countertop is fine; but to clean it you really should use a specially formulated granite cleaning product.