A little-known fact about classic sculptures from the Renaissance period is that artists chose to leave their white marble surfaces unpainted because they thought this was an aesthetic from ancient Greece. In reality, those sculptures were originally painted in very colorful schemes, but the primitive paint had fallen off by the time they were unearthed after the Middle Ages.
It so happened that some of the compounds used by Greek sculptors to prepare the surface for painting accidentally protected the marble by creating a seal, but they failed to keep the paint in place. For example, the dazzling white Greek and Roman sculptures on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York have been put through the restoration process of deep cleaning, polishing, and sealing. With frequent and proper sealing, natural-stone tiles and slabs can retain the look of these classic sculptures. Here are some sealing tips for you to follow if you have granite or another type of natural stone in your home.
Make Sealing Part of Your Cleaning Schedule
Some types of natural stone have greater porosity than others, which means they should be sealed more often. Marble, limestone, and soapstone are examples of porous surfaces that should be sealed frequently, particularly if they get a lot of use.
Always Clean Before You Seal
You should never apply sealant on natural-stone tiles, slabs, panels, or splashes that have not been previously cleaned. Make sure to eliminate stains and use a stone-safe granite cleaner when preparing the surface. After the sealant settles, the surface will be easier to clean.
Test Your Seal
A good way to determine how often your natural stone should be sealed is to perform a water test. Make a few small puddles of water about 3 inches in diameter and let them sit for 30 minutes. If you notice the water has beaded, you don’t have to apply sealant. If you see a ring or dark mark forming around the edges of the puddle, this will be your cue to seal immediately. When water starts streaking instead of beading on your natural-stone shower walls, you know it’s time to seal. The good news is, you can’t over-seal stone, so if you want to seal your stone on a regular basis, it’s safe to do so.
How to Apply Sealant
Choose a high-quality granite sealer such as Granite Gold Sealer® that penetrates into the pores of natural stone to prevent staining, etching, and soil buildup. Work in 3-foot sections. The idea is to not allow the sealer to dry on the surface since this can leave a hazy film. The sealant should be wiped into the stone until you notice it being absorbed. The best way to accomplish this is to use a lint-free cloth and apply a buffing motion. Before polishing your stone, you must allow the sealer 24 hours to cure and form a protective film. Keep in mind the order of the maintenance process: cleaning comes before sealing and polishing comes 24 hours after sealing.
To learn more about caring for natural stone such as granite, marble, and travertine, get in touch with Granite Gold® today. We also carry products that are safe to use on surfaces made of quartz and Corian. Polish and clean these surfaces with peace of mind when using Granite Gold Quartz Brite®. If you have additional questions, please call 1-800-475-STONE (7866) today.