Granite is one of the hardest substances on Earth. This makes it the perfect countertop material.
Because of how sturdy it is, it can be easy to think that the granite doesn't need some routine maintenance in order for it to keep its shine.
If neglected long enough, even granite can become receptive to stains and other damage.
That's why knowing how to seal granite countertops can help you maintain the value of this material with a minimal time and monetary investment.
You can pick up a granite sealer for about $15 at most local stores. Here are the steps to take so you can get the job done.
1. Gather Your Materials.
You're going to need some dry towels, a wash cloth, your preferred granite sealer, and some anti-bacterial dish soap to have on hand for this job.
Plan on it taking between 40-60 minutes once you have all of your materials ready to go.
2. Clean Your Granite Countertop.
You'll want to clean your countertop with warm water mixed with liquid dish soap.
You'll need to make sure any debris, dust, or other foreign particles are completely removed from the surface.
Do not use bleach or caustic cleaning agents with a high acidity or high base for this process.
Allow the granite to completely dry before moving onto the next step.
You can use your lint-free dry towels to facilitate the drying process.
3. Protect Your Coordinating Surfaces.
Many granite countertops have a tile backsplash which compliments the look.
There may also be drywall, sink fixtures, or other items which may be damaged by the granite sealer.
Cover any items that can't be moved with plastic to avoid getting some sealant spray on them to avoid having another headache come your way.
4. Apply The Granite Sealer.
Granite sealers generally work best when they are directly applied to the countertop with a spray bottle.
Make sure you properly label the bottle since sealants can look like other items.
Spray the countertop so the surface is completely saturated with the sealant. It should have a mirror-like quality to it when you're applying enough of it for up to 5 seconds.
You may see some small bubbles of sealant begin to appear – this is fine.
5. Allow The Sealant To Sit.
For the granite sealant to work, you will need to allow it to sit on your countertop for at least 10 minutes.
This will give it time to soak into the material. Make sure that your room is properly vented so the smell of the sealant doesn't become overwhelming.
Many sealants can cause dizziness, headaches, and breathing difficulties if the exposure is too long.
Don't open doors or windows unless you're confident debris will not get into the sealant as it is sitting.
6. Remove The Excess Sealant After 10 Minutes.
Using a blotting motion with your lint-free dry towels, remove any extra sealant that hasn't soaked into the granite.
Once all of the excess sealant has been removed, take another dry towel and use a circular cleaning motion to make sure it has all been removed from the countertop.
7. Repeat The Process.
Granite is a porous enough material that it requires a second coat of sealant after you've applied the first.
You'll need to go back to Step #4 and complete it, as well as Steps #5 and #6 once again.
Apply the sealant in exactly the same way for a second coat.
8. Give The Countertop a Chance To Cure.
You'll need to refrain from using your countertop for about 6 hours after you've applied your second coat, let it soak in for 10 minutes, and then removed the excess sealant.
Some sealants have specific instructions which must be followed at this stage.
Because there is so much variability in each product, you'll need to check with the manufacturer's instructions for guidelines to this step completion.
9. Give Your Granite Countertop One Final Good Cleaning.
Once you have waited an appropriate amount of time, it is important to give your countertop one more good cleaning.
This will remove any remaining excess sealant that remains on the surface.
You'll once again want to use warm water and your dish soap for this process.
Clean with the wash cloth, using a circular cleaning motion, to make sure the counter is ready for use.
Most sealants that you'll find in stores will last between 6-12 months when properly applied. Some sealants, however, are rated to last for up to 15 years.
Choose your preferred sealant, follow these steps, and you'll know how to seal granite countertops quickly and effectively on your own.
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