Step 2: Apply the poultice

applying poultice to a countertop for stain removal
Photo: Kolin Smith
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Applying the poultice is something like icing a cake. Using a plastic putty knife, Hueston spreads a quarter-inch layer of the paste over the stain and beyond it by a quarter of an inch or more. The older and darker the stain, the longer he leaves the poultice in place and the greater the likelihood he'll need to repeat the process. If the stain is less than a day old, a single application may work in 10 hours, but for most stains Hueston waits 24 hours just to be safe. For generations-old discoloration in historic buildings, he has used as many as 15 poultices over 2 to 3 weeks.
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    Tools List

    • putty knife
      Putty knife
    • polishing tool
      Polishing tool

    Shopping List

    1. HYDROGEN PEROXIDE
    to mix with flour for food stain poultice

    2. DISHWASHING LIQUID
    to mix with flour for oil stain poultice

    3. HOUSEHOLD BLEACH
    to mix with flour for biological stains, like mold or mildew

    4. SODIUM HYDROSULFATE
    to mix with flour for rust stain poultice

    5. PLASTIC WRAP
    to cover poultice as it "wicks" out the stain

    6. BLUE PAINTER'S TAPE
    to secure plastic wrap

    7. MARBLE POLISHING POWDER
    to refinish the surface

    8. POLYESTER POLISHING PAD

    9. SEALANT