Step 6: Seal the surface

sealing the cleaned and polished surface of the kitchen counter
Photo: Kolin Smith
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Because the poultice and the polisher remove the sealer, Hueston must recoat the stone. There are two choices: Topical sealer, a paste wax coating, is used on marble and limestone because it protects these relatively soft stones from etching caused by everyday kitchen substances like citrus juice. Penetrating sealer is for stones such as granite that don't react with acids and therefore don't need protection from etching. It soaks into the stone, where it provides protection from stains. Because it doesn't form a surface coating, it is less prone to wear caused by everyday use of the surface. For marble countertops, Hueston recommends using both types. To apply penetrating sealer, he pours a shallow puddle onto the countertop and lets it soak in for 10 minutes before hand-buffing the area with a lamb's wool pad like that used for polishing a car. The counter can't be used for 6 hours. For a topical sealer, he buffs the coating on and off as if it were car wax. Sealers should be reapplied at least once annually.
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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