Restoring Cultured Marble
Is there anything I can do to restore my scratched, dull cultured marble vanity top?
I have a cultured marble vanity top that is severely scratched and has no shine. Is there anything I can do to restore the finish?
—Gayle Crawford, Rio Rancho, N. Mex.
Kevin O'Connor replies: Dan Maki, who has been making, installing, and refinishing cultured marble for nearly 30 years at Cultured Marble Products Ltd., Sacramento, Calif., tells me that the sheen of this material comes from a layer of clear polyester-resin gel coat applied to an opaque layer of fiberglass-reinforced polyester mixed with limestone dust. In his experience, the most common cause of scratched, dull gel coat is cleaners like Ajax or Comet. Cultured marble should only be cleaned with liquids that have no abrasives.
Maki says it's fairly easy to bring back the shine and remove shallow scratches using an automotive finishing compound and a high-speed, 1,500- to 2,500-rpm buffer fitted with a wool pad. Rub it in by hand, wait until a haze forms, then buff it off. For deep scratches that don't go all the way through to the fiberglass, wet-sand with the compound and an 800- or 1,000-grit wet-and-dry paper. After sanding, give these spots a good buffing.
Once your countertop is back in shape, he recommends shining it occasionally with liquid Gel-Gloss, a polishing wax developed just for cultured marble.