Fixing granite countertop stains or repairing a chip is much easier if you know which are the right granite repair products to use how to use them.
Keeping your granite countertops looking perfect forever is a losing battle. Kitchens are messy places, kids spill orange juice while reaching for their cereals or a pot drops and chips the granite. It happens. However, there are plenty of ways to fix damage to granite worktops.
This DIY guide tackles some common granite repair jobs, and which are the best products to use. Keep reading to learn about granite countertop chip and crack repair and stain removal.
Granite Chip Repair
You would think that granite being such a hard stone it should be chip-proof. However, a dropped heavy pan or other heavy object and chips in granite will happen. The sealant is missing where the chip occurs, so chipped granite is also more vulnerable to stains. Time to learn about granite countertop chip repair at home.
You can fix granite chip yourself using what is known as granite epoxy resin. It is a bit of a messy process, but perfectly straightforward. You can buy granite repair epoxy online or at your local hardware stone, or even at the place that made your granite countertops in the first place. Find one that matches the color of your granite countertops and don’t be afraid to test on an hidden surface first to make sure.
How To Fix A Cracked Granite Countertop
A cracked granite countertop is a considerably bigger issue than a chip. They can actually be pretty serious and it’s a good idea to fix cracked granite as soon as possible. Sometimes granite has natural cracks, called fissures, which don’t need to be fixed as they are minor.
Telling the Difference Between a Crack and a Fissure
A granite crack is usually straight and deep and you can feel it easily with your fingertip if you run your finger accross it. A fissure, on the other hand, is usually not deep enough to be felt. Cracks are caused by stress on the stone and so usually happen in places like where the sink fits, or the supports. Fissures, on the other hand, can happen anywhere.
You can fix cracked granite using granite crack repair epoxy. This type of granite epoxy has a lower viscosity and can penetrate deeper into the crack to bind the walls together. This helps prevent a cracked granite countertop getting worse.
You can even use granite repair epoxy to fix broken granite countertops. However, if you need to re-attach a large piece of stone, consumer epoxy will not be enough and you should contact a professional.
It is very important to fix all the cracks and then apply a new layer of sealant to protect the surface. If you don’t like a visible line, you should try and find a granite epoxy that matches the color of your countertops.
In order to prevent cracked granite countertops, it is important that the weight of the stone is distributed evenly and supported properly. This is why installing granite countertops is a complicated affair. If your granite keeps cracking, contact the installers to see if there is something wrong with the supports.
How to Fix Granite With Epoxy Step By Step
Things you will need:
- Peroxide cleaner
- Masking tape
- Knife-grade epoxy, Epoxy hardener and Color additives
- Wood stir sticks
- Razor blade
- Clear tape
- Steel wool or sandpaper
- Start by cleaning the area using a peroxide cleaner, such as methul ethyl ketone. Leave it to air dry for about 25 minutes. Methyl ethyl ketone is the professional’s choice but it’s highly flammable and needs to be handled, stored and disposed off properly, following manufacturer’s instructions.
- Use masking tape to tape around the damaged area, and leave a bit of margin so it’s easier to blend the epoxy with the rest of the stone.
- Mix the epoxy and color additives in a disposable plastic cub so you get a color similar to your granite. You may need to prepare several mixes, if your granite has a patter or speckles.
- Using the wood sticks, mix the hardener into the colored epoxy thoroughly, working quickly so the epoxy doesn’t set.
- Apply the epoxy to the damaged area, building it a bit higher than the surface. The razor blade can be used to scrape off any excess.
- Use a piece of clear tape to cover the entire area and help level the epoxy as it sets.
- Remove the tape and clear the area using the same cleaner you used at the beginning. Use steel wool or sandpaper to smooth out the surface, and reseal your countertops.
A word of warning: This is a pretty straightforward process for surface chips, on the flat faced of the countertop. Learning how to fix a chip in a granite countertop edge takes some skill handling very sticky granite epoxy resin. If you are not comfortable, it’s better to bring in a professional. But if you are a dab hand at DIY then you can easily perform granite chip repair yourself and save some money.
Granite Stain Removal Guide
Stains on granite are the most common accident to befall busy kitchens. In this case, prevention is better than the cure: you can seal your granite regularly to reduce the chances of a stain actually taking hold. You can seal granite countertops easily yourself.
The reason why granite countertops get stains is because this natural stone is very porous. This makes it absorb any liquids that fall on it, unless it’s properly sealed and the liquid is removed quickly. You can however try a DIY granite stain remover using ingredients that are probably already in your kitchen. Your goal is to create a paste to neutralise and draw the stain out of the stone pores.
The recipe for granite stain removal changes depending on what caused the stain, but it’s very simple. Before applying anyting blot the stain as much as possible to remove any remaining liquid.
Water Marks: Usually you can remove those with a very gentle dish soap and a soft brush, no need to apply a paste.
Food stains: Mix baking soda and water until you get a paste that has the consistency of sour cream. You can also use a mix of hydrogen peroxyde and flour but it may lighten up dark granite colors, so try on a small area first.
Oil stains: A mix of flour and dishwasher soap (a no bleach, gentle one) to the consistency of sour cream works best to dissolve oil and remove the stain.
How To Apply The Mixture To Remove the Stains
First of all, clean up the spill as soon as you can, using a blotting motion instead of scrubbing. The goal here is to remove as much liquid as possible, not to “clean” it. That’s what the paste you mixed is for.
Spread a thickish layer of the cleaning paste (about a quarter of an inch thick will do) over the entire stain, extending a bit past the borders. Make sure to cover all the stained area, the mixture won’t hurt the granite surface and better safe than missing a spot.
Seal the stained area with plastic wrap and painter’s tape, in order to slow the drying process. Pierce the plastic in a couple of spots to allow for some ventilation, and forget about it for about 24h. Leave the poultice to do its magic, as it dries it will draw the stain off the stone.
The reason why I suggest using painter’s tape is because it has a weak adhesive that can be removed easily. You don’t want to use regular tape because it may leave a worse stain or damage the sealant.
After 24 hours, once the poultice is fully dry, it needs to be removed. Clear it away before reapplying another round, if needed. Use a putty knife and carefully scrape the dried mixture off, then wipe with a clean dry cloth to remove around residue.
A new stain can easily be removed with one application of this method. Older stains that are more deeply etched can take two or three applications.
Juice, Coffee And Wine Stains On Granite Countertops
Acidic liquids, such as orange juice, coffee or wine, can actually etch the surface. Check if your granite countertop feels rough or uneven after lifting the stain and if necessary use a polishing pad. Always reseal granite countertops after this to prevent future damage.
If the stain is not bulging you may want to try a commercial cleaning product. However, do not feel tempted to scratch, scrub or use a harsh cleaner as you will make the problem worse. Your local stone yard may have somebody available who can help fix really stubborn stains.
Granite Countertop Repair Kits
For your convenience, you can buy a granite countertop repair kit instead of buying all the items separately. Granite restoration kits are available at retailers such as Amazon, and most hardware stones.
There are usually two types of granite repair kits: granite chip repair kit and granite crack repair kit. The difference is usually the viscosity of the epoxy. It is important to follow the manufacturer instructions to the letter. The application process is similar for both types.
Light Activated Granite Restoration Kits
If you are dealing with small chips and cracks, a granite repair kit that uses light to cure the epoxy is much quicker and practical than an air dry one. They come with a small handheld light that can be used to cure the epoxy in minutes.
Make sure to follow the instructions to the letter, and ensure the kit you buy is safe for granite. One bad step and you could make the problem worse or end up having to remove epoxy stains.
Handling Granite Epoxy
Granite repair epoxy is incredibly useful, but you need to follow the manufacturer instructions to the letter. They are not all the same. Some take several hours to set, others take minutes and others won’t set unless you use UV light. The viscosity levels are also different: granite crack repair epoxy is different from chip repair epoxy.
There are clear granite epoxy kits, or you may need to mix your epoxy with pigment to create a perfect match for your granite countertops. This pigment is usually a colored paste that you mix in before adding the hardener.
Some granite epoxy mixes can produce dangerous fumes if heated, which must not be breathed in. So avoid cooking while your epoxy is setting and before you seal it, and order takeaway.
As you can see, repairing granite chips or even fixing a cracked granite countertop is within reach of most skilled DIY enthusiasts. However, you spend a lot of money on those granite countertops so don’t risk it. If you are unsure about your skills, or the job looks complicated, it’s better to call a professional. Fixing a jagged break, a large surface area or a deep chip can be challenging and a DIY granite repair gone wrong can make it look worse.
And remember, granite sealers are budget friendly and the best way to prevent stains, chips and granite repair bills.