Sunday, 18 October 2009


Although the kitchen was finished last month, we finally had the bench tops completely sealed.

In the time that we have lived with the unsealed granite, I can now impart some valuable advice about why light coloured granite needs to be sealed. So if you are thinking about kitchen surfaces, this little post might be helpful...

Natural granite is extremely porous and I’m talking sponge-like. On light coloured granite, it absorbs water - even the condensation from a cold glass of water. The dark water marks disappear when it is dry, so it is not a problem and nothing to worry about.

Because of its porous nature, granite can stain.

Red wine is a natural enemy of light coloured granite, so too are oil and fat. If spills are not wiped up straight away, you will have a permanent record of that nice glass of merlot or extra dollop of aioli...ingrained in the stone.

Acid being acid just etches away the polished surface. It is vital to wipe up spills when using citrus fruit or other acidic food.

We have been fortunate not to have any serious damage since the stone was installed. There are a few small marks from spilt milk (and I did nearly cry...) and cooking oil splatter, but nothing too obvious because of the patterning in the stone.

If you use stone in your kitchen it generally comes to you polished, but it is still unsealed. Sealing is a separate service that you have to consider in your costs – something we didn’t.

It was pretty interesting to see how they sealed the granite. They give the bench tops a thorough clean with acetone (like nail polish remover) and rub it clean with a towel. It is then given the first of two coats of a sealer to fill up the large holes which exist in the stone. After it has soaked in, the second coat is applied. You can not get the bench top wet for at least eight hours.

The next day, the final step of the sealing process is to apply one coat of a top sealer. This is to fill the finer holes in the granite. It is then buffed with a clean towel and must be left to dry for another eight hours.

Water beading on the sealed granite surface

I quizzed the guy who sealed the bench tops about the effectiveness of the sealer. He said what the sealer provided was reaction time. He demonstrated how a liquid spill would bead or pool on the sealed surface, giving you plenty of time to wipe it up before it soaked in.

I also asked him, hypothetically, what would happen if I spilt red wine and didn’t get to it right away. He looked at me and replied, “Luv, if you’re spilling red wine and you leave it on the bench top, then maybe you should give up drinking!”

Let's hope this seal stuff works...

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