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-   -   The word "polish" in connection with granite (https://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=132264)

patrick_here 04-29-2022 10:06 AM

The word "polish" in connection with granite
I'm confused...
I see a product called "Granite Gold Polish" intended to be used to "polish" a kitchen countertop on a regular basis (ie: weekly, bi-weekly, etc).

Normally with Automotive finishes the word "polish" is used in connection with an extremely fine abrasive - an abrasive so fine that it ends up greatly enhancing the shine or gloss of the paint. I note that sometimes the word "polish" is used in connection with a similar extremely fine abrasive used on natural stone.

However for natural stone, it seems that the word "Polish" is also used in connection with a different class of materials that are strictly shine enhancers that don't contain any of the extremely fine abrasives ...is this correct? Apparently this "Granite Gold Polish" is an example of one of these shine enhancers (if I understand correctly). If so how does one identify and distinguish the two types of "polish" for granite and natural stone?

Tool Guy - Kg 04-29-2022 10:52 PM

It’s no wonder you’re confused. The way many marketing folks write creative fairy tails on the products these days, there’s no way to immediately identify what’s in the bottle.

This product, considering it’s application instructions and price point, sounds closely related to a wax-like product. Even if there was some micro abrasives in the product, wiping it with a paper towel for 5 seconds like they show on their instructional video does 0.000000000000000000000000001% good on improving a shine.

Most of the shine from natural stone tops comes from the intensive polishing process that makes it so microscopically smooth. If a countertop has a dull finish, most often it’s been physically etched or worn and become microscopically rough. While there are some topical products (think of clear-coat paint on a car) that could coat the surface to produce a shine, they are very, very maintenance-happy products. The topical coating is simply not very durable. In almost all cases, a dull countertop requires re-polishing with rather expensive machinery. We are very DIY-friendly on this forum. Besides the expensive machinery, polishing most natural stones to a high gloss usually requires a lot of experience due to different stones being quirky about what makes them “pop”. Sometimes it’s higher grit polishing, or different products, or more physical pressure. Not to mention the rather outrageous mess potential there is while working in a finished home. I’m almost all cases, the polishing needs to be done wet to produce high sheen.

Do you have some natural stone in need of some help? If so, let us know what you got going on. If you can post a picture all the better.


patrick_here 04-30-2022 08:58 AM

>> "Do you have some natural stone in need of some help?"

...Well two years ago I had granite countertops installed by a local contractor (who did an outstanding job). He applied seal, of course, and the seal seems to be still holding up; I cant detect any absorption by leaving a tablespoon of water on spots here and there. But sooner or later I'll need to re-seal, of course.

In general the countertop doesn't have the very glossy look to it that it had the day after he installed it but it still is glossy enough in most places. But our water is not especially soft and in the area around the kitchen sink faucet the gloss is practically gone. Our water is not extremely hard but in bathroom fixtures where water typically is left to dry out repeatedly, mineral deposits certainly accumulate.

Recently I restored a fiberglass shower in our house that had been accumulating these mineral deposits from the water over a period of about 24 years since the house was originally built (we bought this house two years ago). The only way to get those deposits off was with wet sandpaper (600/1000/1500 grit). Then I polished it with polish from Griot's Garage (using a DA polisher) and followed that with a sealer. The result was absolutely spectacular! :wohoo:

But I don't think I'd want to use even 1500 grit wet sandpaper on these areas around the kitchen sink faucet (on the granite countertop) that seem to have mineral deposits on them and I don't think I'd want to use vinegar either since that would attack the sealant. I'm thinking that perhaps a real automotive polish (like the one I used on the shower) gently rubbed by hand and checked frequently might be able to remove the mineral deposits without significantly attacking the seal in those areas. Currently the mineral deposits are not thick at all - they are just thick enough to obliterate the original gloss.

Sooner or later I'll have to re-seal the entire countertop so I'm also wanting to get a better understanding of all the issues involved in maintaining a granite countertop properly.


patrick_here 05-02-2022 08:41 AM

After testing my water (it's somewhere between "soft" and "moderately hard") and thinking about this some more, I think my real question is:
  • Is it reasonable to use real polish on a granite countertop like mine where the seal is still holding but there are faint accumumulations of mineral deposits on the surface from water being left to dry?
  • Is it reasonable to think that if I do this polishing by hand rather than by machine I might be able to do it without damaging the existing sealant in those areas with mineral deposits?
  • Ultimately when the countertop needs to be re-sealed should I expect that it will be necessary to polish it before sealing it so that all water deposits are removed first before sealing? If so, do I polish the whole countertop with special attention to the areas that have mineral accumulations? And do I do it by hand or by machine?
(In the above questions I am using the word "polish" in the normal sense of automotive polishes that are actually extremely fine abrasives.}

Tile & Stone Guild 05-02-2022 03:02 PM

Try some 00 steel wool and some straight razors first. I wouldn’t use any polish on the counter that isn’t made for stone.

Tool Guy - Kg 05-02-2022 05:58 PM

Yeah, avoid polish not meant for stone.

And I think you’re overemphasizing the sealant aspect. In less than an hour, I can take a completely unsealed top and make it sealed. Don’t worry about the sealer for now.

I second and third the suggestion of using straight razors to see if you can remove the mineral deposits. That’s my favorite method for cleaning mineral deposits around a faucet. Only use new blades. Start in a little area and make short strokes, keeping the blade flat. Use your fingers or one of those cheesy straight blade holders to wield the blade. Don’t press down very hard. Just a light to moderate pressure. Maybe some shearing action as you scrape. See where that gets you. Try the steel wool. I’d go with a finer 0000 steel wool, as I’m more cautious than Jeff’s suggestion of the coarser 00 steel wool. But do some testing off to the side and really, really examine your results in that little test area before proceeding.


katilicous 05-17-2022 10:32 AM

Razor off the deposits and use Stone Pro Stone Scrub to clean the rest of it off. Granite shine doesn't go away, it's usually covered up by stuff that has accumulated on the granite. What type of granite?

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