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Unread 01-08-2020, 11:50 AM   #1
tstex
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restoring cultured marble

Hello to all and Happy New year

We have 2 bathroom vanities made of cultured marble, about 45' sq ft.

The sheen or luster in some of the places seems to have been worn off when you look at it w the light at an angle. There's no cracks, pits or depressions, just a dull look in some places.

Is there a way to restore the luster and sheen as a DIY'er project? The color is an off white. if you need some pic's, pls let me know.

thank you,
tom
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Unread 01-08-2020, 08:41 PM   #2
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Cultured marble that is glossy usually has a clear coat film that provides the glossy surface. Provided that the clear coat hasn’t been completely worn away in the dull spots, you’ve got a good chance to restore it.

Do a little test. Find some very fine polishing compound (auto detailing place). Then put a little blob on the cultured marble and use your fingertip, covered with a micro-fiber towel, to rub 30 little circles (size of quarter). Polish it dry and examine your results. If you’ve got an improvement, you can probably polish the whole thing with a buffing wheel to good effect.

But realize you’re cutting away the clear coat thickness a little bit when you’re polishing. You don’t have an endless amount of thickness before you cut through the clear coat layer and are left with bare cultured marble that is dull with no hope of restoration short of applying more clear coat. So, error on the side of caution as you’re working...especially if you’re using a high speed buffer.

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Unread 01-13-2020, 11:30 AM   #3
tstex
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Thank you very much tool guy - I really appreciate your response. tom
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Unread 01-13-2020, 08:23 PM   #4
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Excellent. The exchange of info is enjoyable for both of us.
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Unread 01-15-2020, 08:18 AM   #5
tstex
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Tool Guy

Did some more research

I called the manufacturer of the cultured marble and they only install new, no restoration. The owner told me that the gel-coat [clear coat] is .14-.16mm thick when dried, so that's about 1/2". I believe it would take a lot of cutting/polishing and other to remove that much.

After research, I bought some 500 & 1000 grit sandpaper and a wet block. water and soaped the sandpaper and wetblock, and hand hit it w the 500...then did the 1000 the same way, removing all materials and liquid residual btw ea step.

this morning I am going to polish it w a 1500-2000 wet polish, see how that goes. if what I expect, then hand glaze it for a final shining and sealing effect. I will take some pics when I am done and show some befores and afters...thanks, tom
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Unread 01-15-2020, 08:51 AM   #6
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Maybe you’re thinking 14mm as being around 1/2”. The 0.14mm is about right for a coating layer. You’re looking at about the thickness of a piece of plastic wrap. Pretty easy to abrade through. Do you have access to a coating material you can use to refinish possibly?
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Unread 01-15-2020, 04:45 PM   #7
tstex
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Thanks Jeff.

I have buffed it out and it seems to be okay now. I do not wish to coat it w anything at this point...Yes, 14-16 mm would almost be like a clear-cast coat on some of those wood products...

Here's what the manufacturer told me, but when it dries, it shrinks to 14-16mm.

"Before the mixture is poured into the mold, it is carefully cleaned and then sprayed with a thin layer of a clear gel coat material that is 20-25 millimeters thick. Cultured marble products have a protective layer of clear gel coat which provides the bright, shiny or matte surface of the vanity top."

Sure doesn't seem like that amt of coating is very protective,

thanks again,
tstex
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Unread 01-15-2020, 07:09 PM   #8
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That’s a bit aggressive in your approach. I hope you don’t cut through the clear coat. Are you using a hard or somewhat soft sanding block?

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Unread 01-16-2020, 06:21 PM   #9
tstex
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Tool, I was using a soft wet block & wet soaked sandpaper.

I called the owner to confirm thickness and he conveyed to me that the thickness was 1/8" when poured and it shrinks 50% when dry, so that's 1/16"

As of now, after the wet sanding, brief cutting application, I polished it and it looks great now.
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Unread 01-18-2020, 09:17 PM   #10
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Good job on the soft.

Pics? Got any pics? We wouldn’t mind seeing your handiwork.
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Unread 01-19-2020, 09:01 AM   #11
tstex
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Here's a shot that shows the light reflection when b4 it was very dull & spotted. It's really hard to see unless your there. Thanks again. Oops. sorry the orientation is not correct - tried to edit the pic on forum and could not rotate CW 90...
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Unread 01-19-2020, 09:16 AM   #12
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Excellent! Thanks for posting a pic.
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