What is stone sealing?
Stone sealing is the application of a surface treatment, to protect natural stone from staining, fading, and corrosion. Sealers make maintenance easier, inhibit staining, minimize dusting, can enhance color, and will help preserve the original beauty of the stone surface.
Why should you seal?
Sealing your natural stone surfaces is the most effective treatment to help prevent moisture, dirt, and contaminants from altering the appearance of the stone. Natural stone is comprised of interconnected capillary channels, which easily draw in moisture and spills. This leads to mold, mildew, and staining. Once stone has been stained, it can be difficult and expensive to return it to its original beauty. Sealing will provide a protective barrier, making maintenance easier and keeping moisture and dirt out. It’s important to note, sealed surfaces provide a barrier to slow down stains. Stone can still be stained if contaminants are left to sit on the surface for extended periods of time. Always clean the spill or remove the foreign substance as soon as possible.
How often should you seal?
We recommend sealing every 1-2 years based on how much traffic the area receives and the porosity of the stone. Porous surfaces are more susceptible to staining, so they should be treated more frequently to make sure they are adequately protected.
How do you prepare the surface for sealing?
Always be sure surface is clean, dry, and free from any dirt, grease, oil, wax, or other contaminant.
If you are using cleaning products on the surface before sealing, make sure that they have been thoroughly washed off the surface, leaving no trace behind. Allow the surface time to dry completely. The more porous the material, the longer time required to dry.
Read the entire label before using. Always test the sealer on a small piece of material or a small inconspicuous area to determine suitability. Ensure the area is well ventilated. Ideal surface temperature should be between 60°F and 80°F. Product works best when it is the first substance applied to the surface, insuring proper penetration.
What is the coverage area of the sealers?
For very porous surfaces: 1st coat: 100-200 sq.ft./gallon. 2nd coat 250-400 sq. ft./gallon.
For average density surfaces: 1st coat: 200-300 sq.ft./gallon. 2nd coat 400+ sq. ft./gallon
For very dense surfaces: 1.5-2x avg. density coverage
Generally, the sealer will go twice as far on the 2nd coat as it did on the 1st coat.
How do you apply the sealer?
Most sealers can be applied with a spray applicator, brush, short nap roller, or lint free rag. See product label for specific instructions. Apply liberally with a heavy first coat. Avoid puddles by wiping up excess. Use the application method that makes the most sense for the area you are working. For Spray Applicator- Hold about 10 inches from surface and spray uniformly and evenly while saturating the surface thoroughly. For Brush/Short Nap Roller- paint/roll on evenly with overlapping strokes. Use a brush or roller suitable for solvent based material. With Lint Free Rag- wipe on evenly and uniformly.
How long should I wait between coats?
Refer to individual product label for drying time and coating instructions, as different products have different curing times.
Will the sealer change the appearance of the surface?
Typically, topical sealers will enhance or brighten the natural characteristics of the surface to which it is applied. Impregnating sealers will leave the surface natural looking, with no change in appearance or color.
Will sealer make the surface slippery?
The sealer will not make the surface slippery in and of itself. The sealer will form a barrier, which repels moisture. If the surface is around a pool, or an outdoor are that is susceptible to water and moisture, it could be slipperier if water is sitting on the surface. Silica sand or additives can be added to the sealer to increase surface friction. Always test the sealer on a piece of material to determine suitability before applying on a commercial scale.
What is the best sealer to use in a shower?
For a shower, a below surface sealer is the best option. In areas that are exposed to moisture on a daily basis, there is a greater risk of water getting under topical sealers. If the topical sealer is not maintained correctly, water could penetrate areas where the sealer has worn, and cause a milky white appearance to develop. With impregnating, below surface sealers, there is no risk of moisture getting under the sealer and causing issues. We recommend Catalina Chemical's MAGIC or PLUS to seal showers.
What is the best sealer to use in a kitchen?
The best sealer to use in a kitchen depends on what part of the kitchen you are sealing.
For granite counter tops and tile backsplash: For best results, use a penetrating sealer that will seal below the surface, while protecting from oils and grease. In our product line, this would be PLUS: Water & Oil Repellant and Protector.
For kitchen floors: For floors, any sealer can be used to give you the desired finished look. If you are especially concerned with oils and grease, use an oil repellant such as PLUS.
What is the best way to clean my natural stone surface?
A neutral pH cleaner is the safest and most effective way to clean natural stone surfaces. Many store-bought cleaners contain harsh ingredients that could damage, etch, or diminish the look of natural stone surfaces. Neutral pH cleaners do not contain abrasive ingredients, so they will not damage the glossiness of polished or coated surfaces. Catalina Chemical's Neutral Cleaner Concentrate is a gentle but effective neutral cleaner for all of your natural stone surfaces.