faded color marble medallion

by Bill Ewing
(Los Angeles CA)

Befor and After

Befor and After

QUESTION:

I live in Los Angeles.

September 15, I laid a new marble medallion outside in our entryway. I sealed it with a Sealant/Enhancer (Sept 17). The marble medallion has withstood the weather and rain well. UNTIL recently, it rain for 7 days ans 7 nights, non-stop. When the weather cleared and the marble medallion dried, the color was all washed out, faded. The marble used in the medallion is Polish marble and it color originally was a rich orange. Now the color is Pink. I have scrubbed the marble medallion 4 times with a Tile Stone Cleaner with no results. What can I do?
P.S. the grout did not fade. PLEASE HELP.
Thank you for your time. Bill

ANSWER:

Bill, nice job with the picture, which always helps, however, this is an unusual and tough question.

My best assessment would be acid etching has damaged the polished finish resulting in the more subdued color.

Polution is the cause of "acid rain". With all the smog in LA and seven days of rain it may be that the rain water was acidic enough to etch the marble.

Etching is a chemical corrosive reaction with the marble itself. Basically the acid eats into the marble destroying the shiny polished layer and exposing the more raw marble underneath.

Polishing marble causes the color to look more vibrant and saturated due to the change in light reflection.

If that mirror-like finish is eliminated, then you'll see the color of the marble as it exists naturally.

So, it isn't a matter of "cleaning marble" since the damage is likey to the marble itself. You need to repair the marble.

You can repair etching on polished marble using the Etch Remover / Marble Polishing Paste, which is designed just for this problem and will restore the color and shine.

A sealer will not inhibit etching. Sealers help prevent staining, which is a completely different issue than etching.

Etching will occur upon contact with an acidic substance. And even if the rain was only mildly acidic, constant contact for seven days could do it since the chemical corrosion continues as long as the acid is exposed to the surface.

A second possibility may be related to the sealer.

First a little FYIO... Typically you would not seal any stone in a wet environment especially if it is on the ground. It's always best to do as little as possible to stone. Applying a sealer can create problems with water getting trapped in the stone.

The main reason to apply a sealer is to help prevent stains occurring on the exposed surface. The risk of getting a stain on your outdoor medallion is minimal. And stains are easy to remove and rarel permanent anyway. Sealers just make the marble maintenance more convenient.

It may be that the sealer itself is etched or has undergone some other reaction to change the look of the stone.

You may try stripping the sealer with a solvent like methylene chloride. If the problem is with the sealer, stripping it off will reveal the marble as it was prior to sealing.

Also, a color-enhancing sealer is not designed to be applied to a polished marble. Color-enhancing sealers are designed to be used on honed and tumbled surface to help saturate the color and provide a "wet look".

Polishing marble brings out the color as much as possible, so a color-enhancer is of little benefit on a polished surface. A regular impregnating sealer like the sealers we recommend is what you want with a polished surface.

But again, really not recommended for outdoor installations.

I think it is much more likely that the problem is etching of the marble itself though, so I'd recommend using the Etch Remover suggested above or just leaving it as is since you could have this same issue over and over.

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Marble outside maintenance
by: Bill Ewing

Thanks the Marble Polishing Paste worked!
The marble is restored. Now next question. Having this marble medallion outside. What should I do to maintain it's beauty?
Thank you for your time

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Maintaining outdoor medallion
by: Ryan

The main thing is just to keep it clean. Don't let leaves or other organic matter accumulate. Rinse or hose down regularly and use a marble safe cleaner like Granite-Marble TILE & GROUT Cleaner when it does get dirty or grimy.

Periodically you may find it beneficial to use the paste and re-polish it.

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