"Wet Look" On Granite Countertops

by jim
(dallas, texas)

QUESTION:

Just installed venetian gold granite countertops. Looks great... how do I get that wet look?


ANSWER:

The "wet look" is achieved by applying a color enhancer (special type of sealer) when sealing granite countertops. But it should only be applied to a honed, tumbled or otherwise non-polished granite countertop.

We recommend using this Color Enhancing Sealer.

Of course, an enhancing sealer can be used on any porous, non-polished stone like marble, travertine, limestone, etc. as well.... it's not just for sealing granite countertops.

In fact, an enhancing sealer is rarely used on granite since most granite countertops are polished.

So Jim, are your venetian gold granite countertops honed (matte)? .... or polished (shiny)?

If they are polished, then you already have the "wet look"... even better actually.

A color-enhancing sealer darkens the color and adds a bit of a sheen, but does not make the stone shiny like a polished stone is.

As you might suspect, an enhancing granite sealer makes the stone look like it does when wet.

But it really doesn't "work" on a polished granite countertop, since it is already as "shiny" as it's going to get. So, if that's what you have, then don't do it.

Good Luck,
Ryan

P.S. Get all the facts, answers, explanations and simple solutions with step-by-step instructions for any issue, problem or question with our Granite & Marble Maintenance Manuals.granite countertop cleaner

I highly recommend Stone Care Pro Products to maintain all your marble, stone and granite countertops and floors in optimal condition. I've used other good products (Stone Tech, Miracle, MB) but found Stone Care Pro is the most reliable and effective and cheaper too!

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Does black granite easily leave fingerprints?

QUESTION:

Does black granite counter tops show fingerprints easily ?

ANSWER:

Fingerprints are not easily seen on polished black granite, but they do readily show on honed black granite.

For this reason many people opt to apply a color-enhancing granite sealer like SCP: Color-Enhancing Marble & Granite Sealer that will darken the granite countertop and give it a 'wet look' that hides the fingerprints.

In fact, fingerprints will show on any non-polished black or dark stone (soapstone, marble, granite).

Black granite is very dense, so the oil from the fingers will not stain and can be cleaned off, but yeah... you'll be doing it constantly.

I'd recommend you install polished black granite... makes cleaning granite countertops very easy. Almost no maintenance.

But some prefer the matte finish of a honed surface. If so, then definitely apply a color-enhancing granite sealer.

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Enhancing and Sealing Granite

by Sissy
(Dallas, TX)

QUESTION:

My kitchen granite countertop is very porous and a light color, but with very nice detail. The enhancer really brings up the beauty of it. I know I picked a wrong type of granite for my kitchen, but to late... I just need to do the right thing to it.

I tried to use both an enhancer and a granite sealer to stain on some sample pieces. The result was really bad on the enhancer sample and the sealer sample was better still not good enough. Can I use an enhancer then a sealer? And what brand do you recommend? If I choose the wrong enhancer and decide to change later on a sealer will that be to late? Because the stone is already sealed and cannot be resealed again?

ANSWER:

Okay Sissy, you have done some testing on samples... good. Do I understand correctly that the countertop has NOT been sealed yet?

I ask because you cannot use an enhancer over a granite sealer. The enhancer needs to absorb into the stone, which it won't be able to do if sealed already. Now since your granite countertop is a porous variety maybe an enhancer applied over a sealer will work a little, but the correct way to do this is to apply an enhancer first before sealing granite countertops.

Most/many enhancers today also have some sealing and/or stain repellent properties, but usually just against water and not oil. So, again you may want to seal the granite (especially porous types) with an impregnating sealer in addition to any enhancer applied first.

Enhancers really aren't intended for use on polished granite. The idea is to give honed or tumbled stone that "wet" look that brings out the color. Of course, it may intensify a polished surface too, but usually it's overkill.

Product Recommendations

You should stick within the same product line when enhancing and sealing or when applying additional coats of sealer whether on initial application or years later for a touch up.

The reason is some granite sealers from different companies just don't match up that well and it may cause unwanted problems requiring stripping... yuck.

I recommend using these recommended marble & granite sealers.

Again, the enhancer is not really intended for polished stone, so if you think you can achieve the look you want then simplify and go with just one of the "regular" granite sealers. Certainly test more samples first and follow the directions especially concerning removing the products BEFORE they dry.

Good Luck,
Ryan

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Will Enhancer Sealer Help Travertine Backsplash

QUESTION:

Builder installed a noche polished travertine backsplash, but it looks mostly dull and streaky but it is also shiny polished look on other areas. I thought he may have sealed it before cleaning it after the install but he said I just need to buy shiny sealer enhancer. Does this sound right?

ANSWER:

Your builder is mistaken. Let's see... he installed "polished" travertine, which is as "shiny" as it will ever get, but somehow you need to apply an enhancer to make it shine?

NO.

An enhancer sealer is designed for application on honed, tumbled or otherwise non-polished stone.

A color-enhancing sealer will give a honed stone the "wet look"... obviously make it look like it does when wet. It will give a bit of sheen, but will not make any stone "shiny".

However, a polished stone already has the "wet look" and beyond. It is polished to a mirror-like finish. Applying an enhancer to a polished travertine makes no sense unless you are simply attempting to darken the color, which it will still do a bit. But it just isn't recommended to apply an enhancer to a polished stone.

One other consideration is that polished travertine is essentially non-absorbent and you'd likely be unable to apply an enhancing sealer or any sealer... it won't absorb and it needs to to work.

But, sealing is not the issue. The problem almost certainly is grout residue left on the travertine by a lazy builder.

You can remove the grout residue using the Hard Water/Soap Scum/Grout Remover we recommend.

It may take a bit of work. Spray on and let sit for 5-10 minutes and then scrub with soft-bristle brush. Repeat until clean.

Do not use a "grout release" product. These are acidic and will damage/etch the polished layer of the travertine making it dull.

If a sealer had been applied, then you can get a hazy and streaky appearance because the sealer was applied incorrectly and dried on the surface.

And just FYI... attempting to apply a sealer to polished travertine is almost always incorrect because, once again, it can't absorb.

Apparently a stone sealer was not applied, so the next most obvious explanation is grout residue.

Use the product above... it works very well for grout removal as well as hard water deposits (may not be a problem for you) and soap scum in the shower & bath.

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Enhance Granite Countertop Shine

QUESTION:

Last year we purchased a multi-colored granite countertop with a lot of dark grays, light grays, rust color, and different beiges throughout with quite a bit of flow movement patterns. I read this article and you mentioned the polishing of the stone but I just wondered if a product would help bring out a shine. My question... "Is there a cleaner or sealer that would enhance shine more than another?"

ANSWER:

The "shine" is really a function of how the surface was finished. On a newly installed polished granite countertop I'd expect it to be pretty shiny. At certain angles you should be able to see reflections of objects on the counter and walls. If not, then unfortunately the polish job was not very good on this slab or it is a variety that doesn't take a polish as well. This happens with natural stone.

I'm betting this is not the case and you just want the surface to really shine... and there are some products that will help you achieve that.

I'm assuming that you're done sealing granite. If it has NOT been sealed yet, then I have an additional recommendation, but first...

I'd recommend that you use Granite Countertop & Marble Cleaning spray over the entire surface a couple times to get it real clean.

Don't use soapy water. Soap will not damage the granite or any stone, but when used regularly it leaves a build-up that can dull the shine.

So, cleaning the granite countertops, then use the Topical Polish/Shine Enhancer to get the best shine possible.

Continue to use the granite cleaner daily if you like, but weekly is fine too. Use the topical polish monthly or as needed depending on the level of use on the countertops. This routine should keep your new granite countertops really shiny!

If your countertops are not sealed then you should use one of these recommended marble & granite sealers.

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What Sealer Gives a Shiny Surface

by jennine robbins
(Montana)

QUESTION:

I have porous Italian Verdi Alpi marble that I am using for backsplash, and want to put on a sealer that will show the beautiful green color and be somewhat shiny. I tried "Aqua Mix Penetrating Sealer" on a tile and when it dried it went back to the same gray color.

ANSWER:

The "shine" on stone of any type does not come from a stone or granite sealer or any other chemical. The shine is created on the stone itself using intense friction on big machines.

Many people mistakenly believe that all stone is supposed to be shiny and you just need to apply the "shiny" chemical or cleaner or "polish".... that's not how it works.

So, if you want a "shiny" surface, then you should install tiles with a "polished" finish instead of the honed or tumbled tiles you currently have.

However, if you want to darken the color of the marble tile and give it a slight "sheen" (like when the tile is really wet)..... then you would need to apply the Color Enhancer Sealer. This type of sealer will help saturate the color making it more vibrant.

And this is what probably meant and been wanting all along, but usually the term "shiny" is used to describe a "polished" finish, which again doesn't come from a sealer.

There are some permanent topical coatings that will make the surface sort of shiny, but these or any topical coating is not recommended for stone.

Such topical coatings don't allow the stone to breath, look plastic, require more maintenance than the stone itself and can create problems for the stone by trapping water especially when on a floor or wall like a backsplash.

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How to Strip Enhancer Sealer

QUESTION:

I just finished sealing granite countertops and floors with an enhancer on black honed granite for a decorator and client in which the tile and enhancer was supplied. 24 hrs later it was a greasy mess, and on top of that they had walked over it as well. We used a water-based stripper as described but now its a messed of streaks and circles,,, and i have tried 2 stippers and have had no luck,,, How do I get it fixed?

ANSWER:

First, the greasy, streaky appearance is probably due to incorrectly applied granite sealer / enhancer.

Many black granites do not need sealing although a honed black granite will usually take an enhancer sealer.

However, it's important that the granite sealer not be left to dry on the surface. The sealer should be allowed to absorb as much as possible, but then all excess and residue must be completely wiped up until dry.

As you guessed, you do need to strip off the sealer to fix the problem. No telling why the strippers already used didn't do the job, but it's not surprising.

Typically the only thing that works is methylene chloride, which is found most commonly in paint strippers.

Let it soak good, scrub it and wipe completely dry.

You'll find complete details about sealing granite countertops, floors and stripping granite sealers in the All About Sealing ebook.

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Enhancer Sealer vs. Regular Sealer

by Ellen
(Florida)

QUESTION:

What is the difference between a regular sealer and an enhancer granite sealer?

ANSWER:

A "color enhancing" sealer can be used on honed, tumbled or otherwise non-polished surfaces to darken the color to making it more vibrant and rich.

Polishing a stone does essentially the same thing.... brings out the color. However, an enhancer does not make the surface "shiny" like a polished surface. An enhancer will provide a slight sheen giving the surface a "wet look."

In other words.... if you get your stone good and wet, that is basically what it will look like after applying a "color enhancing" when sealing granite.

Some people like this look, but it isn't necessary.

Now, the "sealer" part can be different than a "regular" impregnating sealer. Most impregnating marble & granite sealers will guard against water and oil stains. Some enhancing sealers provide protection for water-based stains only and enhancers may not provide sufficient protection if you have a particularly porous stone.

They are designed more for the color enhancing than for the sealing granite and other stones.

Therefore, when applying a color enhancer, it is a good idea to also apply a regular sealer after applying the enhancer.

All you have to do is test your stone after applying the enhancer to determine if you should also apply a "regular" granite sealer.

The enhancer must be applied first. If a sealer is applied first, the enhancer won't absorb and thus won't work.

Hope that clears it up for you.

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making river stone look shiny and "wet" for color

QUESTION:

We have just purchased some 3" x 12" accent strips of river stones, cut to be the same thickness as tumbled marble. In the display at the store the stones looked colorful and almost "wet" like you'd see at the lakeshore.

Out of the box they are dusty and all greyish.
S-B-S Aldon has a sealer that looks good and should make the stones shiny and wet looking. Does anyone know if I can get this in/near Toronto (Canada)? Or can someone suggest a similar product?

ANSWER:

What you are looking for is a "color-enhancing" sealer. These will darken the stone and create a sheen that looks like the stone is "wet".

Many companies make such sealers. We recommend SCP: Color-Enhancing Marble & Granite Sealer that can be used on any porous stone.

However, many sealers and similar type products will not ship from US to Canada due to the extra paperwork and customs cost.

Your best bet is to ask local stone fabricators for a locally available enhancer.

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Enhancer on Madura Gold Granite Kitchen Countertops.

QUESTION:

I recently had Madura Gold granite countertops installed in my kitchen. As they were being installed I noticed large dark rectangular areas in the stone (not a natural variation). The granite was fabricated from the same slab. The installer said that it was wet and the areas would disappear in 24 hours. It's been 3 weeks and the areas remain the same despite shining a 500 watt light (which the company recommended) for 1 week. They now want to apply an enhancer. Should this correct the problem? Will the enhancer have to be reapplied? It looks like the granite is defective. Would appreciate your comments.

ANSWER:

Color enhancing granite sealers are made for honed stone. They will not do a thing (or very little) for a polished stone unless the stone in somewhat absorbent, which madura gold can be.

So, if the granite is honed, then yes it would darken and most likely even out the color so the stain is not evident.

If your granite countertop is polished and gets darker when water is allowed to absorb into the surface, then an enhancer sealer may act similarly darkening the stone potentially hiding the stain.

But as you have discovered the rectangular spots aren't just wet. If they were, the water would evaporate in a day or two. No, the problem probably has to do with the adhesive absorbing through the granite countertop.

This is usually the case when weird geometrical stains appear upon installation.

So, it's an installation issue.

You may be able to remove the staining using the procedure outlined in the Removing Stains Manual, but most often it's a terminal problem since the stain is coming from underneath and saturating the granite before it finally bleeds through to the topside surface.

An enhancer granite sealer changes the reflectivity of the surface (like water does) making it darker and appear wet.

Don't ask me to explain the physics, but polishing a granite countertop has much the same effect. It changes the way light is reflected off the surface. The color becomes richer, more saturated and shiny.

You get essentially the same effect when sealing granite countertops with an enhancer. The effect is dramatic on honed stone. Much less so on polished stone and only if the stone can properly absorb the enhancer.

Once more polishing will bring out the color of the stone so it is about as vibrant as it possibly can be.

When the stone becomes wet, you'll notice it typically doesn't improve the color... it just makes the surface darker.

This is the effect you'd likely have if you applied an enhancer to polished stone.

If you like the look, fine. But you may not.

Since you are not paying any extra for their mistake and any attempts to fix it, you may want to give it a go.

Do a test area first. Or better yet, have the installers test apply the enhancer to a left over piece of your exact slab for your inspection.

I'd try this experiment with the understanding that if you don't like the results they will tear out and replace the existing granite that was stained upon installation.

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Do I Need To Seal Honed Black Granite

QUESTION:

I have honed black granite countertops. I got them because I didn't want the "shiny" look. Do I need to seal them?

ANSWER:

You almost never need to seal most polished black granites, but honed granite countertops can be a different matter.

The best way to answer the question is to perform a simple water test to determine if sealing your granite or any other stone would be beneficial and also to tell when it needs re-sealing.

If the test shows it should be sealed, then I recommend using SenGuard Marble & Granite Sealer or Stone Sentry Sealer.

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