Sealing Your Kitchen Countertops: A Simple Guide
August 8, 2023
Brown Granite Kitchen with Wooden Cabinets

Summary

Learn how to seal your natural stone countertops to keep them protected and shiny for many years to come.

Do you want to keep your granite countertops in prime condition and protect them from spills and stains? It would then be a good idea for you to seal your countertops. If your countertops aren’t sealed, neglecting to immediately clean up spills or improperly cleaning your countertops could cause damage like leaving stains, altering the finish, and more. So, let’s jump into the process of sealing kitchen countertops.

Products and Materials

There are a lot of sealing products out there, but the one we use is called Tenax Proseal. However, depending on the material of your countertops, you may require an alternate product. Other natural stone materials that have pores, like marble, quartzite, and dolomite, also need to be sealed. For more information on products for other countertop materials, check out this blog on countertop maintenance. 

Let’s continue on to see the step-by-step process of how to seal your countertops.

First off, here’s a list of the tools and materials you will need before you begin sealing your countertops:

    • Microfiber cloths
    • Spray bottle
    • Dish soap
Lemons Marble Countertop

Lemons on a leathered marble counter.

The Steps

There are 8 steps to take when sealing granite countertops.

Step 1: Check to see if sealing is needed

In this step you are going to have to complete a water test. In an inconspicuous spot on your countertops drip a tiny amount of water in a small area. Now walk away for 15 – 20 minutes, and when the time is over, return to your test area and assess the countertop condition. If the liquid seeped in and darkened the counter, then it’s time to seal your countertops. If not, then do not apply another layer of sealant as this will not be a benefit and only cause an unappealing hazy film to form.

Step 2: Clean counters and wait 24 hours

The next step you need to take is to clean the countertops. Make sure to remove any stains, debris, or mess. You can use a simple mixture of dishwashing soap and water, or you can purchase a product we recommend: Weiman Granite & Stone Cleaner. After you’ve applied a good amount of spray, wipe down all the counters and leave until the solution has completely evaporated.

Step 3: Prepare to apply sealer

At this point you need to ventilate your kitchen and read the sealer product label. Follow the instructions clearly on the label. To ventilate your area, open up any windows in your kitchen or in nearby rooms. If it happens to be raining when you choose to seal your granite, don’t open up windows in the kitchen, but rather, open windows in other rooms or ones away from the counters.

Step 4: Test the sealer

In an unnoticeable spot on your counter, test the sealer. Be sure to use gloves and soft rags because the sealer you purchase may have dangerous chemicals. Now, of course, it’s good to look for products that aren’t really dangerous, but it’s also wise to be safe rather than sorry. Now, once you apply the sealer, you normally have to wait about 15 mins for it to sink in. However, you should check the product label to ensure you don’t leave the sealer longer than suggested.

Step 5: Check the test area

After completing step 4, check the test area with the water test again. If it worked, meaning that the water didn’t seep in, then you can continue on to seal the rest of the counter. If the sealer fails, however, there could be a couple reasons why. One, you may need another layer or two of sealant, which is a good to do regardless of whether it failed or not. And two, you may need to try another sealer. If you refer to the material list above, we have included a good sealant product called Tenax Proseal.

Step 6: Apply the sealant

Spray the sealer in a small area, and wipe in a circular motion after letting it seep in a little. Do this in sections from one end of the counter to the other. If you choose to do so, reapply the sealant a second time following the same process. Just be sure that the sealer is completely dry before applying another layer.

Step 7: Wait suggested time

After waiting the suggested time, which is probably about 15 minutes, wipe off the rest and let it cure for 24 hours.

Step 8: Complete final clean and buff

When you return after 24 hours, do a final clean. You may notice smudges and things like that. One easy way to remove that is a mixture of 90% percent water and 10% alcohol. Spray and rub in a circular motion to also buff the counters and create a beautiful shine.

Gale hybrid kitchen with waterfall.

Does Sealing Protect From Etching?

Unfortunately, contrary to common belief, sealing will not fully protect your countertops from etching. It will help to prevent etching and will protect from stains, but it is always important to wipe spills up immediately. This shouln’t be difficult to do unless something spilled while you were away. Otherwise, sealing your kitchen countertops and making sure to clean up spills will ensure a long lasting beauty and functionality of your surfaces.

Conclusion

Now your countertops are ready to be used once again, only this time with sealed protection and a beautiful new finish. Hopefully you can see now that sealing granite countertops is really a simple task for any homeowner. How often you need to reseal depends on the sealer you have. With Tenax Proseal, it is said that the seal will last between 4 – 5 years. Cheaper ones will require you to complete the process more often, and, of course, a more expensive, higher-quality one won’t require you to do it as often.

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