Changing the Sheen of Your Stone Surfaces: A Day of Learning
December 01, 2022
Posted by D. A. Burns
At D.A. Burns & Sons, we have been keeping up appearances since 1935 through our specialized cleaning solutions in Seattle, Bellevue, and the surrounding areas. While we are widely known for our professional rug cleaning services, as well as installed carpet and upholstered furniture, we are also dedicated to helping our clients with their stone and tile restoration needs.
Except for wall surfaces, highly polished stone has dominated the look of residential stone furnishings, and for good reason: the polished surface is easy to clean and more resistant to staining than matte stone finishes. Some customers like a low-sheen look on their kitchen countertops or shower surfaces to show a patina of age; allowing this to happen naturally can result in an uneven appearance since the less used areas continue to maintain a shine. Luckily, this can be accelerated and fixed by manually taking the shine away. In recent years, some more adventurous customers have started asking to have harder stone converted to low-sheen finishes.
At D.A. Burns & Sons, we have significant experience restoring shine via gloss and semi-gloss finishes but based on client demand for matte finishes we decided to invest in some training. We brought in Master Stone Pro Bryan Thomson to spend a week in our training center to show us the latest methods and best practices.
Let’s Get To Work
After some classroom learning, it was time to get our hands dirty. We went to work repairing stone damage that was too deep to polish out including voids in the natural stone, deep scratches, and cracked or chipped stone.
These are usually filled with clear epoxy. Some manufacturers take shortcuts by using wax, which will eventually be removed during normal daily use.
Fixing a Cracked Stone
Perfect color matching is not possible, even at a stone tile factory. Through stone polishing and restoration, the object is to fill the crack and make it less noticeable. Even though the clients may still know where the trouble spot is, most visitors and passers-by will never be the wiser.
Changing the Sheen
When working with a limestone floor, changing the sheen starts with fixing damage then restoring it with stone polishing to an even level of reflectivity.
Practice Makes Perfect
After quite a bit of practice using large pieces of countertop remnants, including granite polishing practice, it was time to start on our venerable old marble table. This table had a glass-like shiny surface that showed some dull spots, some scratches, and missing fill. It’s actually the top of the conference table from our owner’s office, but he had no hesitation when we asked to train with it!
After the marble restoration repairs were complete, honing is applied with abrasive disks to give the surface an even, coarse texture. You can see how less shine impacts the stone’s color giving it a more muted tone (this piece of stone has shades of pink in it, which are much less evident when honed) .
A completely flat finish would require follow-up with a penetrating sealer. Sealer is even more important with honed/soft finishes, as they’re more easily stained. However, in this case, we focused on bringing more shine back through marble polishing. We could have stopped with the honed surface since that was the purpose of this training exercise, but our owner preferred bringing it back to a shinier finish.
We went through several levels of polishing discs and cream polish to bring back a smooth, even semi-gloss appearance within the marble table — no more scratches, pits, or uneven reflection.
Our crew members had a great time learning about new tools and stone polishing methods. With this additional training, D.A. Burns & Sons is more confident in handling every type of stone surface with our stone polishing services.
If you want to change a stone finish with our granite polishing, marble restoration services or tile cleaning services, or just have us take care of some carpet cleaning for you, give us a call. We’ve got a great crew that will take good care of you! Contact us today to get started!