Sketches on Etches

And More Pains With Those Stains!

Calcium carbonate based natural stone like marble and limestone are going to get ‘etched’ and ‘stained’ – ALL OVER THE WORLD..!  Mild acids, severe acids and some of the more aggressive oils and mixtures with water and salt will eventually – perhaps very quickly sometimes – penetrate the Impregnating Sealers on the market and cause these “obsessive compulsive” reactionary spots. Its just the “nature of the beast”.

Some word games on cans and bottles confuse the issue by noting that they are “Stain Free” on one hand, and (in finer print) noting that “…if any stains or etches occur the only ‘warranty’ is that a service person will send you another can to use, or come out an ‘redo’ the sealing…(ha!)” – only to produce the same result?

My extensive communications and meetings, networking with the various Restoration Company Owners with the Marble Institute of America (MIA) finds that there is simply NO seal right now that will prevent “etching” and “staining” by even mild acids – but may only ” buy some time ” for one to blot up the liquids (by mild acids we are talking coke, tomato juice, coffee and the like, careful!!).

Topcoats can solve the etch and stain problem but they create another – the need to remove those topcoats, e.g. ” waxes”, urethanes, epoxies , etc…and also – those surfaces scratch, dull and get affected by certain liquids also – aside from yellowing over time.  There is NO “silver bullet”, no panacea that we know.  The best process we’ve found, and one that I use in my home, is that of “Super-Sealing”: the use of one seal (of a particular kind) first, allow that to dry and begin to cure, then two applications of another particular sealant intermittently, then buff to completion.  This “Super-Sealing” has given us the best results when done properly – although, again, NOT fool proof.  Still penetrable.

So, careful!  Read everything on those labels when shopping for marble seals as if you were going to DRINK them!  And, research at the Marble Institute website and Sungloss website to prepare yourself.

As a “freebie” please e-mail us at [email protected] for a booklet on the care and maintenance of marble, limestone and granite (BTW: granite is generally impervious to those “stains and etches” aggravating marble/limestone owners) but, beware-all granite is NOT created equal-and granite poses some other issues.  As beautiful as they are, marble, limestone and granite need tender loving care!

My best,

Mike Pavilon
20+ years of natural stone experience ….and counting!