Stone experts - chip in soapstone edge how to fix?

katy-louJanuary 22, 2014

So looks like the edge of the countertop got hit yesterday (I'm guessing accidentally with a level or shelf that was being carried in yesterday by the cabinet maker) there is about a 1/4" divot missing now. What is the best way to fix this? We do have a remnant of the stone they left us. We're pretty handy as is obviously the cabinet maker, just would like to go about it correctly. Thanks for any assistance you can provide!

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The damage in question

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 2:09PM
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I am not an expert but when I was considering soapstone I was worried about this possibility so I researched it.

First of all, do you have the piece that chipped off? If so, you can try to epoxy it back on and then sand the area in question.

If not.....There is a video which I saw on line a few years ago which shows step by step the process of making a slurry of soapstone dust and epoxy which is then used to fill the chip. After the chip is filled the area is sanded smooth. I looked but can't find the video. Maybe someone here has it saved?

It doesn't look like your chip would be too difficult to fix.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 8:23PM
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I'm not an expert either, but I do have soapstone counters, so I'll chime in. We all know that first ding is always the hardest one to accept, like a door nick in your new car, especially when it wasn't you who did it! Now let me say, unless you don't use your kitchen for it's intended purpose, or totally "baby" it, six or eight months from now, this nick will be just one of many. Think of nicks in soapstone as stars in the night sky, the first few show up, and are quite noticeable, but as the night goes on, it's hard to remember or find the first stars you saw...
As for repairing that ding, like wood, soapstone is very responsive to sanding, start with a coarser grit to smooth it out, and use progressively finer grits until the surface matches the surrounding stone. I guess you could try to fill with epoxy, but to me that would be sort of defeating the purpose of choosing a living finish as a counter.
Best of luck to you, and enjoy those beautiful counters, I absolutely love mine!

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 9:21PM
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I am a fabricator.

my 1st suggestion would be to ask your countetop guy to stop by when in the area and fix it for you. most shops I know will do this free of charge as long as you will let them do it when in the area.

next choice is to glue the chip back into place if you have it. crazy glue would work fine.

next choice is to fill the chip with colored epoxy and then finish it out with fine grit sandpaper.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 9:49PM
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Take a stab at the epoxy/chip, but if you're not satisfied, simply reprofile the edge. I'll bet a 1/2" round over will erase the chip, make others much more unlikely, and it's a permanent fix.

If your router base is 6", you'll be stopped short 3" of any wall or cabinet end, but you can do the last 3" freehand with a laminate trimmer with a straight bit followed with an aggressive sander.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 10:05PM
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Thanks all! I'm guessing the chip got sucked up in the vacuum but will dig thru the bag to see of I can find it. Mtex did the fabrication and supplied the stone. Will see if they are going to be in the area anytime soon. They are about an hour from us, otherwise we can try the epoxy/chip route first. Any particular type of two part epoxy? I'm generally ok with the "patina" it just rather large and we haven't even taken finally "finished" pics yet.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 10:50PM
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Clean the chipped area with acetone or denatured alcohol and color the chipped area to match with a permanent marker. Stick a piece of clear plastic tape over the vertical edge and smooth it out. Apply the epoxy through the top, making sure you have complete coverage by looking through the tape. You may have to push it in with a toothpick, but be careful not to create air bubbles. Leave it slightly overfilled.

After the epoxy has cured, remove the tape and scrape the overfilled epoxy to flush with a razor blade and round the top edge profile with a file. Sand the scrape marks out using progressively finer abrasives until you match the existing finish.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 6:08PM
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Katy-Lou What variety is your soapstone? Does it have a name?

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 10:12PM
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Yes it Santa Rita Venata

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 11:35PM
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I've got soapstone (had it for a year now). I'd just sand it down to smooth out the rough edges and forget it. You'll soon have other little divots too.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 11:57AM
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I too have Santa Rita Venata, which is one of the softer SS's. It's been installed for 2-3 yrs, and I still love it. Until I read your post, I never even noticed or thought about edge chips, but sitting here looking over at it, I see there are multiple little chips all along the edge.

I agree with ctycdm - I wouldn't even bother trying to fix it. Just embrace it and love your SS and the patina it will have. With the SRV, believe me, you will have patina. Little scratches, dings, etc.

However, I also agree with Trebuchet's advice about rounding the edge. It seems like a rounder edge would be less prone to chipping. My edge is pretty sharp, which is probably why I have so many chips.

I wouldn't go through a lot of repair trouble for this one chip on SRV. Soon you will have many more. :-)

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 1:10PM
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I think you should sand the edges and soften the corners of the chip and look at it as a beauty mark. We've only had our SS ( Cruz Azul) for a few months, but I think the epoxy filler will stick out more than the chip.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 1:28PM
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If your fabricator is too busy or you cant get him for whatever reason call a bone-fide stone refinisher.
While there are many sound ways to fix this I think the path of least resistance may be best.
we would use a polyester resin(2 part) and a non -sanded grout. Using color kits and maybe a charcoal grout its possible to get a good color match.
The reason for the grout is to make the repair stronger.It will also reduce the shine that the polyester will have making it easier to match the finish of the soapstone.
Slicon carbide sanding disks spun on a variable speed(very slow speed) right angle grinder will make the repair flush to the surface and edge profile.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 4:07PM
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