Fireplace hearth with cuban tile
Primarily in Florida, Cuban tile was used for flooring, fireplace hearths, patios, bathrooms and anywhere you would use tile.
My fireplace hearth was painted with 2-inches (no joke) of dirty white paint. I stripped it off figuring whatever was under the layers couldn't be worse. It turned out to be a beautiful burgundy-brown cuban tile with a gold swirl pattern. It's very diffent and attractive.
Cuban tiles are not terra-cotta, etc. They are cement tile or what is known as Encaustic Cement Tile or Hydraulic Mosaic Tilecellin tile. They are cement based with glazed patterns.
The problem is when I removed all the paint (with paint stripper...yeah, you see where this is going?...), it left the tile very "dull". I did this years ago before researching stuff first before diving into a project.
There is some residue shine left in spots close to the fireplace. I 'think' it may be shellac...but am not sure.
So, my questions are....does anyone know what cuban tile was coated with to shine it and protect it -- that also won't become flamable if there is a spark from the fireplace?
I have several tile products (liquids...) I have purchased that never worked to improve the look or restore the color and shine.
Did they shellac the hearths back in the day? It seemed they used shellac on practically everything back then.
I just purchase Miracle Seal and Enhance from HD. I tried a test area. It may take several coats to do anything, but so far, it's not impressing me.
I have called local tile companies and you would think I was the only one with Cuban tile in Florida. No one can give me any answers.
Hoping for some help here. I'm tired of looking at this dull, dingy hearth that probably was gorgeous in 1920.
Thanks for your time!