Marble - does etching remove anti-stain sealant?

LinelleMay 17, 2014

I'm sure this has been discussed before but my searches don't turn up exactly what I'm wondering.

I know that marble etches *and* that it can be sealed so that it doesn't stain (in theory). If etching is a sort of erosion of the surface, why doesn't the etching agent also remove the anti-stain protective sealant barrier as well?

IOW, why will red wine etch, but not stain?

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Staining seems to vary depending on the marble. The Monclair Danby I tested and purchased did not stain in my tests. The sample I put through the tests was not sealed. During my test period I etched my piece terribly with lemons and vinegar, but red wine did nothing, no staining or etching and it sat more than 24 hrs. I rehoned it by sanding and sealed it, did all the tests again with the same results, etching but no staining.

If you are testing a piece, is the etched area staining? I would think that it does remove the sealer at the surface. Mine didn't stain pre-sealed, so I can't help. From what I've read, the type of marble makes the most difference, but still it varies slab to slab.

Did you find a remnant for your vanity? My ruined island has been resold for two vanities. Made me so sad but I'm sure there are a few happy people that found a deal.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 9:35PM
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bbtrix, it turns out my local yard sells half-slabs of carrara, so I didn't need to find a remnant after all. That made things a lot easier. I didn't ask for a piece to test. I saw a slab (1/2) I liked and bought it. I'm prepared for etching and hope I don't get any significant staining.

Did you get a replacement for your island counter?

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 10:31PM
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No, not marble. He took it away to fix, said he made it worse and told me he could not complete the job and would give me a full refund. I went to the yard to pick up my check and there it sat. It looked to me that he did not try to fix it but decided he didn't want to waste time trying to make it perfect. I don't think he is very familiar with marble and is definitely not used to MIA and GW standards. His installers applied the sealer on site and only let it penetrate for 5 minutes. When I questioned him, he said that was correct. I didn't want to argue so let it go knowing I will redo it. I chose to accept my perimeter marble with a deduct for its issues and am glad I did. It will be more work to correct but at least I have some marble. We're building a black walnut island. It won't be the same, but I think it will work well for us since we use lemons, limes, and vinegar daily.

Did you get Carrara? Maybe the yard still has a sample to play with. I'm keeping my sample so I can crush some and add to epoxy to mend my own chips.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 10:49PM
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I got Carrara. I had wanted a soft, cloudy look and ended up with the kind with darker veins. I think it will look good anyway. I will ask them for a small leftover piece.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 11:02PM
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As much as I've read about marble & sealers, I don't quite "get it" either. Here's an explanation written by SRosen. It was a conversation about Dry Treat but does a good job explaining sealants.
My understanding is that the sealer lives below the surface of the stone & etching occurs on the surface of the stone. Still not quite sure if an etched area is still protected from staining.

Here is a link that might be useful: Education on Marble

This post was edited by romy718 on Sat, May 17, 14 at 23:26

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 11:20PM
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Thanks for the link, romy. Actually I got an error message, but found it easily with a Google search.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 11:40PM
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