Vermont Danby Marble - can you really remove etching by yourself?

roey736August 9, 2013

I'm reading a brochure for Vermont Danby Marble (Vermont Quarries Corp.), and it says that you can remove any etching with comet and scotch-brite pads. Is this for real? Does anyone have this? Thanks for any info.

Here is a link that might be useful: Vermont Quarries honed marble care

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Hello. Just wanted to give my two cents and hopefully help. :). I would tend to believe this to be true for two reasons; a big business like this could ruin their reputation making claims like this. I would think that they surely did allot of research and testing before they put this in writing. If they are reputable then they know their product well. The other is that I have been doing a form of art on gravestone monuments called "Etchings" for 23 years. Under the microscope etching is made up of pits and valleys on the smooth uniform surface. To re-polish granite that was etched, you use abrasive pads (graduated course to fine) and a paste, buffing in a circular motion moving constantly all over the area to be re-polished. Marble is much softer than granite, and if the finish is honed then it wouldn't take much to buff out the etching. They are likely making it easy for the customer to do it by suggesting commonly used household products. Yes, I would believe them. Hope this helped.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 2:02PM
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Well, what a coincidence. I just happen to have a sample of honed Vermont Imperial Danby from this very company. I love how they offer samples of this beautiful and heavy stuff at no charge at all. I really love marble and always wondered if I could tolerate the etching as some of you can.

Earlier I'd already etched it, quite easily as it turns out: balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, bbq sauce, A1 sauce, etc. I even tried covering the entire surface in balsamic vinegar to see if I could just etch it all once and for all and even it out. Um, no. It just resulted in etches upon etches. For sure the etching isn't noticeable until the light hits it just so and then, oh my, there it is. You guys already know this.

So, I tried the procedure the company suggests, using ketchup and yellow mustard (no relish in my house), photo #1. I left it for about 30 minutes.


#2 shows the etching. It's hard to see all of it in the light, but the upper right-hand blob is as bad as the lower left.


I made a toothpaste-like mix of Comet avec bleach in a little plastic container which is easier than mixing it right on the surface. I put down a strip of blue tape down the approx. middle so I could see the difference afterward.

Using some elbow grease, I scrubbed the left side with a Scotchbrite green heavy-duty pad, and then rinsed. I could still see the etches pretty well, so I repeated the Comet + Scotchbrite process a second time. I decided that was enough, and they said rarely would you need to do more than that.

#3 the results. I had to move to another part of the house to get enough light to really show the results (on the cats' fleece pad actually). There are a couple of vertical marks down the middle, pencil marks I added after rinsing to approximate where the tape was.

There's still some faint etching on the left, but it's substantially minimized. I think there's a little more on the right side of the cleaned portion because I tried not to scrub off the blue tape, so I probably used less pressure with the scrubbing.

No stains at all.


    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 6:59PM
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I wonder if the scotchbrite leaves a duller sheen than the regular honed. You might not see the etches, but do you see the difference between the original honed and the scotchbrite?

    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 8:20PM
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difference between the original honed and the scotchbrite

Yes, but barely. I really looked for it and it took the harshest angled light. It's duller by a slight degree, but barely. Still, the etches on the original honed side are MUCH duller than the scotchbrite side, so the latter looks better by comparison.

The instructions say to reseal after this procedure and I don't know if it would make any difference.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 8:36PM
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Wow this is pretty cool. So it is just comet with bleach? And the bleach doesn't harm the marble at all...interesting.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 9:47PM
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Thanks Linelle! The left side does look better than the right. I had Vermont Imperial Danby installed about a month or so ago. My Danby is still "virgin marble". My mother has been ill and I've been out of town since installation.
I had the fabricators our today for a couple of etches due to a sticky substance left behind by one the workers. After they removed the etches, (they are gone with the Comet + Scotchbrite), they did reseal. My understanding is that the Comet/Scotchbrite removes the sealer. The whole process looked pretty easy & is something I think I could do myself. My marble looks perfect.... not for long I'm sure. I'll report back when I get enough etching to remove & reseal. My fabricator also stated that they do the whole Comet/Scotchbrite process before they initially apply the sealer.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 10:12PM
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Imperial Danby Island

    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 10:29PM
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My fabricator told me something similar about removing small scratches and imperfections on soapstone, but he uses a more heavy duty 3M pad (one that is more maroon colored) that he says he buys at a local paint store. He suggests using this with Softscrub.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 10:52PM
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kam, yep, just Comet with bleach. I had to make a run to the store to get some (I've been an Ajax gal, but like the smell of Comet better) plus Scotchbrite. Earlier I did try a paste of Ajax and a half-spent SOS pad (eek!), with no effect on the etching.

It's now dusk here and in the waning light I can see the etches on the untreated side quite easily.

Doesn't sealing prevent staining? I just plopped some ketchup on the clean scoured side which presumably had its sealant removed and it etched but didn't stain.

I was just dealing with a sample less than 1 ft. square that I held under the faucet to rinse off. It would be a bit messier removing all that stuff from an entire counter.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 11:09PM
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Is one Vermont Danby marble the same as another Vermont Danby marble? Just asking because my IKEA with a local fabricator in the DC area offers it for something like 60.00 (I may be off by a bit, but it's a great price).
If yes, I'd be in business. Getting so excited!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 10:16AM
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Amy Koch Interiors

I recently used Vermont Montclair Danby in a bath remodel, and made the decision based on the Comet remedy. In another recent bath remodel, I had used Calacatta Gold which I found to be ridiculously prone to etching. Water, toothpaste, every lotion, cream, etc. looked horrible. I couldn't do anything to "even out" the etches and make them less noticeable. I even left vinegar on it for hours, (Marble Guy's suggestion) used the Comet and Scotchbrite, used BKF...nothing helped.

Fast forward to the newer bath--this Danby marble is FABULOUS. I can't speak to kitchen stains, but nothing we use in the bathroom has left a single mark. It is so nice to know that future marks can be buffed out easily with the Comet.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 11:40AM
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I've had Imperial Danby as a cafe table top for nearly 5 years now. On occasion, I've used BKF and a scrub cloth on it but, in general, I've never been particularly concerned about etches on this surface. Still, the other day, I noticed an etch that seriously demanded my attention. I also had a Magic Eraser nearby. Guess what? ME worked! :-) Not even a need for Comet or BKF. Yay! But, then, that's one of the reasons why I chose Danby marble in the first place. As far as marbles go, it's definitely considered to be one of the hardier, lower maintenance marbles. Love it.

1 Like    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 3:21PM
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Thanks so much for all the information.

Linelle, so glad it worked! Are you going with this marble then? Did you try this test with other marbles?

Romy718, your kitchen is gorgeous!!! That's the exact look I'm going for. Enjoy!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 10:05PM
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Debbi Branka

I tried this Comet and green scrubbie pad method on my honed statuary marble a few months back. It only dulled the surface bigger and duller than the honing. I have some pretty big spots. As with all etching, you can only see them with the light shining a certain way, but they are definitely there. I have several Vermont samples (planned to use them as coasters). Maybe I'll look into Vermont for my bathrooms. (Having said this, I still love my statuary!)

    Bookmark   August 13, 2013 at 10:27AM
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Roey, my kitchen update has already happened and I have a dark quartz counter. It's fine and has its distinct benefits. I still have a longing for marble though and maybe can still use it on a bathroom vanity. I've always wondered about how well I'd tolerate etching so decided to experiment with a sample for future reference.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2013 at 11:27AM
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linelle: what a great thread! I so wanted marble, but I just couldn't do it. I was worried that I'd be constantly telling the kids and DH to be careful, etc.

romy: your counters are just gorgeous!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2013 at 4:19PM
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