What to apply to stone backsplash for "wet-look?"

iris_bulbOctober 16, 2013

Hello,
I recently installed a mosaic backsplash of glass and rough stone tiles. Let me tell you, it was incredibly challenging to get all the grout out of the crevices and cracks in the stone tiles, ugh!
But it's done now and I'm happy with it. I applied some coconut oil to the stone tiles because I like how they look when they're "wet" - the color is darker, deeper, richer. The problem is that any oil that I apply to them only achieves the look for about 24 hours, and then the oil evaporates away and the stone tiles look "dry" and normal again. I am wondering if there is a product like a special liquid or thick wax that will achieve this wet, oiled look which brings out the richness of the stone - but for the long term? Thank you!

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lazy_gardens

I applied some coconut oil to the stone tiles because I like how they look when they're "wet"

Ooopsie!

You need a "wet-look" permanent sealer meant for stone.

But first you have to scrub off all the dried-on coconut oil so the sealer can penetrate. That will take a de-greasing soap and some hard scrubbing. It might need a solvent cleaning if the oil has penetrated the stone.

Then follow the directions on the sealer, being sure to test in a small area to make sure you have all the oil cleaned off.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 6:11AM
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Sophie Wheeler

What lazygardends said. Except it's called an "enhancer". Sometimes it's in combination with a sealer, but not always. Plus, when you apply the enhancer, you need to be careful to keep it off of the glass. It can create a smeary mess on glass.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 7:32AM
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pricklypearcactus

As hollysprings said, you need to apply an enhancer or sealer/enhancer. A regular non-enhancing sealer will not give you the wet look. And you do not want any oil residue before applying.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 12:55PM
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Jodi_SoCal

Iris, did you install Jeffrey Court's Fire & Ice backsplash? If so, would love to see it.

We only sealed our Fire & Ice which protects but leaves a natural look. Others who installed F&I have enhanced their stone and it is a very different look. Definitely a wetter, darker look.

Jodi-

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 1:24PM
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iris_bulb

Thanks for the advice, everyone! Gosh I don't think I'm down for soaping and scrubbing the heck out of these tiles. If there is a spray on cleaner/oil-remover that I can easily wipe away, that's fine, but I am at my wits end with painstakingly scrubbing this backsplash. I just spent a lot of energy with a metal wire brush and a drill attachment getting most of the grout out of the cracks and crevices of the stone. I don't think there is any hardened coconut oil residue on the stone (coconut oil solidifies in cool temps), but I will take a blow dryer and heat up areas of the backsplash and see if I see any traces of oiliness. It seems to me that after a couple days all traces of the oil is gone. And I didn't put a lot, I just rubbed a very light coating over the backsplash with a paper towel. But I will definitely research stone enhancers, that seems to be the key to getting the rich, "wet look" that I crave.

And also, nope, the backsplash isn't Fire & Ice, it's called Tundra and it's available from Wayfair or Home Depot. I really love it. Here's a pic I took of mine:

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 3:08PM
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angela12345

Jodi, That was the exact same thing I thought. I even went searching out her past threads to see if I could find the info.

Iris, Is this for the condo or did you sell that ? Is this a new house ? What ever happened with the painted cabinets ?

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 7:44PM
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srosen

I would be very careful using a color enhancer.
make sure you remove all the residue and do not let it dry on the glass.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 8:21PM
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srosen

I would be very careful using a color enhancer.
make sure you remove all the residue and do not let it dry on the glass.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 8:29PM
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iris_bulb

Angela, yes this project is for the same condo. Have several projects left to do, hope to list the condo sometime in Nov.
One of the projects left to do is to strip the kitchen cabinets/drawers then sand, prime, and repaint them. I did do one drawer to test, and it is indeed much more durable than all the others, so I will be stripping & repainting all of them.

Srosen, thank you for the advice.

Is there one stone enhancing product that you (and other people) would recommend over others to really bring out the rich color of the stone? The products on HomeDepot.com get mixed reviews, it's hard to know which one will really do what I want it to do.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 2:50AM
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srosen

Yes-first don't use a water based enhancer-Three brands we use for a job such as yours.
aqua-mix-enrich and seal
miracle sealants- one step color enhancer
MB stonecare-MB-21 color enhancer
It is hard to recommend just one as the stone will react differently to different formulation. I guess if you want to purchase from home depot use the aqua mix enrich and seal. I think a pint size will be enough.
Use paper towel and wipe the stone pieces then use a dry paper towel to remove the excess material.
If that is travertine you probably wont get much absorbtion and may lighten by next day.
Travertines can be quite dense.
If you find this happening my advice would be to leave well enough alone before you have a mess to clean up.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 7:11AM
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pricklypearcactus

Do you have any sample tile? If so, I'd recommend testing the enhancer on it. I have stone tile that is either quartzite or slate (depending on who you talk to). I used a non-enhancing Miracle sealant on mine and have been happy with the sealant. I tested an enhancer on the stone, but it wasn't the look I wanted. It's good to know what you're getting before you apply it, so testing on a sample is best.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 12:58PM
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