Granite countertops have risen in popularity because of their price, durability, and because of the sleek look that they add to the kitchen. With modernity as the dominant theme in new kitchens today, the granite countertop is chosen by many homeowners as the perfect piece to add a bit of modernity, elegance, and durability into the kitchen. As with all other parts of the kitchen, however, your granite countertop will eventually get some damage with continued use. Here’s how you can care for and refinish the granite countertops.
Cleaning. When cleaning, make sure that you only use natural cleaners or those that do not contain any harsh ingredients. Remember that granite is a natural rock and is prone to damage when too many chemical cleaners are exposed on the surface of the granite. The easiest way to clean the granite countertops is by using towels and sponges that have been dipped in gentle liquid soap. Make sure that the soap and cleaners you use for granite do not contain phosphates that will damage the surface of the granite. Natural cleaners that you can use are lemon juice or vinegar combined with equal parts of water. These have just enough acidity to clean the granite, but will not damage the stone.
Cracks. It is common for cracks to form in the granite countertops. In fact, there are some cracks that naturally come with the slabs of granite. If you want to eliminate the natural cracks or if you want to repair new cracks that crop up in your countertop, you can use epoxy combined with bits and pieces of granite. You can also get granite in powderized form, which can then be mixed into the epoxy. This will fill in the cracks while maintaining the texture and appearance of real granite.
Refinishing. Granite countertops usually come with acrylic finishes to protect it from water and other stains and splashes. Remember that granite will naturally absorb color and stains because of the porous nature of granite, which is why it needs to be finished with acrylic. Eventually, however, continued use of the countertop will wear away the acrylic finish. Refinish the countertop by using lint-free fabrics to apply commercial acrylic coating for granite. These are available in most hardware supplies shops.
Drying. Make sure that you apply a liberal amount of acrylic coating on top of the granite countertop. After covering the countertop with one layer, allow the coat to dry for at least an hour. Afterwards, you can then proceed to applying another coat. Some acrylic coats only need to be applied in two layers, while others need to be applied with more layers. Read the label on the product that you are using, to be sure.
Once the acrylic coating has dried up, the next step is to make sure that the acrylic coating lasts a long time. Purchase soft clothes and sponges for wiping the countertop, and avoid abrasive scouring pads on the surface of the granite. This will keep your granite countertop looking glossy and sharp for a long time.