Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Power of Color Enhancing Sealer on Stone

Color Enhancing Sealer's are one of the tricks of our trade.
What is Color Enhancing Sealer?  It is a no-sheen penetrating sealer that is formulated to darken, enrich and highlight natural stone.  It rejuvenates the color and improves the appearance of worn or weathered stone.
We use it all the time when we do a Honed Finish on natural stone.  The Honed Finish can lighten up the color of the stone.  Some people like the lighter look, but generally we'll put the Enhancing Sealer on it to bring the color back out.

Here's an example of Absolute Black granite that we put a Honed Finish on...
As you can see, when we honed it the stone went grey.  The left side of the picture is Honed Absolute Black without any sealer.  On the right side I put a coat of Enrich 'N' Seal on it.  Huge difference right?  

Here's another, less dramatic, example.  Below is Crema Marfil marble.  The left side of the picture is the marble honed without any sealer.  The right side has Enrich 'N' Seal on it. 

I made the coasters for our Giveaway this week.  (Go here to enter!)  The stone is Seagrass limestone that had been tumbled.  When stones are tumbled they generally end up quite light and a little chalky.  
I used to work in a tile showroom and tumbled stone was impossible to sell if we hadn't put enhancing sealer on it.  Once we put the sealer on it, people loved it!  When I worked there tumbled travertine was the #1 seller for kitchen backsplashes.  The trend has died down now, but I can't even tell you how many tumbled travertine backsplashes we sold!

Here are some pictures of the Tumbled Seagrass Limestone.  In the picture below the top row of tiles have been sealed with Enrich 'N' Seal, the bottom three have not been sealed at all.
Here's an individual tile that I sealed half of.  The Enrich 'N' Seal not only brings out the color in the Seagrass Limestone, it also brings out the fossils.

I generally only put one coat of enhancing sealer on stone.  If you want to darken it up even more though, you can do two or three coats.  When I sealed my kitchen, which is a honed granite, I actually did two coats.
Be careful when using color enhancing sealers, just be sure to follow the directions on the bottle exactly.  Sometimes you can see your wipe marks if you don't apply it correctly.  Most beginners are fine to seal tile, but if it's your countertop I'd recommend having your fabricator seal it for you.

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