Can You Stain a Quartz Countertop?

Quartz countertops are popular in many homes today due to their durability, stain resistance, and stylish appearance. However, some homeowners may be wondering if it’s possible to stain a quartz countertop to change or enhance its look. Here is a detailed guide on whether you can stain quartz and how to achieve the best results.

What is Quartz?

Before we dive into staining, let’s first understand what quartz countertops are made of. Quartz countertops, sometimes called engineered stone, are made from ground natural quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. The quartz content is usually around 90-94%.

The resin binds the quartz particles together to form a hard, non-porous surface. The pigments add color and pattern to the material. Unlike natural stone, quartz slabs are manufactured in factories under precise conditions to create a consistent product.

The Stain Resistance of Quartz

One of the biggest benefits of quartz over natural stone is its incredible stain resistance. The non-porous binding resin creates an impervious surface that resists staining from common household spills like wine, coffee, juice, and oils.

Acidic substances like lemon juice or vinegar may etch quartz over time with repeated exposure. But unlike marble or granite, quartz will not absorb these stains.

Quartz’s stain resistance makes it an ideal choice for kitchens and other high-traffic areas. With simple wiping, spills can be cleaned before they have a chance to set.

Can Quartz Be Stained?

The short answer is yes, quartz can be stained, but it requires more effort than natural stone. Since quartz won’t absorb liquid stains, other staining techniques must be used to alter its appearance. Here are two ways that homeowners can stain their quartz:

Using Penetrating Stain

Certain penetrating stains are designed to soak into dense, non-porous materials like quartz. These stains use a carrier solvent that allows pigment to enter the microscopic pores within the quartz.

When applying penetrating stain to quartz, use a high-quality product specifically made for dense surfaces. Test a small hidden area first to check the results.

Multiple coats may be needed to achieve the desired color. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and drying time.

Sanding then Staining

For quartz, the most fool-proof staining method is to sand the surface lightly first before applying stain. Sanding opens up microscopic crevices in the material allowing the stain to grab hold.

Be sure to sand evenly across the surface using fine 120-150 grit sandpaper. This roughens the quartz without making large scratches. Wipe off sanding residue completely before staining.

After sanding, use a penetrating or gel stain made for natural stone. Apply thin coats, letting each one dry fully. Build up the coloring gradually until the desired shade is reached.

Seal stained quartz with a mineral-based sealer suitable for natural stone to protect the finish. Avoid wax or topical sealers which can cause uneven staining results.

Staining Considerations for Quartz

Quartz can be stained but requires much more preparation compared to materials like wood or concrete. Keep these important factors in mind:

  • Staining may impact the warranty. Check with the manufacturer before altering quartz’s appearance.
  • Gel stains tend to work better than liquid on non-porous surfaces like quartz.
  • Always test stain on a scrap piece first to ensure you like the results.
  • Staining can bring out more of the natural pattern and movement in quartz.
  • A professional fabricator can stain and seal quartz slabs before installation.
  • Lighter quartz colors will show staining more readily than darker ones.
  • Stained quartz will need periodic resealing to maintain the new color.

Achieving an Even Color

The biggest challenge when staining quartz is achieving an even, uniform coloring across the surface. Due to the dense, non-porous nature of quartz, stain can grab onto some areas more readily than others.

To create the most consistent results:

  • Sand evenly across the entire surface to improve porosity.
  • Apply thin coats of gel stain, allowing ample drying time between each.
  • Keep staining confined to a single quartz slab whenever possible.
  • Expect variation in the staining results based on the unique quartz pattern.
  • Consider hiring a professional to stain and seal if aiming for maximum color consistency.

Alternative Ways to Color Quartz

If staining quartz sounds too challenging, here are a couple of easier options for customizing its color:

Use Tinted Sealer

Clear quartz sealers are available with added pigments and dyes. Rather than just sealing the surface, colored sealer will subtly enhance its tone. Multiple coats can be applied to build up the intensity.

Have Slabs Custom Color-Matched

Many quartz manufacturers offer custom color options outside their standard palette. For whole kitchen slabs, they can formulate the material during production to precisely match a desired shade.

Maintaining Stained Quartz

Once quartz is stained, it will need some ongoing care to retain its new color. Be sure to:

  • Use coasters under glasses and wipe spills quickly to prevent etching.
  • Reapply sealer yearly or as directed to reinforce staining.
  • Clean with pH-neutral stone cleaners, not harsh chemicals.
  • Avoid abrasive pads when cleaning stained quartz.

With the right preparation and technique, quartz countertops can successfully be stained to achieve a unique, customized look. While challenging, staining offers homeowners an affordable way to dramatically transform the color of their existing quartz. Consult a professional fabricator if aiming for the most seamless, uniform stained finish across large surfaces.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I stain just a small area of my quartz countertop?

It is possible to stain only a portion of a quartz countertop, but the results are often uneven. Due to variations in the stone pattern, the stain color will appear inconsistent. For the most uniform look, staining the entire surface is best.

How dark can I stain my white quartz countertop?

Light quartz can be stained to a much darker shade, but it often requires multiple coats of gel stain. Test small areas first to ensure you reach the desired color intensity. White quartz may also show more blotchiness when stained dark versus a medium tone.

Will stained quartz countertops lose their shine?

Penetrating stains contain dyes rather than paint or pigment, so they should not significantly dull the glossy surface of quartz once the carrier solvent evaporates. Always test stain on a small area first and check that the shine remains intact.

Can I use wood stain on quartz?

Most wood stains are too thick and opaque for staining non-porous quartz. Opt for a thinner penetrating or gel stain formulation specifically designed for dense natural stone surfaces. Always test a wood stain in an inconspicuous spot first.

Is it better to stain quartz before or after installation?

Pre-staining quartz before installation often provides the most cohesive, seamless results across the entire surface. However, an experienced fabricator can also meticulously stain a countertop after installation and achieve excellent results. Discuss the best timing with your pro.


Although it takes more effort than natural stone, staining quartz opens up exciting possibilities to customize the look of countertops and surfaces with unique colors. With the right products and techniques, quartz can successfully be altered to achieve gorgeous stained finishes that add warmth, depth and character to any space. Consult a professional fabricator for guidance on staining quartz countertops in your home.