How to Refinish Quartz Countertop

Refinishing your quartz countertop can breathe new life into a dull, damaged surface. Quartz is an engineered stone made from natural quartz crystals blended with resins and pigments. It’s an attractive, low maintenance material commonly used for kitchen and bathroom countertops. While quartz is extremely durable, the surface can become worn, scratched or lose its luster over time. Refinishing restores the glossy appearance and smooth feel of a quartz countertop. With some simple DIY techniques, you can make your countertop look brand new again.

Supplies Needed for Refinishing Quartz Countertops

Refinishing a quartz countertop is a relatively straightforward DIY project. Here are the basic supplies you’ll need:

  • Sandpaper – Medium to fine grit (180-220)
  • Electric palm sander
  • Rags
  • Tack cloth
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Painters tape
  • Quartz countertop polish or sealant
  • Plastic putty knife
  • Clean microfiber cloths
  • Bucket of clean water

Make sure to use a polish or sealant designed specifically for quartz surfaces. General purpose stone cleaners can damage the quartz resin binder. It’s also important to work in sections and keep rags handy during the refinishing process.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Refinishing Quartz

Follow these steps to professionally refinish your worn or damaged quartz countertop:

1. Clean and Prepare the Surface

First, thoroughly clean the entire surface using a pH neutral quartz cleaner or mild dish soap and water. Rinse well and let dry completely.

Tape off the edges along the wall or any adjacent surfaces you don’t want to refinish. Cover nearby hardware like faucets to prevent splattering. Make sure the countertop is completely dry before moving on.

2. Sand the Quartz Countertop

Next, use a random orbital palm sander and 180 to 220 grit sandpaper to lightly scuff the surface. This removes any glossy top layer and provides abrasion for the polish to bond.

Work in sections using sweeping motions at medium speed. Overlap your sanding passes to ensure even coverage. Take care around the edges and any detailed areas.

Frequently wipe away residue with a damp rag to monitor progress. Sand just until the texture is uniformly dull, without applying excessive pressure.

3. Clean and Remove Dust

Thoroughly vacuum up all dust particles after sanding, then wipe again with isopropyl alcohol or quartz cleaner. Use tack cloths to remove any remaining debris. This prevents particles from getting trapped under the new polish.

Let the surface dry completely before moving to the next step. Both alcohol and water can interfere with polish application.

4. Apply the Countertop Polish

Shake the polish well and apply a thin, even coat using a clean microfiber cloth. Use circular motions to work the polish into the pores of the quartz.

Allow the polish to dry completely, then buff the countertop by hand using a clean cloth. This brings out the glossy shine. Apply a second coat if needed, allowing time to dry and buff in between.

5. Cure and Seal the Quartz Surface

After polishing, a quartz sealer provides additional protection. Apply a thin layer using overlapping passes. Allow to cure fully before use, which can take up to 72 hours.

Avoid spills and placing hot items on the countertop during this time. The sealer ensures longevity and makes cleaning easier. Reapply yearly or as needed to maintain the renewed appearance.

Tips for a Smooth Refinishing Process

  • Work in manageable sections for best results. It’s better to refinish quartz countertops one portion at a time.
  • Change sandpaper frequently to prevent swirl marks and an uneven finish.
  • Wipe and clean continuously when sanding to remove all debris before moving on.
  • Don’t over polish or apply too much pressure, which can damage the quartz surface.
  • Allow proper drying time between steps, especially before applying the protective sealer.
  • If you have a large countertop, consider enlisting a helper to speed up the process.
  • Carefully polish around sinks, faucets and any horizontal seams for a seamless look.

Benefits of Refinishing Quartz Countertops

There are many good reasons to refinish rather than replace your quartz countertops:

Cost savings – Refinishing only costs a fraction of full replacement. The materials are inexpensive compared to the high price of new installed quartz.

Quick turnaround time – The entire refinishing process can usually be completed over a weekend. New quartz fabrication and installation can take several weeks.

Minimal downtime – Your kitchen or bath remains fully functional during the process. Refinishing is less disruptive than a full countertop replacement project.

Custom color options – Refinishing allows you to restore the original color or explore custom polish tints. Replacing limits you to current stock colors.

Sustainable solution – Refinishing is an eco-friendly alternative that avoids landfill waste and the energy used to manufacture new countertops.

Enhanced appearance – Refinishing restores the glossy, smooth surface and eliminates scratches and blemishes. Your countertops will look like new again.

Professional Refinishing Services

While DIY refinishing can save money, professional refinishing services are also an option. Expert technicians have specialized equipment, polishing compounds and experience with tricky stone surfaces. This ensures optimal results.

Consider professional refinishing if your countertops have significant damage or etching that requires extensive work. However, simple DIY refinishing is often sufficient to improve the look of dull, lightly worn quartz.

Long-Term Care for Quartz Countertops

To extend the results of refinishing as long as possible:

  • Use trivets and hot pads under hot pots, pans and appliances. This prevents thermal damage.
  • Cut on designated boards instead of directly on the quartz surface.
  • Clean up spills immediately to prevent stains. Avoid harsh, abrasive cleaners.
  • Use a gentle quartz polish weekly to maintain the glossy finish.
  • Reapply sealer every 1-2 years for maximum protection.

With proper care and maintenance, refinished quartz countertops will retain their renewed beauty for years before needing to refinish again. Following these best practices also prevents the need for frequent refinishing.

FAQ About Refinishing Quartz Countertops

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about refinishing quartz countertops:

Does refinishing quartz damage the surface?

Refinishing does not damage quartz when done properly. Light sanding followed by professional polish and sealant restores the countertop surface. However, aggressive sanding or acid etching can damage quartz.

How long does the refinishing process take?

For a typical kitchen countertop, the entire refinishing process takes 1-2 days. Sections can be done in stages over longer periods if needed. Allow additional drying and curing time for any sealers applied.

Can you change the quartz color when refinishing?

Yes, refinishing opens up color options not available with replacement quartz. Tinted polishes and sealers can alter the tone and create unique finishes. However, dramatic color changes are difficult.

Does a professional need to refinish my quartz?

DIY refinishing is often successful for minor restoration. But extensive damage or certain tricky installations like seamless countertops may require a professional technician. Assess your comfort level.

How long does a refinished quartz countertop last?

With proper care, a refinished quartz countertop can easily last 5-10 years before needing refinishing again. Applying a quality sealer helps maintain the renewed appearance.

Can any quartz countertop be refinished?

Most quartz can be refinished, but there are exceptions. Refinishing may not work well for certain high-gloss polished finishes. Always test first on an inconspicuous spot before doing the entire surface.

Is the process the same for refinishing bathroom quartz?

Yes, the same refinishing process applies to both kitchen and bathroom countertops. Just take care when working around sinks and faucets. Avoid spraying polish near fixtures.

How soon can I use my countertop after refinishing?

It’s best to avoid use for at least 24 hours after applying the final sealer. Allow 72 hours of cure time before placing hot items or spilling on the surface. Gentle use after 24 hours is generally safe.


Refinishing dull, damaged quartz countertops is an affordable and effective restoration alternative. With proper sanding techniques and quality polish and sealants, you can easily make worn quartz look brand new again. Refinishing also allows for color change options not available with quartz replacement. With some careful DIY work, you can save thousands of dollars compared to the cost of new installed countertops. Just be sure to follow the proper process and refinish quartz in sections for the best results.