Refinishing quartz countertops can restore their original beauty and add years of enjoyment to your kitchen or bath. With a bit of effort, the right supplies, and good techniques, you can make your quartz counters look like new again. Here is a step-by-step guide to refinishing quartz countertops.
Assessing the Condition of Your Quartz Countertops
Before starting any refinishing project, carefully examine the countertops to determine what needs to be done. Look for these common issues:
- Scratches, etching, or dull spots from daily wear and tear
- Stains that have penetrated the surface
- Chips, cracks, or other physical damage
- Faded areas from sun exposure
Make note of any problem areas and consider the level of restoration needed. Light scratches may only require a quick buffing, while deeper damage like stains or etching will need more intense refinishing.
Choosing the Right Refinishing Products
The key to successfully refinishing quartz is using the appropriate supplies designed for the job. Look for these essential products:
- Sandpaper in varying grits like 220, 400, 600, and higher for smoothing scratches
- Buffing pads from fine to ultra-fine grit for polishing
- Diamond polishing pads for removing etching and severe damage
- Polishing compound to restore gloss
- Etching cream formulated for quartz to remove etching
- Epoxy to fill any cracks or chips
- Degreaser to prepare the surface
- pH-neutral stone cleaner for routine maintenance
- Penetrating sealers for extra protection and sheen
Buying quality products made specifically for quartz will provide the best results. Avoid homemade concoctions or products with acids or dyes.
Cleaning and Prepping the Countertops
Thoroughly clean counters with a degreaser before starting any refinishing work. Remove all dirt, debris, oils, and residues that may hinder proper adhesion and refinishing.
Clear any items from the countertops and tape off edges or walls to protect the surrounding surfaces. Cover nearby appliances, sinks, and fixtures.
Wipe down all areas of the quartz with a stone-safe cleaner and let fully dry. The countertops must be completely clean before sanding, polishing, or sealing.
Sanding Out Scratches, Damage, and Dull Areas
Use a progression of sandpaper grits to gently smooth away any light scratches, dull spots, and minor damages on the quartz:
- Start with 220 grit to remove heavier scratches
- Follow with 400, 600, and 800 grit for finer polishing
- Always sand in a consistent circular pattern
- Clean away grit and dust between sanding steps
- Check frequently to avoid over-sanding or uneven spots
- Take extra care around sink cutouts and seams
Use a random orbital sander at low speed for best control and be gentle. Quartz can chip or crack if aggressive pressure is applied.
Eliminating Stains, Etching, and Discoloration
For stains that have penetrated the quartz or etching from acids, use a specialty etching cream designed for quartz:
- Apply a thin layer of etching cream to affected areas
- Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes so it can penetrate
- Use a soft scrub pad and rub gently in circles
- As etching diminishes, wipe clean and rinse thoroughly
- Repeat as needed for stubborn spots
- Helpful for removing water marks, food stains, mineral deposits
This etching treatment can quickly lift stains and restore the smooth finish. Avoid using harsh chemicals like bleach or alkaline cleaners which may damage quartz.
Repairing Chips and Cracks
Small chips, cracks, and corners that have broken off can be repaired:
- Thoroughly clean and dry the area to be filled
- Mix a small amount of epoxy adhesive
- Fill in the crack or missing section cleanly
- Allow the epoxy to cure fully (24 hours)
- Once dry, sand flush with the surrounding quartz
- Match the finish by re-polishing afterwards
For best results, pick an epoxy in a color that matches your quartz. Take precautions to avoid staining the adjacent areas with epoxy residue.
Polishing to Regain Shine and Luster
As a final step, use a quality polishing compound to restore gloss and luster:
- Apply polishing cream to a buffing pad or soft cloth
- Rub compound in circular motions to clean and polish
- Start on a low speed setting to avoid splatter or haze
- Check often and reapply compound as needed
- Edge profiles may need extra attention
- Remove all residues and rinse thoroughly after polishing
Avoid applying too much pressure or heat which can damage the quartz. Take time on cutouts, drain grooves, and front edges for full coverage.
Sealing for Added Protection
To help keep quartz counters looking revitalized longer, apply a penetrating quartz sealer:
- Choose a water-based formula without gloss additives
- Cover all surfaces, edges, cutouts thoroughly
- Rub in sealer until fully absorbed; avoid pooling
- Wipe away any excess sealer
- Allow to cure fully before using countertops
- Reapply sealers about once a year
Sealing is an optional step but can enhance stain resistance and make cleaning easier. Avoid silicone-based sealers which may impair adhesion or finishing.
Maintaining the Renewed Finish
To keep quartz counters looking refreshed after refinishing:
- Clean regularly with a pH-neutral stone cleaner
- Rinse thoroughly and avoid leaving water spots
- Wipe up spills immediately to prevent stains
- Use cutting boards, trivets and placemats to protect surface
- Re-seal counters every 6-12 months as needed
- Avoid harsh chemicals or acidic cleaners
Consistent care and maintenance will keep your refinished quartz counters gleaming.
Frequently Asked Questions About Refinishing Quartz Countertops
Can I refinish quartz myself or do I need to hire a professional?
Refinishing quartz countertops is definitely a DIY-friendly project for most homeowners. As long as you have the proper materials and take care to follow the steps, you can successfully refresh your own quartz. Professionals may be best for severe staining or damage.
How long does the refinishing process take?
The entire process of cleaning, sanding, polishing, and sealing generally takes 1-2 days. Allow extra time for drying and curing sealers. Smaller DIY jobs can often be completed in a few hours.
Will refinishing negatively affect my quartz warranty?
Basic refinishing like sanding and polishing should not void most warranties, but check with your quartz manufacturer to be sure. Use recommended products to prevent chemical damage. More intense repairs may impact warranty coverage.
Can I change the color of my quartz when I refinish it?
Unfortunately, refinishing quartz does not allow you to alter the existing color or pattern. The goal is to restore the original appearance. To change colors, a countertop replacement would be needed.
How long will a refinished quartz surface last?
It depends on wear and tear, but properly refinished quartz can look fresh for many years with proper care. Maintain the finish with cleaning and re-sealing as needed. Avoid excessive abrasion or damage.
With some work, patience, and the right techniques, homeowners can absolutely restore the initial beauty of quartz counters. Address scratches, damage, stains, and wear to make quartz look pristine again. Use specialty abrasives, polishes, cleaners and sealers formulated for quartz. Follow safety precautions and work thoroughly across all areas. With proper ongoing care, your refreshed quartz can stay looking like new for years to come.