How to Remove Floor Finish from a Quartz Countertop

Quartz countertops are a popular choice for kitchens and bathrooms due to their durability, aesthetics, and low maintenance. However, over time the protective floor finish can become damaged or worn. Removing floor finish from a quartz countertop and reapplying a new coat helps restore its original beauty. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to properly remove floor finish from a quartz countertop.

Supplies Needed

  • Medium grit (120-220) sandpaper
  • Orbital sander or palm sander
  • Tack cloth
  • Mineral spirits or denatured alcohol
  • Clean cloths
  • Eye protection, gloves, and mask
  • Floor finish remover
  • Floor finish applicator and applicator pads

Step-by-Step Process

Clean the Countertop

First, clear off all items from the countertop. Use a general household cleaner or degreaser to clean the surface of dust, debris, and oils. This allows for better sanding and adhesion of the new finish coat.

Lightly Sand the Surface

Using 120-220 grit sandpaper attached to an orbital sander, lightly sand the countertop surface. Focus on areas with visible scratches or damage. The goal here is to rough up the finish, not remove significant material. Work in small sections using circular motions.

Wipe Away Dust

Use a tack cloth to remove any dust generated from sanding. Denatured alcohol or mineral spirits on a clean cloth can also help remove sanding dust residue. Allow the surface to fully dry.

Apply Finish Remover

Using a chemical finish remover specified for quartz and following the product directions, apply a thin even coat on the countertop with an applicator pad. Avoid applying too much. Let the remover sit for 5-10 minutes.

Scrape Away Finish

After the allotted time, use a plastic putty knife or metal scraper to gently scrape away the softened finish. Apply additional remover to stubborn areas and let sit before scraping again. Avoid digging into the quartz material itself.

Clean and Dry

Wipe the countertop with mineral spirits to remove any remaining residue from the finish remover. Use fresh clean cloths as needed. Make sure the surface is completely dry before moving to the next step.

Sand Again Lightly

Using 220 grit sandpaper, do another quick pass over the countertop to ensure it is smooth and ready for a new finish coat. Be gentle and avoid removing too much material.

Remove Dust

Wipe clean and dry the surface again with a tack cloth. Denatured alcohol can help pick up any remaining dust or oils.

Apply New Finish

Once fully prepped, follow the floor finish product instructions to apply 2-3 thin coats of finish, allowing proper drying time between coats. Use a clean applicator pad for best results.

Cure Time

Let the finish cure fully for 24-48 hours before use. Avoid placing anything heavy on the surface during this time. The countertop can now be used and enjoyed once again!

FAQs About Removing Finish from Quartz

What type of sander should be used?

An orbital or palm sander with 120-220 grit sandpaper is ideal for removing floor finish from quartz. Avoid using high speed rotational sanders.

Can I use a metal scraper instead of sandpaper?

Scraping with a metal tool can damage the surface of the quartz. Light sanding helps prep the finish for removal without gouging the material.

How often does the finish need to be reapplied?

With proper care, floor finish on quartz can last 3-5 years before needing renewal. Signs it’s time are visible scratches and loss of shine.

What’s the difference between polish and finish?

Polish cleans the surface while finish provides a protective coating. Stripping polish alone won’t remove scratches or refresh the coat.

Can I use paint stripper instead of finish remover?

No, paint strippers are too harsh for quartz surfaces. Only use finish removers made specifically for use on quartz.

Is it okay to use a high-pressure power washer?

No. Power washing can damage the surface and edges of the quartz. Manual cleaning is best.

How long does the finish removal process take?

Plan on the entire process taking 2-3 hours including drying times between steps. Proper prep saves time with finish application.


Removing old floor finish from a quartz countertop and applying fresh finish helps restore its beauty and protect its surface. With the right supplies, patience, and technique, this is a DIY-friendly process that can give quartz a brand new look and extra years of life. Be sure to properly prep the surface, apply finish remover, scrape away the existing layer, and clean before adding the new coats of finish. In just an afternoon, your quartz countertop can shine once again!