Having quartz countertops that are beginning to show signs of wear can be frustrating. But with the right products and techniques, you can seal them to restore their beauty and function. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to seal bad quartz countertops.
What Causes Quartz Countertops to Become Damaged?
Quartz is an extremely durable material, but it can become damaged over time. Some of the most common causes of damage include:
- Heat damage from hot pans or appliances placed directly on the surface
- Staining from spills that are not cleaned up quickly
- Etching from acidic foods and cleaners
- Scratches from cutting or abrasive cleaners
- Chips and cracks from heavy impact
Minor damage usually appears as etched spots or small scratches. More severe damage can include large cracks, chips, burns, and deep scratches.
How to Evaluate the Damage
Before you begin sealing, inspect your quartz thoroughly. Check for:
- Surface scratches – Are they minor, medium, or deep?
- Etching – Are there dull, rough spots?
- Staining – Are there discolored areas that won’t wipe away?
- Cracks/chips – Are there any cracks or missing pieces?
Pay special attention to high use areas near the sink and stove. The level of damage will determine what sealing methods to use.
Cleaning Prior to Sealing
Thoroughly clean the entire surface before sealing:
- Remove all items from counters.
- Use a non-abrasive cleaner and soft sponge or cloth. Avoid scrubbing.
- Rinse well with clean water.
- Allow to fully dry.
This will allow the sealer to adhere properly.
How to Seal Minor Damage
For minor scratches, etching, and stains:
- Countertop sealing product
- Microfiber cloths
- Soft paintbrush (for oil-based sealers)
- Masking tape
- Tape off any areas you don’t want sealed.
- Read all label instructions for the sealer. Shake bottle if needed.
- Apply a thin, even layer using either a cloth or brush.
- Allow sealer to soak in for 5-10 minutes.
- Wipe off any excess sealer with a clean cloth.
- Apply a second coat if needed, following the same steps.
- Remove tape right after sealing.
- Buff surface with a dry cloth to remove residue.
- Allow sealer to fully cure for 24-48 hours.
The sealer will help fill in and smooth over minor imperfections.
How to Seal Moderate to Severe Damage
For more significant damage like cracks, chips, and deep scratches:
- Epoxy resin sealer
- Plastic putty knife
- Rubbing alcohol
- Masking tape
- Clean damaged areas thoroughly with rubbing alcohol.
- Tape off only the damaged sections.
- Mix epoxy resin according to package directions.
- Fill cracks and chips fully with epoxy using putty knife.
- Allow to cure fully, usually 24 hours.
- Once hardened, sand epoxy down flush with surface.
- Clean sanded areas well.
- Apply thin coat of epoxy sealer over entire damaged area.
- Remove tape immediately after applying sealer.
- Allow to fully cure for 72 hours before use.
The epoxy will repair chips and cracks, while the sealer provides a smooth, renewed surface.
Helpful Tips for Sealing Quartz Countertops
- Work in sections for easiest application and wipe off.
- Be sure to read all manufacturer instructions.
- Test sealer on a small inconspicuous area first.
- Apply thin, even coats and wipe off any excess.
- Reseal annually or whenever damage appears.
- Avoid leaving sealer puddles on surface.
- Wear gloves and work in a well-ventilated area.
- Clean quartz thoroughly before resealing.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best sealer for quartz countertops?
Penetrating sealers formulated especially for quartz work best. Top brands include Miracle Sealants, Granite Gold, and StoneTech.
How long does quartz sealer last?
Most quality sealers will last 1-3 years with proper care. Reapply annually or whenever etching or staining occurs.
Can I use epoxy resin to seal my whole quartz countertop?
Epoxy resin is only meant to patch chips and repairs. It should not be used to seal the entire intact surface. Use a penetrating sealer instead.
How soon can I use my countertops after sealing?
Cure times vary by product, but most sealers need 24-72 hours to fully cure. Avoid water exposure and replacing items during this time.
Will sealing quartz change the look?
High quality sealers are designed to penetrate below the surface and should not alter the look. Test first.
Sealing damaged quartz countertops allows you to restore their appearance and prevent further wear. Evaluate the level of damage to determine the best sealing method. Minor issues can be addressed with a penetrating sealer. More significant chips and scratches may need epoxy repairs first. Be sure to read all product instructions carefully. With the right techniques and products, you can give your quartz counters a new life!