How can I renew my cultured marble countertops?

How can you spruce up the look of your kitchen or bath without spending a fortune? Freshen up your countertops!

Here’s how to buff out scratches and stains in your cultured marble:

Cultured marble is made from powdered marble that has been cast in polymer and covered in a gel coat. Marble alone is very porous and would stain easily if installed alone. With every day use, the gel coat loses a little shine and surface scratches reduce the luster of cultured marble.

Restoring the life to your cultured marble takes some finesse and patience. You will need an electric buffer with a 1” thick wool buffing pad and a solid polishing compound. Be careful that you do not use a buffer with more than 1800-2300 RPM’s; a higher powered buffer will burn the cultured marble. We suggest a solid polishing compound over a liquid product. The solid will turn to dust when used, but dust is easier to clean up than the splashy mess that a liquid compound creates.

It is never recommended to use an abrasive cleaner on cultured marble surfaces. However, if you are trying to remove cigarette burns from your countertop, then first make a paste from Comet and water. In gentle circular motions, rub the burned area with a rag until the burn is gone. Now you are ready to buff the area. If you have a scratch that is deep enough to catch your fingernail on, that is considered a deep scratch and should be repaired by a professional. However, if you have light scratches across the surface, you can buff them out with a little TLC. First, rub the compound across the buffing pad; do not apply the compound directly to the marble surface. Next, very lightly touch the slowly spinning pad to the surface and slowly circulate it over the area. For an even lighter touch, hold the buffer pad perpendicular to the surface and gently “sweep” the threads of the spinning pad across the scratches. Be careful not to penetrate the gel coat; once it has been worn away, it cannot be replaced! The goal is to bring the shine back to the gel coat, not to the marble itself. At least two layers of gel coat should have been applied (thickness similar to a business card) by the manufacturer, however, in cases where only one layer was applied, the gel coat will wear off in the blink of an eye, so proceed with caution if you are unsure.

Once you have buffed the cultured marble, apply Mother’s carnauba car polish to help protect the surface.

To maintain your newly shined surfaces, remember not to use abrasive cleaners or scouring pads as they will scratch and dull the gel coat. Most cleaning chemicals will not damage the gel coat.

For hard water stains, try using a cleaner for removing iron, calcium, or other such mineral deposits that are in your water supply. Also remember as you are primping in your bathroom that nail polish remover can severely damage the gel-coat! Hair spray build up can be removed with water or denatured alcohol and rubbing with a soft cloth.

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Rosie and Romey Romero, Every Arizona Homeowners Best Friend
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