Granite Refinishing – How To Get Countertops To Shine Again?

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Granite is a beautiful and popular soapstone that is known for its brilliant shine. One of the most common building materials you'll see in homes today, granite makes for fabulous countertops and flooring. It's well-known that granite needs to be polished every so often, as its distinctive shine tends to dull and fade over time. In this post, we will go over a few different ways to bring the shine back to your granite countertops.

Here are the best ways that you can bring the shine back to your granite countertops:

  1. Use Store-bought polish.
  2. Use an electric polisher.
  3. Use a granite sealer.
  4. Use a homemade polish.

Read on to learn more about the steps involved in each of these polish application methods.

A large deep metal kitchen sink with granite countertops, Granite Refinishing - How To Get Countertops To Shine Again?

How To Get Granite Countertops To Shine Again

Kitchen with granite island

Restoring the shine to granite can be a fairly easy process, depending on your chosen method. While re-sealing and electric polish applications tend to last the longest, there are definitely other methods that you can use to touch up the shine on your countertops in a matter of minutes.

1. Use a store-bought polish

One of the quickest and easiest ways to add shine to your granite countertops is to apply a store-bought polish to them. This method is definitely DIY and budget-friendly, with most granite polish costing $20 or under.

Things you'll need:

  • Granite polish
  • A mild soap or dishwashing liquid
  • Cleaning gloves
  • 2 dry polish cloths (or microfiber cloths)

Decide on a wet or dry polish

It's important first to decide whether you will use a dry or wet polish on your countertops. Dry polishes tend to be better at getting rid of scratches and are usually less expensive. Be cautious when choosing your wet polish, as you typically want to stay away from anything containing bleach or ammonia.

Check out this granite polish on Amazon.

Clean the countertop

First, remove any items on your countertop. Next, clean the countertop using a wet dish towel with warm water and a little dish soap (a mild one).

Check out this dish soap on Amazon.

Apply the polish

Apply the polish according to the directions on the back of the product. If the polish is a spray, be sure not to spray the back walls of the countertops accidentally--and it's actually better to just spray your dry cloth instead of the countertops. Never use more than the recommended amount of polish, as it could damage your countertops. Also, you'll want to stay away from coarse or grainy polish products, as they may scratch the surface of your countertops. When applying the polish, use circular motions to buff it into the surface of the countertop.

Check out this microfiber cloth set on Amazon.

Dry & buff out the polish

If you are using a wet polish, this step may not be applicable. However, if you are using a dry polish, it will need to be removed with a soft cloth. Be sure to continue to use circular motions to remove all of the polish from the countertop as any leftover polish can cause stains and streaks. Microfiber cloths work best for this task.

Check out this dry polish on Amazon.

2. Use an Electric Polisher (Pro recommended!)

Man polishing kitchen granite countertop

This method is a bit more involved but can be a DIY project though it is strongly recommended that you proceed with caution before attempting to polish your own countertops. Most electric polisher sets can be purchased for under $200.

Things you'll need:

  • Electric polishing tool
  • Granite polish
  • 2 microfiber cloths
  • Wooden stick applicator
  • Dust mask
  • Handyman gloves
  • Safety glasses

Quickly prepare the surface

Start by clearing off the countertops, removing any personal items, and wiping it down with a dry cloth to remove any debris.

Check out this dust mask on Amazon.

Hit the edges

First, use a 50 or 60-grit sandpaper disc to smooth out the countertop's edges (it's better to start with a rougher grit first). If this is your first time using an electric polish tool, start by lightly pressing the tool against the surface to familiarize yourself with the amount of pressure needed to sand the surface. After you sand the edges, apply a 120 or 150-grit disc to the polish tool and apply it to the edges to continue to smooth out the surface. After you've sanded the edges, wipe them down using a damp microfiber cloth.

Check out this electric polisher on Amazon.

Apply the polish

Replace the sandpaper discs on your polishing tool with the buffing pad. Next, use your wooden stick to apply a small amount of polish to the polishing tool. Start on the countertop's left side and work your way to the right going from top to bottom to polish the countertop. As you continue to buff the countertops, you will notice the polish getting thinner and the shine starting to come back to the countertops.

3. Use a granite sealer

You can also apply a sealer to your granite tile countertops to restore their shine (as most contain polish). A sealer can be purchased for under $20 online, and it only takes a few minutes to apply to the countertops as well, so it's definitely a DIY-friendly project.

Things you'll need:

  • Granite sealer
  • 2 microfiber cloths
  • Handyman gloves

Clean the countertop

Remove everything from the countertop and wipe it down with a spray bottle and a wet microfiber cloth to clean it. Be sure that it doesn't contain any debris or dirt.

Apply sealer

Spray the sealer on your microfiber cloth and apply it using circular motions. Start from the left of the countertop and work your way to the right.

Check out this sealer on Amazon.

Let it dry & apply more coats

Most sealers will dry in about 5 to 10-minutes. After the sealer has dried, apply a second coat. If you feel that your countertops need an additional coat or two (which can offer additional protection and long-lasting shine), be sure to check the sealer's label to ensure that this is okay to do (most sealers can be applied in two to three coats).

4. Use a Homemade polish

You can also make your own granite polish right at home. The total cost of all the ingredients needed to make the solution should fall under $20. It's always best to do a test patch when applying your own polish to your granite countertops, just to ensure that the countertops respond well to it.

Things you'll need:

  • Spray bottle
  • 2 cups of water
  • 10 drops of essential oil
  • ¼ cup rubbing alcohol
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dish soap

Prepare the countertop

Remove everything from the countertop and wipe it down with a spray bottle and wet microfiber cloth to clean it. Be sure that it doesn't contain any debris or dirt.

Create the polish solution

In a spray bottle, combine the water, alcohol, dish soap, and essential oil.

Check out this essential oil set on Amazon. 

Wipe down the counter

Next, spray your solution onto your microfiber cloth and use it to wipe down your countertops in a circular motion. This solution can be used for daily care to restore the shine to your countertops.

Check out this spray bottle on Amazon.

Common Types of Granite Finishes

The natural shine to your granite countertop will depend on the type of finish that the granite has. Let's discuss the types of granite finishes that are most commonly used.

Honed

Honed granite has a super smooth surface that has a matte or satin-like finish. It's not particularly reflective and can add character to both rustic and contemporary home decors. Honed granite countertops can be easily cleaned using a stone cleaner (some cleaners also contain a small amount of sealant) with a soft cloth fabric.

Polished

Polished granite is probably the most commonly used countertop option. It has a highly-reflective surface with a mirror-like finish. Many consumers love polished granted because it works well to accentuate this soapstone's natural textures and hues. The naturally-shiny appearance also helps to make your kitchen appear a bit brighter. And since the stone's surface is sealed, polished granite is stain-resistant and easier to clean.

Flamed

Some consumers also prefer the appearance of flamed granite. Flamed granite is created when the stone is exposed to extreme heat, which causes the small grains inside of it to burst. When they burst, the color of the stone changes as its crystals are exposed. This finish has more of a natural look and a rougher texture than polished granite. Flamed granite has a highly porous surface, so it will need to be sealed effectively to avoid stains, moisture, and engrained dirt particles.

Does granite sealer make it shine?

Sealers don't necessarily make granite shine unless they also contain a polishing component, which many do. Sealers' purpose is to fill in the porous gaps in granite's surface to make it more damage-resistant.

Can I hone my granite countertop?

Yes, you can. However, for the most part, honing granite countertops after they are installed is not recommended, as it can be a very costly and cumbersome project. It's probably best to have a professional do this for you.

What is the difference between honed and polished granite?

The main difference between the two is the appearance of their finish. Honed granite has a matte finish, while polished granite has a very reflective, shiny finish.

How do you polish a granite countertop?

A granite countertop can be polished using store-bought polish (wet or dry), homemade polish, or by re-sealing the surface with a sealer that contains polish.

Does dish soap dull a granite countertop?

Yes. While dish soap is not necessarily bad for granite countertops, it can cause them to develop residue over time, which dulls their surface. This can be quickly fixed by simply applying polish to the countertops with a clean cloth.

Can I use cooking oil to shine a granite countertop?

Yes. Applying a very small amount of olive oil or vegetable oil will not damage your granite countertops and may help to restore shine temporarily. However, granite polish maybe a better and longer-lasting option.

Check out this olive oil on Amazon.

Why is my granite countertop cloudy?

If your granite countertop is cloudy, it's most likely due to an accumulation of residue from dish soap and greasy food. Applying polish to your granite can help restore its shine.

Wrapping Things Up

Getting your granite countertops to shine again can be done in a matter of minutes--and for under $20!

Before you go, be sure to check out our other posts:

What Color Cabinets With Black Granite Countertops?

How Thick Should Stair Treads Be?

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