Sealing Granite Countertops

Granite is a favorite countertop material found in homes across the United States. It’s beloved for its natural resistance to scratches and beautiful variations in patterns and colors. To look and perform its best, granite needs to be sealed periodically. If you own granite countertops, here’s what you need to know about sealing granite.

How to Seal Granite Countertops

Below, we’ve described the process for using most sealer types. However, if the sealer manufacturer provides instructions that contradict the steps below, always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.

  1. Clear the area.
  2. Spray the sealer generously over the area being sealed.
  3. Spread the sealer over the stone with a clean rag. Don’t wipe the sealer off the stone, just spread it around.
  4. Wait 15 minutes.
  5. Buff the area you sealed with a clean rag.
  6. Allow the sealer to cure on the countertop for 48 hours.

Some tips:

Seal your counters one segment at a time. Remember, you’ll have to wait 48 hours after sealing before cleaning your counters. Unless you’re going away for a weekend and can leave your counters to seal while you’re away, seal only one a segment at a time. This leaves available counter space for food prep.

Choose a quality sealer that’s appropriate for your counters. Not sure which sealer to pick? Get a recommendation from your installer. Also, read the notes on the bottle to be sure you’ve selected a sealer that’s appropriate for your stone type. 

Is This Necessary? What Is the Purpose?

The process of sealing your counters is important because it improves your counter’s stain resistance and prevents your counter from absorbing spills. Sealing protects your counters in the kitchen, where cooking oils, red wine and tomato-based sauces can leave glaring stains on your counter’s surface.

How Often Should I Seal?

Seal your countertops when the old sealer wears off. Sounds simple enough, right? Sealer is clear, so you may have a hard time telling when your counters are ready.

Lighter counters are more at risk for showing stains, so they should be resealed every six months to one year. Darker countertops are less likely to show stains, so an annual resealing may be enough to protect darker stones.

The sealer of your choice may provide a recommended timeline for re-sealing your counters. However, there’s an easy test you can use to determine when that protective layer of sealant has worn off.

Pour a tablespoon of water on your counters. Examine the bead of water, especially at the edges. If your counters are properly sealed, the water will maintain a round, bubbly appearance. The edges of the water will not spread flat, but will instead curl under, almost like a partially-filled water balloon laying flat on its side.

If you wait 15 minutes to wipe away the bead of water, you may see a wet stain on the stone where the water used to be. This stain (which will fade away in a few hours) means your counters are absorbing liquids. It’s time to reseal!

What Materials Are Needed?

Here’s what you’ll need to reseal your counters:

  • Quality sealer
  • A few clean rags or paper towels
  • Time

Read the instructions on your sealer bottle before getting started, to be sure that your particular brand of sealer doesn’t need any extra materials.