CLR Stain on Marble vanity top

Hi,
Just when our bathroom renovation was almost done.....
One of the workers was trying to get out these little marks in the new sink (wish I hadn't made such a fuss about those now) and he saw a container of CLR in our basement and decided to use it to try and get the marks out of the sink. In doing this he put the container on the marble vanity top.
So the next day I saw these marks that match the bottom of the clr container on the vanity top. They are deep enough that the clear coat on the marble has been eaten away but not really very deep. Doesn't look good though and of course I want it fixed.
I had one guy out to look at it and he gave me a price of $450 to refinish the entire top. The top only cost $500 so that seems pretty expensive to me. That guy also told me the entire top had etching marks on it which really isn't true so I don't feel comfortable using him.
I was hoping to get it done for about $200.
Shouldn't it be possible to just have someone in to repair the spot that has the marks on it? It is only on one side of the vanity top.
Thanks in advance for any advice.
Steve
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Is the vanity top truly marble? or some other natural stone? or a man- made product?
In any case, what you're seeing is the result of acid (CLR) etching the polished stone surface & thus damaging the shiny "finish". :( To restore the surface, the etched material needs to be mechanically removed via "polishing".
Real marble is softer than real granite & can be stored with less effort maybe even DIY effort depending on your "standards" defining "fixed". Unfortunately rework / repair of just about anything can be nearly as much or more expensive than new. At this point replacing the top also means R & R of the top & the plumbing hardware. The $450 to repair the top, when compared against the expense to replace, may not be that bad.
Forget about the original cost of the top and only consider the costs from this point forward to achieve a satisfactory "fix".
check out the following link for BIY & professional fixes
http://bit.ly/yOAVj0
I have a custom built hallway bench that someone in a carpet cleaning crew placed a spray bottle upon. Of course the spray bottle left a nasty ring that I have yet to sand out and "fix". The effort to fix is way more than the effort to ignore. It's "on the list" but not very high on it.
cheers Bob
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CLR according to the MSDS is an "Aqueous Acidic Cleaner". Since marble is calcium carbonate, anything acidic would start to dissolve it immediately. You can test this for yourself by crushing some marble to increase the surface area, then put it in a container with some vinegar. CO2 bubble will start to form.
It isn't smart to use such cleaners on marble, which really is a rather easily damaged material. Of course, if the marble is kept immaculate and sealed with a protective coating, it does look beautiful. Too bad those conditions are a definite must.
A previous counter/sink we had was Corian. Also a material with some problems. Even granite has problems if not kept sealed. IMNSHO, a synthetic containing quartz (such as Silestone) is the best material for ease of upkeep. Quartz is silica which has much better resistance than the other materials. While granite is also basically quartz, it has a tendency for minute cracks, which accumulate dirt etc.
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Best regards
Han
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On 3/9/2012 8:05 AM, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

are you SURE it's clearcoated? that's not usual. it's usually honed and polished with diamond pads and doesn't have any coating on it at all.
if it had a coating, then the acids in CLR shouldn't have been able to etch the actual marble. depending upon the coating, perhaps the acid went through the coating and affected the marble though because not all coatings are 100% impervious.
if it is truly clearcoated, you should be able to strip and recoat it. if the etchings aren't apparent, the coat would mask them.
if it is not coated, then it has to be rehoned and repolished. $450 is a good price for that. you can get it spot repolished (people who do gravestones have the portable tools for this) but that will show as a small dip or wavy spot in the surface. if you deliver it someplace that fabricates countertops (kitchen granite, for example), they may have the surfacing equipment to do this, but it will cost probably near the same.
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Yes, it should be possible. How good the job is depends upon how deeply the polish has been etched by the acid in the CLR; not very deep, I would think, since the only CLR that came into contact with the top was whatever residual amount on the bottom of the container.
If you are even slightly handy, you may be able to fix it yourself. Two things need to be done...
1. Get it smooth. From what you have said, I suspect it is already smooth enough for the next step. Can you feel roughness dragging a fingernail over the etched spot? What does it look like with a magnifying glass? Even if it looks and feels rough, try step #2 first. If you do have to smooth it, I would use #600 wet or dry sandpaper. Follow that with #1000 and follow that with #2000. Keep the paper flat - around a wood block is fine - and don't "dig"...just rub lightly in a circular motion using water as a lubricant. Doing this will also dull the polish on any adjacent areas that are sanded.
2. Polish. Polishing is really making finer scratches than the existing ones. Finer and finer grits make the material glossier and glossier. I would first try something from some place like these. The prices are ridiculous given what they are but a lot easier than $100s. Even auto body compound would work to polish but don't use it as it contains rouge and oil, both will stain marble. I don't recall where I got it - have had it for years - but I have a bottle of polishing material that has 10,000 grit aluminum oxide with water. I use it mostly with a cloth pad (old sheet material) rubbing by hand in a circular motion. You can get any sort of gloss from dull to very shiny with it depending on the starting sheen and how long you rub. Probably got it at an auto body place.
http://www.marble-cleaning-products.com/catalog/marble-care/marble-gloss-restorer/marble-gloss-restorer
http://www.mystonecare.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=mscprokit-etch&Click 31
http://www.stonecarecentral.com/Marble_Polishing_Compound_p/scc-a99.htm?1=1&CartID=0
More... http://www.google.com/search?client=opera&rls=en&q=marble+polish+compound&sourceid=opera&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&channel=suggest
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dadiOH
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On 3/9/2012 1:50 PM, dadiOH wrote:

http://www.marble-cleaning-products.com/catalog/marble-care/marble-gloss-restorer/marble-gloss-restorer
http://www.mystonecare.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=mscprokit-etch&Click 31
http://www.stonecarecentral.com/Marble_Polishing_Compound_p/scc-a99.htm?1=1&CartID=0
http://www.google.com/search?client=opera&rls=en&q=marble+polish+compound&sourceid=opera&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&channel=suggest
up, they need to make it right. Why was the worker in your basement and then using your stuff?
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Yeah, I may call him back. The thing is he took $200 off the final payment since that was what the guy quoted me over the phone before he came out and looked at it. We had a lot of little things go wrong with this job and it is a friend of a friend and I just wanted to try and deal with it on my own if possible.
Steve
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On Fri, 9 Mar 2012 07:05:13 -0800 (PST), " snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com"

It may be just as easy to buy a new one. Sure, you can have it fixed, but the correlation between the cost of new and having a service guy come out is not there. Is he removing the top and taking it back to the shop or doing it in place? Time estimate? Doing a "one off" compared to a group at the factory is much different cost wise.
I don't know if $450 is fair for the work to be done or not without knowing the process.
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On eBay you can get an assortment of micro-mesh polishing pads - used by hobbists - from 4000 to 1200 grit. Follow DadiOH's idea, working a slightly larger area as you get into the finer grits. You may end up with a satisfactory resolution. If not, you are only out a few dollars.

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Now you know why laminate countertops are far more more practical. Deepest sympathies.
Joe
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Although his price seems a bit high, I'll bet that guy is right! *IF* your counter top did NOT have etch marks all over it, the CLR would not have gone through like it did. I believe he's right, the BEST course of action is the whole counter top!
Note manufacturers are set up to finish surfaces, so their costs are a LOT less than doing it in the field.
Now, shop around and have the whole surface redone, UNIFORMLY. I'll bet you'll be happier with the results and the long lasting surface.
Comments are based a little on the experience of two items: oak floor spot damage and grand piano top water mark, then acetone mark!
On the piano top fainted at the first estimate - do the whole thing! so went with spotting to repair at much less money. needless to say 'spotting' was a good term I ended up going back to the first (expensive) guy who knew what he was talking about and in an afternoon the top was as perfect as day one, lasting years and years! Seems professional results just cost more. but LESS when you divide the cost by the total time of enjoyment.
The floor, never mind! We were originally warned to watch out for the new finishes (I think it was varathane, or something like that) that last 25 years maybe but went with that because easy and beautiful, sure enough about 20 years later the finish started turning into something else! Muck describes it well. And NOT possible to repair, tried spot repair after spot repair. Finally bit the bullet and did a Russian sanding then put on good old spar varnish (linseed oil based) coats and NEVER had a problem again, plus was able to spot repair that finish anytime anywhere invisibly.
Note: Russian sanding is the term I use to describe taking large block of flat wood (no pad!) cover with sandpaper and have at it, manually. Do NOT use tools with pads, nor small surfaces! You cannot believe how FLAT the refinished floor comes out. Looks like the original flatness, none of those telltale wobblies and divots left by the standard refinishing people.
Again, the fact that your mind keeps going back to that guy's comment to refinish the WHOLE surface, means you probably deep down believe that is the only repair technique that will satisfy your standards of excellence - you just keep trying to convince yourself otherwise. Give up, do the whole thing and be happier with it.
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