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
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.
Is the vanity top truly marble? or some other natural stone? or a man-
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
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
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
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.
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.
On 3/9/2012 8:05 AM, email@example.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.
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.
Call the workers boss and have them fix it or replace it. They messed it
up, they need to make it right.
Why was the worker in your basement and then using your stuff?
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.
On Fri, 9 Mar 2012 07:05:13 -0800 (PST), " firstname.lastname@example.org"
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.
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.
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
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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