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Can enhancing sealant be removed?

Q. The installer of my granite countertop used a color enhancing and impregnating sealer.  I wish he would have asked if I wanted the deepened color. Is there any way to return the granite to the original color and then reseal with non enhancing sealer?

A. Your question was submitted to our network of Pros. The consensus is that, yes, you can have the color enhancing sealer removed but it is probably not a do it yourself job.

Following are the answers we received. Keep in mind these are pros that are familiar with working with the chemicals and solutions they propose in their answers.
 
It depends on how the surface was color enhanced. In most cases this wet look is secured with the use of an oil that penetrates the stone. The impregnating's sealer is often a reactive material designed to moisture cure to form a liquid barrier in the pores. In this case, it would serve as barrier to limit the oils ability to exit the stone over time, as well as preventing further penetration of spills.
 
If this were a topical treatment one would simply need to remove the coating (we do not recommend topical). In order to reverse the situation described, you would need to first break the seal, and then second to draw out the enhancing material.  This is feasible but likely will be difficult and expensive. A chemical designed to breakdown the penetrating seal would be the first step.  Then a series of poultices could be applied to draw out the oil. While feasible in principle, removing stains can be tricky, requiring a properly formulated poultice and repeated applications to draw everything out. Repeated  means as being 2 to 10 (or more). If done by the homeowner the poultice approach could work, however you lose use of your surface for 24 hours per application. 


 Bottom line, is it feasible? Yes. Is it easy or inexpensive? No.

There has been some success removing Stone Pro's Color Enhancer using their stripper Formula 51, letting it dry, then polishing with Polishing Powder for Granite.
 

An acrylic stripper solution, even Zep mixed approximately 6 parts water to 1 part stripper should work.  

It is recommended to use a test area.
Agitate with a small pad.  If granite is over wood cabinets, DO NOT LET STRIPPER DRIP ONTO CABINETS.
We have done this on several stone floors, after the customer had footprints from too much enhancer by an homeowner application.
If this doesn't work, then do a poultice, with a stripper solution and let it sit overnight. Mix it into a heavy paste.

Lastly, you could some type of stripper.  DO NOT LET IT TOUCH YOUR SKIN.

We were successful, in stripping an Aquamix Enrich N Seal with Jasco from a black slate floor because the customer did not like the dark grout joints. Complete job with a Polishing Powder for granite.
 

The bottom line is, that it can be done, but you should probably have a PRO come in to do the job. You can find one close to you by clicking on Find a PRO at and choosing the stone restoration category.

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