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smileibiza 12-08-2011 10:14 AM

Coloring/staining tired marble floor
I have a tired looking white/light grey marble floor thats about 25 years old and want to refurbish it.
The only thing is that the colour shows every speck of dust/dog hair.
I'm thinking of experimenting with some coloured pigments rubbed in to darken the colour of the floor without losing the marble effect.

I thought about making the odd repair/chips and then sanding the marble down to strip off old sealer. Then to rub in a pigment or pigments. wipe of excess from the surface and when right tone is achived then re-seal the floor.

My questions are:
Would this work?
would the color wear off quickly ?
Am I mad :whistling2:for thinking it might be possible?
Some pieces of marble are new unsealed pieces and most are old sealed pieces. After sanding the old marble to remove sealer, would the new unsealed marble absorb more color than the old sanded ones?
How much might I have to sand down to remove all sealant?
Can I chemically remove the sealant?

I will make some test samples on some new un-sealed marble and some using old sanded ones and post results.

comments and suggestions aperciated:thumbsup:

Bud Cline 12-08-2011 10:23 AM

You can probably stain the marble but consistency throughout may be an issue. You don't ever hear of this being done so you would be pioneering the technique so to speak. I personally think it is do-able but have never done it with marble. Years ago we used to stain Saltillo tile all the time with great results.

The depth of the sealer penetration may be a concern and to chemically remove any sealer may be tricky because anything that may remove the sealer may also pit the stone.

smileibiza 12-08-2011 10:54 AM

Thanks Bud,

I would like to get away from the eighties look polished marble and try to obtain a more minimal look.
After staining and sealing maybe leaving it un-polished.
I'm not sure how it would look.
would it show the dirt and dog hair less?

What sort of grade grit papers would I use to prepare the marble
starting with rough to smooth?

What sort of base is the saltillo stain.?

Any type of stain to avoid or recommend using on marble?

Bud Cline 12-08-2011 11:10 AM

Not sure what marble you have but I'm guessing it is a Carrerra based on your color description and the vintage. My imagination also tells me that what you have is the high-gloss finish (originally) which would be typical of a marble floor tile then and now. I personally don't understand why the market says the marble has to be highly polished. Honed with a dull finish is more desirable to me such as today's Travertine.

I would begin with an 80 grit silicone carbide sandpaper (or screen) and go from there. It will take a heavier grit to break the polished surface and 80 shouldn't damage the tiles surface.

Years ago we used oil-based wood stain to stain Saltillos. That's all there was back then. Once it had dried totally it was sealed with a stone sealer. Staining porous stone tiles hasn't really caught on but I'll bet someday it does. I like the idea.

Some of today's wood stains have some gimmicks going so I would stay completely away from any stain that offers a stain and sealer in one can. That stuff will ruin a project quicker than anything I know of. Use a product that is a "stain only".

I would also sample an area somewhere before I went hog-wild with the project. Maybe you have a closet you can play with first.:)

smileibiza 12-08-2011 01:35 PM

:thumbup:fortunately i have some old bits that got removed when I changed the bathroom around and some new unsealed ones also so no need to experiment on the living room floor first!:thumbup:

The marble at the moment is white/grey with blue/grey streaks.

not sure what tones exactly, but I will experiment with some browns and greys
so it should be alright to experiment with wood stains or are their stone pigments available?
What about clothing dyes/pigments?

How can i go about repairing chips in the marble at some of the joint butts?
could i grind up some marbledust and mix it with some sort of adhesive or epoxy?
what should I use for re grouting the joints?

thanks again for your input:thumbsup:

Bud Cline 12-08-2011 01:47 PM

There are masonry dyes/coloring pigments but they are basic and crude. I don't see why you can't use wood stains, always could before.

I don't know of a reasonable way to repair edge chips but that doesn't mean someone here won't come along with one.

For re-grouting use "grout", :whistling2: usually unsanded.

smileibiza 12-08-2011 03:06 PM

:thumbup:not being a marble man i thought their might be be a special grout for marble:thumbup:but thanks:thumbup:

Should I wet sand the floor using an orbital sander?

Any idea what a large orbital sander would cost or if it would it be better to rent one?
Any brand suggestions?

Bud Cline 12-08-2011 03:20 PM

Using a floor machine to sand the surface would of course sound like the thing to do. The problem is going to be the plane of the floor. A large sander would have a tendency to ride-high on any ridges it comes to and thereby creating skips in sanding the surfaces. It is worth a try I suppose, but also be prepared to sand each tile individually. If the marble was originally installed in the rough and then ground down plane and then ground again to polish that would be a good thing but that doesn't happen all that often.

Where are you? Whole floor surfacing is done a lot in Florida and California but typically the marble tiles are installed already polished and that procedure can lend itself to each tile being slightly of a different plane. If that is the case, a large sander would have its difficulties and would likely require the use of costly diamond discs instead of basic inexpensive sand papers or screens.

Then you would also have the issue of getting into corners and around corners.

How about some pictures?

smileibiza 12-08-2011 04:31 PM

6 Attachment(s)
Ibiza, Spain......seņor


Bud Cline 12-08-2011 04:36 PM

I'm betting you could use a machine now that I've seen it. The edge-chips could also be softened by hand using a small hand/palm sander I'm thinking. I think what you want to do is certainly do-able but there's a lot of areas (small) that would have to be done by hand.:)

smileibiza 12-08-2011 05:17 PM

so machines like this are what i need?

Bud Cline 12-08-2011 08:24 PM

Those machines are fairly sophisticated as floor machines go but yes if you can find them to rent in your area. If not there are other more basic machines that will work.

smileibiza 12-10-2011 12:13 PM

By more basic machines you mean a large orbital sanders or something else?
I trying to work out my worksteps to a finished natural un polished honed finish.

after experimenting on various small pieces having found the right color tone

1. sand mable starting with 80 grade working down to ?what grade?
2 clean and re grout (with grout :-) ) marble
3 clean
4 apply stain and allow to dry. May be re apply in certain areas where needed.
5 apply marble sealant
6 ?

Bud Cline 12-10-2011 12:46 PM


sand mable starting with 80 grade working down to ?what grade?
That's kinda hard to say. It depends on the marbles reaction to the sanding. Eighty would be really course but in the beginning should work okay. In finishing stone some the grits required can be many. If all you want is a dull honed look then that wouldn't be too bad to achieve. The problem with using the finer grits is they may tend to load-up quickly. I think I would move from the initial 80 to a screen somewhere around a 120-150 and see what happens. Wish I could tell you better but it all depends on the density of the stone. Not all marble is created equal.

smileibiza 12-10-2011 03:14 PM

Thats great for starters. :-)
It should be wet or dry sanded?
Does anything go down after the sealer?

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