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hi gang. new place has outdoor fireplace with adjacent grill station and sink area. although the workmanship is not terrific, the "kitchen" is there and so I want to make the best of it. couple photos attached.

anyway, the countertop area (which is also the hearth of the fireplace) is a bluestone. at least that is what I have been told. #1 I want to clean it really good, and use a good masonry caulk/sealer at edges, corners since the mortar is kind of cracking out in spots. what should I clean it with? just like a miracle green or do I need a masonry cleaner (I have some SureKlean 600, but is that too strong?)

#2 the surface has some gouges and swirls and just some oddities in the texture. while that can often be what is so unique and cool about natural stone, here it just kind of looks odd. plus there are some almost rust like stains on the hearth. do you think I should buff, sand, or grind all the surfaces slightly? would that help? if so, just sandpaper and elbow grease? steel wool? or what? is there some tool or attachment I could use?

3# lastly, I want to seal the counters. if the stone itself were nicer or a better color, I maybe wouldnt bother because I would want it to feel real natural. as is, it just has a real faded color and feels dirty. I have used natural stone color enhancer/sealers with good effect inside. (photo of the product attached). it kid of makes the color richer, adds a very slight sheen and some protection. but not sure if that would just be totally undone in a month or so by rain and sun? any thoughts?

thanks all.
 

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pa bluestone's best smoothed by wet diamond grinding using concentric diamond cup wheels of varying grit designations on a low-rpm hand buffer,,, i think 100 & 400 should give you the results you want - try gran-quartz for a supply house

you replace cracked mortar, not clean & patch it,,, use a joint sealant instead of caulk,,, rust stains - we'd try 'clr' 1st

'real natural' is as it is now, no ? once you start adding stuff, it becomes an annual maintenance item
 

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Also sealant may age in spots so that after 2-3 yrs you'd have blotch finish in general. But that is what natural, aged, seasoned, etc, means and reason for using stone. Esp outdoors, it is impossible to maintain the new stone look. If you wanted spotless look, stainless steel would work better and keep it covered when not used.
If I ever have outdoor stone counter, I may use soapstone and keep applying mineral oil. In 10 yrs, it may be almost uniform dark gray to black. This worked for indoor kitchen, without the constant oiling, and may not work outdoors since oil would be washed away by the rain and sun may be bleaching it. But worth a try unless there is definite nay.
 

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TSP (Tri-Sodium Phosphate), to clean.

Repoint the cracked grout.

A wet grinder with Diamond cups to add polish.

A concrete and stone sealer.

Quikcrete makes a decent one. Apply as needed, yearly some places, bi-annually others.


ED
 
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