When someone calls me about white marble with staining, I make sure to convey realism about the potential project. “The marble is what it is.” White marbles contain iron. So when it has prolonged exposure to water or moisture, guess what happens? It rusts. And it’s not some surface rust you can scrap off. It’s all the way through the stone.
So I got a call one day from this gentlemen about his sink. I told him the above and said: “Look, especially due to the age of the stone, it’s not possible for us to restore it so it can match your new cararra pieces in the bathroom.” But I had him email a picture any way. Here’s what it was:
The sink counter is supposed to look like the backsplash piece. But you can also see on the back piece the dark rising oval of moisture that has soaked into it from the counter. Also, the beveled inner edge would make it very difficult to restore perfectly. I told him we charge a minimum of $300 to restore, but because I know that staining will not dramatically disappear, and he was trying to match new stone, I declined the job.
A few months later there’s a knock on our door. Yup, you guessed it. It’s the same gentleman. He says he brought the two pieces with him, and wants us to try to see if we think they can be restored. So we walk over to get this old slab and sink (yes, the basin was still attached to the counter) out of the trunk of his Tesla. Yes, his Tesla. You can see why I wanted to blog about this one.
We brought them inside, and after examining them, I repeated what I stated before. The staining was clearly all the way through the stone. My only option is to do several poultice applications, to see if that can basically “bleach out” or “draw out the stains.” To bring them to a glossy, high polish finish would only make the staining darker in appearance. So we would definitely want to have a honed finish. He really didn’t want to spend hundreds to fix them if they weren’t going to be drastically different, so I said I could poultice them first. Afterwards, if I didn’t think restoration was worth it, I would do a quick hone and seal.
Here’s the pieces before I started:
After 6 days of applying several different poultices, I had to call it. The white marble is what it is. It’s about 90 years too late to expect a miraculous revitalization. So I honed both pieces with a metallic diamond grit pad on my Maikita, applied three coats of sealer, and told him to come get it.
Here are the finished pieces: