Ideal for either a traditional or a contemporary style, slate work surfaces are an attractive addition to any room. Softer than most rocks, slate is perfect for a work surface due to its longevity when properly maintained. However, its softness means it’s susceptible to scuffs or scratches. Although scratches can add ‘character’, they might be inconvenient, too deep, or simply ruin the beautiful aesthetic of the work surface.
As slate work surfaces are exposed to direct contact and pressure, it becomes highly susceptible to scratches. There are a few simple and inexpensive techniques to remove scratches from slate work surfaces. Through minimally invasive techniques you can ensure that no further damage is done to your slate work surface, and the scratches are removed smoothly.
Smaller scratches can easily be repaired but others will require the care of a professional to guarantee that not only the scratches don’t become worse but you also don’t accidentally hurt yourself by handling power tools.
Method #1: Use Mineral Oil
Mineral oil is made from petroleum, resulting as a by-product of the distillation process of petroleum to make gasoline. It’s odourless and colourless, and ideal to help remove scratches from slate work surfaces. You can typically find mineral oil in hardware stores.
Step 1: Clean the area with the scratches with a damp cloth to ensure all dirt and dust is removed. Let the area dry completely.
Step 2: Wipe the work surface with the mineral oil with a cloth, and allow the oil to flow into the scratches so that they turn into the original colour of the slate.
The mineral oil will only very slightly darken the slate’s colour, and this darkening effect will help to hide any small scuffs that the slate may have.
Method #2: Use a Stain Pen
A stain pen can be found in the paint department in hardware stores, and it is used to match the scratch with the colour of the slate. These pens are similar to permanent markers, being available in a wide range of colours that allows you to easily match your slate. You can deliver a precise amount of stain to the area that you are working on to remove any existing scratches.
Step 1: Use a damp cloth to clean the area you’ll be treating and make sure that no dirt or dust is left. Allow it to dry thoroughly.
Step 2: Slowly wipe the pen on the scratch and wipe it gently, blending the scratched area with the slate work surface’s colour.
Method #3: Sanding the Scratches
Sanding scratches down is an effective way of removing them. You should use a fine-grit sandpaper as it is ideal to sand scratches by spot sanding and concentrating on the problematic areas.
Step 1: Start with a lower grit number for honing and move up to a bigger grit, such as a 400-grit or a 600-grit, to slowly and gradually achieve a polished look that is consistent.
Step 2: Use a lower grit sandpaper for finishing, but ensure that the sanding is done gently, similar to how silver is polished. Rough sanding may leave deeper scratches than the ones that you are trying to remove.
Step 3: Wipe the dust away with a damp rag when finished.
A final tip is to use a stone sealant at the end of each treatment to ensure that the slate is sealed and that it has a protective coating capable of resisting scratches and scruffs. Allow the surface to dry completely before you use your work surface. Note: problematic areas may require the use of an electric polisher, which should be done by a qualified professional.
Slate is a stone that is typically very easy to work with and remove any scratches. As a beautiful and exquisite material, it gives you the perfect work surface. As slate and stone specialists, we always supply the best slate to guarantee you are completely satisfied with the result.
Get in touch with our team to find out more about our range of slate work surfaces.