The Disadvantages of Topical Sealers on Stone Surfaces
Frederick M Hueston StoneForensics.com
Hey there, fellow stone slingers! Let’s talk turkey about the not-so-shiny side of topical sealers. We all know they can jazz up a countertop and make floors gleam like disco balls, but between us, they ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. So, grab a cold one and settle in, ’cause we’re diving deep into the downsides of these surface slickers.
First up, the breathability blues. Picture this: your stone, all happy and porous, wants to breathe, naturally wicking away moisture. Now, slap on a topical sealer, and it’s like smothering it with plastic wrap. Trapped moisture can lead to a whole host of headaches, from pesky efflorescence (think white, chalky blooms) to downright cracks and spalling (stone flaking off, yikes!). Not exactly the “patina perfection” we strive for, right?
Then there’s the durability dilemma. Sure, topical sealers put up a good fight against spills and scratches, but they’re not invincible. Think hot pan on a countertop – that film can melt faster than a snowman in July. And heavy foot traffic? Forget about it. Those scuffs and wear marks will show up quicker than you can say “reapplication.” Impregnators, on the other hand, soak into the stone like a ninja, offering deeper, longer-lasting protection.
Now, let’s talk aesthetics. Don’t get me wrong, some folks dig the high-gloss glam that topical sealers bring. But for those who cherish the natural beauty of stone, these coatings can be a real buzzkill. They can mask the subtle variations and textures that make each piece unique, turning it into a one-dimensional shine fest. Plus, some topical sealers can yellow over time, giving your once-pristine surface a less-than-stellar “aged cheddar” look. Not cool.
And lastly, the application acrobatics. Applying a topical sealer can be a tricky tango. Uneven application leads to splotchy finishes, and if you miss a spot, well, say hello to uneven protection. Plus, some topical sealers have strong fumes that can make your workshop feel like a hazmat zone. Impregnators, on the other hand, are generally easier to apply and more forgiving, seeping into the stone’s nooks and crannies like liquid magic.
So, there you have it, folks. Topical sealers have their place, but they’re not always the stone savior they’re cracked up to be. Remember, understanding the limitations of each sealer helps us choose the right tool for the job, ensuring our stone creations stay stunning and stand the test of time. Now, go forth and conquer, my stone-savvy friends! Just remember, sometimes, less is truly more when it comes to protecting the natural beauty of the Earth’s finest treasures.
Cheers to stone, sweat, and stunning craftsmanship!