Is it possible to remove sealer from slate? (Just installed/sealed 4 days ago!)
Is is possible to remove an oil-based sealer from slate tiles? We *just* had a new slate hearth installed, and the contractor put an oil-based sealer on the slate, which not only darkened the color more than we expected, but also changed the hue from "blue-based" to "yellow-based." (After spending $4K (a lot of money for us), I'm just wondering if there's anything we could do about it 'after the fact.')
I realize this is probably a ridiculous thought/question, and it would be a lot of work--possibly more than we want to do, at this point (not to mention the add'l cost)--but I thought I'd at least find out if it's possible. If so, would removing the sealer return the slate's colors to the pre-sealed colors/tones?
It's a beautiful job (see pics--although the 'after' pic has the benefit of flash, which is way more lighting than we have in the room...we've thought of trying to light it, somehow, b/c it really IS beautiful*), I just didn't realize the sealer would change the 'tone' of the slate. And, although we were told it would make the slate look 'wet' (so I knew it would be darker), we didn't realize it would be AS dark as it turned-out...
*(LOL...Looking at the photo, you'd wonder why I have a problem with it!) ;-)
You can try a coating/sealer remover and let it dwell for about an hour and then scrub and and then suck up with a wet vacuum. There is a product made from a company called Aqua Mix you can find on the internet.
Read the directions carefully and make sure not to let dry on the surface of the stone. Do a small section and see if this product works for you. If this coating/sealer doesn't work, try a soy gel stripper. This product is very strong and you can leave on for much longer.
I think before replacing the slate, you can try a few coating/sealer removers to see if they work. All of them are very strong smelling and you probably will want to wear a respirator when applying and removing, along with a lot of ventilation.
I hope this helps. Please let me know how it went. Good luck!