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Is it possible to remove sealer from slate? (Just installed/sealed 4 days ago!)

by MD

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!) ;-)

Anyways...just wondering....

Thanks!! :-)

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!


Comments for Is it possible to remove sealer from slate? (Just installed/sealed 4 days ago!)

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May 08, 2013
Enrich and Seal
by: Anonymous

I would never ever use enrich and seal on slate. IT will ruin the beautiful color of slate. I am guessing this is true for most "enhancing" sealers.
They are a chemical that makes water bead and merely Darken the tile until it's ugly.

Oct 19, 2011
Slate Sealer (& curing time/fumes)
by: Anonymous

Thanks for your quick response - I'll let you know if we decide to try removing the stain. (Like I said, it may be too cost/time-prohibitive to do, at this point, but I appreciate knowing our options.)

BTW, the sealer on the slate has been curing for at 5 days, now, but is still very strong-smelling at times....Is there anything that can be done to speed-up the process of curing, to get the smell to dissapate more quickly, before it gets too cold? Thanks, again.

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