How to Seal Granite Countertops in 5 Easy Steps

You can seal granite countertops with a few supplies and a little elbow grease

Angela Brown
Written by Angela Brown
Updated June 28, 2022
A kitchen with granite countertop and the living room in the background
Photo: YinYang / E+ / Getty Images
Difficulty

Simple

Flex your DIY muscles.

Time to complete

48 hours

Cost

$25–$50

You might need a few supplies.

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What you'll need:

TOOLS

  • Microfiber cloth
  • Rubber gloves
  • Spray bottle
  • Soft rags

SUPPLIES

  • Granite sealer
  • Dish soap
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Oil

Granite countertops look beautiful. This long-lasting material can take a lot, but it needs a little love in return. If you haven’t sealed your granite countertops in a while, you could be putting your stunning kitchen feature at risk of damage and staining. If it’s been longer than a year since the last time you gave your granite countertop a coat of sealant, your counters are overdue for a touch-up.

Granite countertops offer several benefits, including longevity and attractiveness. Granite can help add value to your home, and it’s easy to keep clean. Follow the five steps below to seal your granite countertops. 

Prepping to Seal Granite Countertops

Choosing the right type of sealant for your granite will depend on your needs. There are three main types of granite sealant. 

Penetrating

Penetrating sealant protects your granite countertops with resin. The resin fills the porous texture, preventing water and other liquids from penetrating the surface. This type of sealant does more to protect against water and liquid damage than scratching and staining. 

Enhancing 

Granite countertops will soak up an enhancing sealer. This type of sealant helps the countertops look new and shiny again. In addition to adding a new shine, most of these products contain a penetrating sealant. 

Topical Sealant

A topical sealant works from the outside. It provides a glossy finish and helps protect the granite from staining and scratching. This sealant isn’t the best for countertops, however. If you do opt for a topical sealant, choose one designed specifically for granite countertops.

You should reseal your granite countertops at least once per year. If you cook or bake often, you may need to reseal your granite countertops more often. The time between sealant coats can also vary based on the type of sealant you choose. 

Additionally, the color of your countertops can make a difference. Darker colors are often denser, which makes them less likely to stain or discolor. Darker granite also hides stains and discoloration better than lighter granite.

5 Steps to Sealing Granite Countertops

A bowl with apples on a kitchen granite countertop
Photo: Grace Cary / Moment / Getty Images

Now that you have your supplies, here’s how to get started.

  1. Make Sure Your Countertop Needs a Sealant

    You can check if your granite countertop needs a new coat of sealant with a quick test.

    • Choose an edge or corner and add a few drops of water to the counter. 

    • Add oil (like vegetable or olive) on the surface a few inches away from the water.

    • Let both the oil and water sit on the countertop for about 15 minutes. 

    • When you return, check to see if the water and oil leaked into the granite and caused it to darken. 

    If the granite surface of your countertop has darkened, you’ll need to move forward with the following steps. If not, your granite countertop likely already has a sealant.

  2. Clean Your Countertops

    Twenty-four hours before you plan to add a sealant, thoroughly clean the countertop. 

    • Use a microfiber cloth to remove any dust before washing with warm water and soap. 

    • After thoroughly washing the granite, spray the countertop with a mixture of 2 tablespoons of rubbing alcohol to 1 teaspoon of dish soap. 

    • Use a microfiber cloth to rub the spray in a circle, creating a polish on the surface.

    • Allow the granite to dry for 24-hours before proceeding. 

  3. Test the Sealant

    Before applying the sealant to your entire countertop, you’ll want to test the product on a small spot to make sure it doesn’t damage your granite. 

    • Make sure you’ve read the directions on your sealant, donned gloves, and ventilated your space. 

    • Apply an even coat of sealant over a small test area and allow it to sit according to the manufacturer’s instructions (usually 15 minutes). 

    • If you notice any discoloration, wipe off the sealant and contact a local professional to see if they can offer a product that might work better.

  4. Apply Sealant Over the Entire Counter

    If the test area looks good, you can apply the sealant to the whole granite surface. 

    • Work your way from top to bottom and side to side. 

    • Apply the sealant using circular motions. Try to keep your circles the same size so the sealant applies evenly. 

    • Allow the sealant to dry according to the recommended time listed in your product instructions.

  5. Remove Excess Sealant and Allow to Cure

    Once it’s dried according to the instructions on your product, wipe away any excess and let the granite countertop set for about 48 hours before using your counters.

Should You DIY or Hire a Professional to Seal Granite Countertops?

Sealing your countertops is a simple process. It can take some time for the process to work, but it’s a project that’s easily handled by even the most DIY-averse homeowners. 

If you’re up to the task, you can purchase sealant for around $20 from most hardware stores. If you’re interested in having your countertops sealed by a local granite countertop pro (which can last longer), expect to pay between $170 to $350.

You may consider hiring a professional for bigger jobs. For example, a professional can help replace a sink or oven without damaging granite. They can also ensure the sealant is secure to prevent damage.

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Get quotes from top-rated pros.