Looking for the best way to clean and seal black limestone floors?
This ‘how-to guide’ explains how to clean & seal interior black limestone floors and walls. This includes sealing with ‘matt’ finish impregnators and low sheen satin finish sealers.
The ‘wet look’ finish is discussed and how to achieve this finish.
This article has been written to help you understand how to clean and seal interior black limestone floors. You can view individual product pages by clicking on the product titles highlighted in blue.
The information is relevant to exterior black limestones but there are other considerations to consider when sealing exterior surfaces. We have written another guide regarding cleaning and sealing exterior floors. Please click here to view the article.
Which type of product should I seal an interior black limestone floor with?
This depends on the finish you are trying to create. Do you want matt or a subtle sheen?
If you wish to seal a new floor you do not need to think about how the limestone has been previously sealed.
If the floor has been sealed in the past, you may need to strip the old sealer etc. We recommend contacting us if your floor has been sealed before. Impregnating sealers tend to break down over time. Topical sealers may need stripping, this work can be involved.
There is no right or wrong answer when sealing interior black limestone. It often revolves around personal choice. The only area we recommend not using a topical sealer (a sealer that produces a sheen) is in wet areas i.e. a bathroom.
Kitchens are often sealed with a topical sealer as the satin finish is often preferred in this type of location.
How to create a matt finish on a black limestone floor
To create a ‘matt’ natural finish we recommend using Floorseal Black Limestone Restorer. This product is a form of impregnator called a colour enhancer. It penetrates the surface of the limestone, and all excess should then be removed.
This means buffing the floor with microfibre cloths as you go. It is easier to work in small patches, applying the sealer, and then removing the excess as you progress across the floor.
Black Limestone Restorer is a fully breathable impregnating sealer so it will not trap moisture. Black Limestone Restorer seals & deepens the colour of limestone, so it appears ‘blacker’. It will do this with a matt finish as the sealer is ‘in’ the floor not drying on the surface of the floor as a film.
Colour enhancing your black limestone with this product will enrich its appearance, a little like dampening the stone but without an associated shine.
This black limestone sealer & restorer is a premium breathable impregnating sealer. The high active content of this sealer produces a particularly strong colour enhancing effect. The sealed surface will strongly resist oil & water-based staining.
Black Limestone Restorer can be used to both seal new installations and revive the appearance of faded limestones. This sealer can also correct mild acid etching from acid-based solutions. This might be from spills of vinegar, fruit juices or certain foods.
How does a matt finish sealer like Black Limestone Restorer work?
Black Limestone Restorer is a form of breathable impregnating sealer which also contains a colour enhancing polymer. Impregnators like Black Limestone Restorer always leave natural stone with a matt finish.
This is because, as the name suggests, an impregnator soaks deep into the stone. The surface becomes resistant to water and oil-based staining, without an actual skin or film being formed. Therefore, you will not see a sheen or film on the surface.
In other words, the product is ‘in’ the stone not ‘on’ the stone. Black Limestone Restorer becomes deeply meshed into the pores of the stone protecting it from within.
Deepening the colour of darker limestone will turn a washed-out lifeless grey colour back to a deeper black colour. The stronger the colour enhancer used, the ‘blacker’ the stone becomes.
Black Limestone Restorer waterproofs the stone and resists oil splashes. This sealer is a 2-in-1 product that carries out two important tasks – sealing the surface and colour enhancing.
How to apply Black Limestone Restorer
We recommend applying Black Limestone Restorer using a paint pad or microfibre flat mop or cloths, working in small areas. It is possible to apply with a brush or with a roller.
Regardless of the method of application, you must remove all excess before it becomes tacky – use dry microfibre cloths to do this.
The easiest method is to only apply the sealer to an area you can reach into, without standing on the surface you have just applied the product to. This means you can wipe away the excess liquid with ease as you will be working in small sections.
Have several dry cloths to hand, just two cloths for 30m2 are not enough! Removing the excess is a crucial part of the process.
Change your cloth as soon as it becomes dampened with excess product. You need to buff all excess sealer from the surface of the stone so it is dry again. We supply microfibre cloths in packs of 5,10 or 20 that you can order when you select a cleaner or sealer.
Never simply apply the product to the limestone and leave it to dry. There will always be some excess product, it needs to be thoroughly wiped off.
Never apply this sealer to damp stone and make sure the surface is clean before application. This product will reach full strength over 24-48 hours, but you can walk on the surface as soon as it is dry.
How to create a satin finish on an interior black limestone floor
The second way of sealing black limestone is with a topical sealer, which creates a sheen. Surface sealers are sometimes referred to as ‘topical sealers’ as they dry on the surface.
These products are typically water-based, low odour, solvent, and VOC free.
Floorseal Stone & Tile Sealer Satin will dry on the surface of the stone as a subtle film.
Topical sealers can (on certain surfaces) deepen the colour and create a sheen. Black limestone is one of those surfaces, providing it is not too worn or badly acid etched.
Floorseal Stone & Tile Sealer Satin will create a subtle satin finish and also deepen the colour. If you would like some sheen on the surface of your limestone, we recommend this product.
Stone & Tile Sealer Satin is perfect for kitchens and living areas. The only area we do not recommend applying this sealer is in wet areas, like bathrooms.
Stone & Tile Sealer Satin should be applied in 2 or 3 coats.
How to apply Floorseal Stone & Tile Sealer Satin
The easiest method is to apply the product when you are kneeling. Apply with a cloth soaked in the product wiping it over the surfaces and down the grout line.
It is possible to cut into the edges and corners with a brush but make sure it is a thin coat. Running a cloth over these areas prevents an over-application of the product.
Thin coats are stronger than thick coats and you are less likely to produce an application error with a microfibre cloth.
Apply 2-3 thin coats with approximately 1 hour of drying time between each coat.
Never apply this sealer to damp stone and make sure the surface is clean before application. This product will reach full strength over 24 hours, but you can walk on the surface as soon as it is dry.
The question of the term ‘wet look finish’ when discussing sealers for black limestone
The term ‘wet look’ causes some confusion. A wet-look finish means different things to different people! ‘Wet look’ can mean a product that creates a sheen, or a product that produces some depth of colour without a sheen.
So, for clarification, the products we have mentioned will produce the following finish.
Black Limestone Restorer could be described as a ‘wet look’ finish as it replicates the effect of slightly dampening the stone. But importantly this is achieved without the need for a surface coating. It creates a deeper colour but leaves a matt appearance as the sealer is located within the pores of the stone.
Stone & Tile Sealer Satin could also be described as ‘wet look’ as it creates a satin finish producing a deepening of colour within the stone. The sealer dries as a thin film on the surface of the limestone which creates a satin finish.
So, both products do a very similar job but produce a slightly different finish. It really depends on whether you want a matt or low sheen satin finish.
*Please note we do not produce a gloss finish product for black limestones; they look unnatural and do not tend to wear well.
How do I clean black limestone before sealing?
We would recommend pre-cleaning black limestone with Floorseal Stone Floor Cleaner. Thoroughly rinse the surface after use with clean water then allow the limestone to dry. Never clean and seal the limestone on the same day you will need at least 24 hours drying time.
Floorseal Stone Floor Cleaner is a non-acidic cleaning solution that tackles general dirt, grime, and oily residues. It will also break the surface tension left by old impregnating sealers. Stone Floor Cleaner can also remove old water-based acrylic coatings.
It is important to ensure the stone is clean & porous before applying a sealer, particularly impregnating colour enhancing sealers.
You must thoroughly rinse the stone once cleaned, do this with clean water.
If you have previously sealed the surface, please contact us for advice. Certain solvent-based acrylics and polyurethanes are notoriously difficult to remove.
You should never attempt to clean limestone with an acid-based solution as it will attack the limestone itself.
Cements and many grouts are made from limestone! If an acid-based cleaner is being used to dissolve cement-based grouts, it will also dissolve the very surface of the stone you are trying to clean – which is a disaster!
Always clean limestone or any acid-sensitive stone with a non-acidic based cleaning solution. This will ensure that the surface is being cleaned and not just etched.
Even when cleaned with the correct cleaning product, older black limestone can look pale and pastel coloured. This can be corrected by the application of a satin finish or colour enhancing sealer.
Sealing black limestone can help to hide minor scratches and some patchiness. This is providing the patchiness is not left by severe acid etching or an old surface sealer that has not been stripped.
1. Floorseal Black Limestone Restorer will seal the limestone and make the surface of the stone darken in colour. This will help to even out faded or patchy appearances.
Black Limestone Restorer is a colour-enhancing impregnating sealer which produces a matt finish.
It is not a topical sealer so will not produce a satin finish.
Apply it once and remove all excess product with microfibre cloths.
2. Floorseal Stone & Tile Sealer Satin will seal the limestone by forming a thin film on the surface. This in turn leaves the product with a deeper colour and satin finish.
Stone & Tile Sealer Satin is a topical sealer that will create a sheen.
Apply in 2–3 coats approximately an hour apart. You do not need to remove excess product with this type of sealer (try and avoid over-application all the same).
We recommend testing any sealer for suitability which can be done by purchasing samples directly from our product pages. Please Click Here to view all of our products & accessories relating to cleaning and sealing Black Limestone. This includes all our handy ‘how to’ guides for cleaning and sealing black limestone surafces.
If you are laying a new floor and need information about pre-sealing, before grouting, please contact us for advice.
The information contained within this article is not exhaustive. If you need further information please contact Floorseal on (01484) 861461 or email us Info@floorseal.co.uk our web address is www.floorseal.co.uk
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