Marble is a natural stone often used for flooring, walls, and countertops for both interiors and exteriors. Because marble is a natural stone, it’s also a highly porous material. This makes it possible for surface treatments to be done to enhance its look. In this article, I’m going to share 2 easy ways you can darken your marble.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to darken marble using a natural stone color enhancer
- Step 1: Clean the surface of your marble
- Step 2: Test the color enhancer on the marble
- Step 3: Apply the color enhancer on the entire marble surface to darken it
- Step 4: Wipe off excess color enhancer on the marble
- Step 5: Allow the color enhancer application to dry
- Step 6: Seal the marble surface
To learn the details on the above-mentioned steps plus details an additional method you can use to darken your marble, keep reading this article.
1. The Color Enhancer Method
As the name implies, the color enhancer will enhance the overall color and look of your marble surfaces by enriching the color with a mild to medium tone. Using the color enhancer method is certainly one of the best ways to safely darken your marble surfaces without issues.
The best part is most enhancers will come with the added benefit of giving the surface of your marble a layer to help protect the marble from stains, make the marble water-repellant, hide scratches, make your marble shine, and fingerprint-resistant.
To be able to turn your marble surface a few shades darker while giving it a highly durable and protected finish, here are the things you will need and the steps you need to follow;
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use the color enhancer to darken your marble.
Clean the surface of your marble using a good natural stone cleaner. This first step helps to remove any dust, dirt, or debris from the surface of the marble.
You would want to make sure not to leave behind any cleaning residue on the surface of the marble. Clean and rinse away all traces of the cleaner residue together with any dirt or debris as thoroughly as possible.
Ensure the marble completely dries before proceeding to the next step.
Once the surface of your marble is prepared, test the color enhancer on a hidden or inconspicuous part of your marble.
If you’re terrified of testing the color enhancer on your marble, you can simply wet your marble and leave the marble to remain wet for a while. This will give you an idea on how darker the marble could get when you apply the color enhancer to it.
Personally, I prefer applying the actual color enhancing product on a part of the marble that is not very visible so I could see the exact effect I may possibly have on my marble.
You would always want to do the test first to see how a particular color enhancer reacts on your marble and its effect on the surface of the marble.
More importantly, you will be able to see to what degree the color enhancer is going to darken your marble surface.
Finally, you would want to make sure you’re happy with the results before going ahead to apply the color enhancer you have picked out on the entire surface of the marble.
Once you’re satisfied with the potential outcome of the application, spread the color enhancer on the entire surface of the marble to darken it.
With the help of a paintbrush, a paint pad, or rag, apply the color enhancer on the surface of the marble or natural stone. You can also use a pressure sprayer to apply the color enhancer.
A lot of manufacturers will recommend the use of a pressure sprayer for the color enhancer application.
No matter the applicator you choose, what’s important is ensuring you apply the color enhancer as even as possible. This will help the darkening effect on the marble to be even and consistent.
Tip: In the case of marble tiles or marbles with grout lines, the color enhancer can also darken it as well as the stone itself. If you would want to maintain the look of your grout, you can lightly re-grout.
Allow the color enhancer to sit on the surface of the marble or natural stone for about 5 minutes and then wipe off any excess or any pools of excess color enhancer with your lint-free cloth.
This will allow just about enough time for the color enhancer to get absorbed or penetrate into the stone.
Now allow the color enhancer application to dry. Depending on the type of product you get, the drying time could range between half an hour all the way to two hours.
Step 6 (Optional)
Add a second or third coat of the color enhancer to the surface of your marble if you’d like. It all depends on the level of darkening you would want.
Also, adding more coats of the color enhancer to your marble does not only add darker tones to your marble but also offers a maximized protection over your marble or natural stone surfaces.
Pro Tip: Do not walk or use your marble you have darkened for about 1 day after you have made it darker using the color enhancer.
You also do not want to allow any sorts of liquids or dirt on it for at least a day to ensure the application completely cures.
After the surface of your marble has completely cured, seal it. In most cases sealing the marble after applying the color enhancer may not be required as most products may also have a sealants as an integral part of their ingredients. Voila!
2. The Staining Method
Another way you can darken your marble is by staining it with dyes. This method is not only possible on marbles, but also, it can be used on other natural stones like graphite, limestones, to mention a few.
This is possible because marble, like most natural stones, is very porous and can allow dyes to easily get absorbed into its pores with the right preparation.
Plus if you need any form of assurance that this method works, then Iet me hasten to add that the method of staining marble is an ancient technique that a lot of marble carvers and architects in Greece and Rome used for their sculptures and buildings thousands of years ago.
With the right tools, a little bit of time, and the step-by-step guide I share in this article, you should be able to stain your marble without any issues. Here are the things you need.
- Oil-Based Dye
- Heat Gun
- Natural Stone Sealer
Clean the marble surface to be stained. This will help so that no dirt, dust, or debris gets in the way of the staining process.
Mix your dyes according to the instruction on the package. Not all dyes for natural stones are the same. While some dye manufacturers will ask that you mix the dye with alcohol, others may indicate the dye be mixed with wax for the best consistency.
Whatever the case may be, you would want the dye you pick out to be an oil-based dye as they tend to have the best results on natural stones better than water-based dyes..
Once the dye is properly mixed, the next step is to warm up the marble using a heat gun. You would be able to use an iron but the heat gun in most cases works best.
Because you will want to make the marble as warm as possible, it can take a couple of minutes before the marble warms up properly.
For much larger marble surfaces, you will want to warm up small sections of the marble at a time.
The benefit of heating the marble before applying the dye is to help open the marble’s pores for better and easier dye absorption.
While the marble is nice and warm, apply the dye mixture as smooth and as evenly as possible using a soft sable brush.
Some products may recommend using sponges to apply the dyes but personally, I find using a brush to be a lot more convenient and very easy to control the amounts of dyes with each stroke.
Make sure your applications is as consistent over the marble suface.
You can apply multiple layers of dye to the surface of the marble as you would want. What you’re required to do is to ensure the marble is warmed up before the dye application and allowed to cool after each dye application.
Once you’re satisfied with how the marble darkens, allow the marble to cool down and dry.
Apply the natural stone sealer following the instructions indicated on the package.
Applying a seal after you have dyed the marble is important because it helps to lock the dye into the marble and also prevents dye transfer from the marble to other surfaces.
Your marble should be nicely darkened at this point.