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Repairing Natural Stone Fireplace Surround Facing

Repairing scratches:
The only way to remove a scratch completely is to re-surface the entire piece, which is neither practical nor cost-effective. Fortunately, most scratches can be camouflaged by following this simple procedure.

Equipment needed: A small propane torch, household paraffin wax, a sharp single-edged razor blade.

Instructions for repairing scratches:
Begin by heating the surface area for at least one minute with the propane torch. After the surface is very hot, place the bar of paraffin wax directly on the surface, moving it back and forth several times. The wax will melt into the scratch. Once you have a coating of wax on the scratched area, remove the bar of wax. Allow the wax to dry completely, then carefully remove the excess wax with a sharp razor blade to create a smooth finish. This procedure will allow you to run your hand over the scratch without feeling it. Sometimes, however, the scratch will remain slightly visible. To further reduce the visibility of the scratch, use a high-speed buffing machine over the surface. With black marble, a simple black permanent marker followed with a coat of black wax over the surface usually hides scratches. It is always a good idea to test these procedures on a sample piece before attempting to repair scratches.

Repairing chips:
Even with great care, sometimes a piece of marble will chip due to its fragile nature. Mantels Direct can provide you with all the necessary products and tools to help repair a minor chip.

Equipment needed: 2-part Akemi Polyester Adhesive, a sharp single-edged razor blade, a felt polishing pad, Akemi Coloring Paste kit (8 colors), and a variable-speed grinder or hand-held diamond polishing pads.

Instructions for repairing chips:
Place a small amount of Knife Grade Akemi Polyester adhesive onto a working board. From the assorted color kit, mix the colorants with the Akemi adhesive to create a color match with the chipped marble. (The coloring product is highly concentrated and requires only a small amount). Once the desired color shade has been reached, add a very small amount of the concentrated hardening paste. Be careful--you will have only 5-7 minutes working time. Spread and smooth the colored Akemi onto one side of the chipped or broken area of the marble. You will use the Akemi to build the chipped edge or fill in the chipped surface. The paste will dry quickly. Using a razor blade, scrape off the excess Akemi. Once it has dried completely, create a smooth finish with a variable-speed grinder and a felt polishing pad.

Guide to Polishing Edges

The inside edges on our Fireplace Surround Facing Kits are factory polished. The other edges are normally not seen once installed with a mantel in position. If you want additional polishing, or if you have a hearth width cut down, you may order polishing at check-out, in multiples of 1-foot.

Polishing Edges: The fastest process for polishing marble or granite edges is to utilize a polishing system with a set of 6 different discs. When polishing edges, we do not recommend going over 2,500 rpms on a variable speed grinder. It is important to check the rpm settings on your specific grinder because they vary according to the manufacturer. We recommend a variable speed angle grinder with a Velcro backing pad attachment and the 80, 120, 240, 320, 400 and 600 grit alpha wet/dry Velcro discs.

Instructions for polishing edges on stone: Start with the 80 grit on the grinder (be sure to wear goggles to protect your eyes from flying dust and marble particles) and grind the rough surface to a smooth finish. Proceed with the higher grit wheels, buffing the marble a few minutes with each wheel until the desired polish is obtained. Green and black marbles are the most difficult to polish; therefore, do not rush when polishing these stones.