Q&A: Color Enhancers

What is a Color Enhancer? 

Simply put, a color enhancer is a type of sealer applied to natural stone, brick and masonry that can enhance a stone or make the color more vibrant. If you think about it this way, when concrete gets wet it darkens. This is similar to what color enhancer does. A color enhancer penetrates the stone, giving it a “wet-look” that darkens the stone and brings out the vibrant hues within.

Do Color Enhancers offer the same protection as an Impregnating Sealer?

Yes and No. Color Enhancers can be broken into 2 groups – acrylic and non-acrylic.

  • Non-acrylic Color Enhancers leave a matte (not shiny) finish on the stone but most only protect against water-based spills making it ideal for exterior use or interior in non-food prep areas.
  • Acrylic based Color Enhancers leave a shiny or glossy finish (similar to when a stone is polished). These are normally topical sealers meaning the color enhancer still penetrates the stone but a protective layer is left on top of the stone. This allows for better protection from both water and oil based spills.

How can I apply a Color Enhancer myself? What brand/products do you recommend?

Color Enhancer’s are applied like most sealers. Start in the middle of the area and spread the Color Enhancer evenly across the surface. DO NOT LET IT PUDDLE. Continue to spread the enhancer until the surface is completely covered. Let it set up for 5-15 minutes and wipe up any excess that has not penetrated the stone. I always recommend to my customers to do a test area first. Find an inconspicuous place, apply the color enhancer and wait. Check it again in 2 to 3 days, once the Color Enhancer has fully cured, to make sure you like what the final look will be.

As for the brand/products I recommend – well, if you’ve ready my other blogs, I’m sure you’ve guessed it’s Stone Pro products. They make 2 types of Color Enhancers: Stone Pro’s Color Enhancer (non-acrylic) and Stone Gloss (acrylic). Both are UV resistant and neither will turn yellow over time as some enhancers do. They also make a third option, Amplifier, that is specifically for Granite.

Can I remove a Color Enhancer if I don’t like the way it looks when I’m done?

This is difficult to answer. Yes, essentially you can remove a Color Enhancer once applied but it is a pain and, depending on the type of enhancer, you may not be able to remove it all. To remove, you must use a chemical stripper to strip the floor. This process may have to be done multiple times in order to break down and remove the enhancer. I highly recommend letting a professional strip the floor. Most strippers are hazardous and it is important to take all safety precautions when using. Again, I suggest doing a test in an inconspicuous place prior to doing an area to see what it will look like first.

 

 

 

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