I have a marble-topped coffee table. It came to me a year or so ago with water-rings etched into its polished surface. I did the DIY thing, and ordered the stuff to polish the marble. It wasn’t easy but it mostly worked and I was happy. Then, over the holidays, I spilled a whiskey-honey-lemon juice concoction* on it. Deep sigh. It left a big, white mark.
I’ve come to realize that we are too hard on polished marble so why not just embrace the un-polished/honed look. Since water appears to cause most rings, I decided to soak the marble top with water. I applied very wet towels let them sit for several hours.
Water did not make the polished finish go away. I thought that perhaps it was the whiskey that had taken off the polish so I decided to try vodka (my husband’s whiskey is too expensive to pour on the table).
After a few hours it was obvious that vodka wasn’t working either so I decided to consult google. It turns out that acidic liquids are the main culprit when it comes to ‘etching’ the polish off of marble. Vinegar was mentioned and I have a gallon of it. Yay! I soaked paper towels with vinegar and left it to sit.
Later I took off the paper towels and just poured on more vinegar. Yes, vinegar will take most of the polish off of a marble surface!
The surface is a little blotchy which only shows in some light, from the side. I sanded the top with fine grain sandpaper. It knocked back some of the shinier areas and I like the feel of it but I decided to once again consult google. I found out that you can, indeed, use fine wet/dry sandpaper and an orbital sander to get an even better honed surface.
I have an orbital sander but don’t want to use it in the house—too much dust. When Steve comes home he can help me take the marble to the garage and I’m going to sand it like crazy and then seal it. If any of you have scarred marble that’s bothering you, I offer this as one possible solution.
*The whiskey-honey-lemon juice concoction is what we refer to as ‘granny’s elixir’ and it is my favorite cold remedy. It doesn’t make the cold go away faster, but it does help you to feel better.
wow! That sounds like a lot but the table is definitely worth it. Very pretty and I hope you wore a mask when you used the sander!
I will indeed wear a mask when I start sanding with the orbital sander. Thank you for the reminder.
* Would “granny’s elixir” by any chance be drunk warm? That sounds like the hot toddy Bill used to fix me when I had a cold or stuffy chest. I cannot say whether it “cures” but it does relax a person and make her feel better!
Oh my yes, granny’s elixir is very nice warm.
You should read this post from ‘For the love of a house’ about marble. Very informative.
Thanks for the link!
I just loved this post. Can you by any chance give me the recipy of the drink. I have such a bad cold right now. I would try anything to feel a little better. But I love your work on the table. It will look great once it is ready.
My husband usually mixes it up for me. I know he warms the honey, and then probably adds bourbon, followed by lemon juice. It could be roughly equal parts of all three. Taste it and see if you want more of any of the ingredients.
I often leave it in the glass with a spoon and just have spoonful when it sounds good.
Feel better soon,
We have a similar “Cure”. Hot water, a lot of Rum and as much sugar as you like. We say: Sugar can, Water may, Rum must. After a glass of it, you are ready for bed and unless you take too much sugar, you wake up without a headache and much better. Have a nice day, Birgitt