How to polish a stone patio table

Written by michele vrouvas
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Stone tables add a warm, natural touch to your patio decor. But they require careful maintenance to maintain their rustic beauty. The porous stones these tables are made from stain easily and can develop dull surfaces over time. Stone tables used for dining attract water and food stains. Occasional tables left uncovered become blemished from rain, snow and even wind. Commit to a regular cleaning routine and keep your stone patio table dazzling.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Soft cloths, preferably white, or sponges
  • Warm water
  • Mild dish detergent
  • Chemical solution recommended for stone tables
  • Lacquer thinner
  • Spray-on stone sealer
  • Clear wax

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  1. 1

    Inspect the table. For everyday dirt and residue, plan on using a mild soapy mixture. Heavy-duty dirt requires a chemical cleaner designed to remove caked-on debris without ruining the table's surface sealer. A dulled finish that forms after time requires a lacquer thinner.

  2. 2

    Clean normal dirt. Mix the water and detergent. Apply the mixture to a cloth or sponge. Gently rub over the surface of the table, just to loosen and remove the dirt.

  3. 3

    Tackle heavier dirt, like tree sap and bird droppings. Apply the chemical solvent directly to the stains.

  4. 4

    Wait until the solvent takes effect. You should observe the stain loosening. Then use the cloth or sponge to wipe away the dirt.

  5. 5

    Expect to apply a final solution of mild soap and warm water even after rubbing away the chemical solvent. This second cleaning removes any chemical residue from the table, which is especially important if you're using the table to dine.

  6. 6

    Restore shine to a dulled finish by reapplying sealer two times per year. First use the cloth or sponge to clean the table with either warm water or a mixture of water and mild dish soap. Allow the stone to dry, then spray on the sealer and polish with a dry soft cloth.

  7. 7

    Prevent stains from wet teabags or acidic ingredients, like wine, juices and vinegar. Treat the stone surface with a clear wax you can apply with a soft cloth or sponge.

Tips and warnings

  • Keep water spots from forming on your stone table by using coasters beneath drinks and place mats beneath plates.
  • Drape a furniture cover over the table when you're not using it to protect the stone from outdoor elements.
  • Don't apply abrasive cleaners that could scratch the table's surface.

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