How to Repair a Granite Kitchen Countertop

Because they come in many colors and patterns, it's generally easy to find a granite countertop that will match your decor and fixtures, or provide a striking accent to your kitchen design. True granite is very hard and durable, but dropping something like a can of soup onto it can cause nicks and chips. Granite chips usually appear on an edge of a countertop or around a sink. After a careful repair job, these will be hardly (if at all) noticeable.

Prepare the Countertop

Its wide variety of patterns and colors make granite a popular choice.
  1. Dry the area where you need to make the repair. You can use a hair dryer, but keep moving it over the surface to avoid cracks in the granite.

  2. Remove dust and dirt from the area to be repaired, using methyl ethyl ketone (MEK). The liquid must evaporate completely before you proceed.

  3. Make a little dam with masking tape to contain the patching material if you are working on a countertop edge. If your countertop has a bullnose or other type of rounded edge, build your dam to conform with the shape of the edge, leaving open enough space at the top to pour the patch.

Prepare the Patching Resin

  1. Measure and pour small amounts of the resin into five nonmetal containers; paper cups work well. Liquid medicine dispensers, which hold 1 to 2 tablespoons, work well for measuring out the resin. You must know exactly how much resin you put in each cup because you will need exactly the same amount of hardener (catalyst) later. Inaccurate measuring results in resin that will never harden.

  2. Mix color pigments into one container of resin. Combine color pigments until you create a color that matches the granite. It may be necessary to mix two or three pigments together to make the correct shade, and it may take several tries. If you are patching a larger area in multicolored granite, prepare two or more color samples. You may need fewer than five containers of resin to get the color match or matches you want. If so, discard the extra containers.

  3. Add the correct amount of catalyst to each container of pigmented resin, remembering to measure carefully. Mix the resin and the catalyst very thoroughly; then mix it some more. If the resin and catalyst are not mixed sufficiently, the resin will not harden.

Repair the Chip

  1. Fill the chip with the resin-pigment-catalyst measure. If you are using two colors of patching resin, apply them side by side; do not mix them. Use the dam you made with masking tape to help align the edges of the patch with the edge of the countertop. Add a little extra resin after the first application has dried because resin shrinks when it dries. If you are working with a rounded edge, add the resin in several layers, letting each cure before you pour the next. This process will allow you to build the curved profile.

  2. Apply a strip of packing tape over the patch and smooth it with your fingers to make the patched area level with the countertop.

  3. Clean any resin that has gotten onto the adjacent granite with MEK and 00 steel wool after the resin has cured. Check the manufacturer's directions to find out how long the resin takes to cure.

About the Author

Tanya Lee is a professional writer with more than 30 years experience. She has published extensively in the field of education and as a journalist, the latter in such publications as "High Country News" and "News from Indian Country." Lee holds a M.Ed. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.