How to Stain a Slate Kitchen Floor

What You'll Need
Oxygen bleach
Acetone Stripper
Floor Mop
Floor Scrubber (You may rent this) or a scouring pad
Nylon bristle brush
Waterbase Acrylic Stain
Penetrating Sealer (preferably Silane)
Paint Brush
Grit Sandpaper
Neutral Ph stone cleanser
Distilled water

A slate kitchen floor is a high-trafficked area; it will eventually look dull and lifeless after years of water and oil spills, and shoes or furniture abrasion. Although a slate tile is a natural stone, it can be stained to revive its luster or enhance its color.

Step 1 – Clean the Area

Remove furniture, electrical appliance, rugs and other items that cover the surface area of the slate kitchen floor. Vacuum the floor. Mix water and detergent. Use an electric floor scrubber or a scouring pad to remove grime, and oil. Remove suds using a mop dipped in clean water. Afterwards, prepare oxygen bleach solution. Wipe the entire are with oxygen bleach to remove deep seated dirt, remove last traces of oil, eliminate molds and mildews and disinfect the floor.

Step 2 – Strip-Off Old Sealer

Cleaning and scrubbing the area may remove the old sealer applied on the floor, but it is only by using a sealer stripper that sealer may be removed completely.

Prepare the acetone stripper, apply the solution using the floor scrubber, and begin the stripping process. If you will be using a nylon bristle brush to scrub away the sealer, apply the solution with a paintbrush, let the solution stand for a few minutes, and then begin scrubbing. Concentrate on less-trafficked areas where the old sealer is still intact. Use sandpaper grit on these areas.

Step 3 – Neutralize the Stones

Treat the clean and sealer free slate floor with a neutral Ph stone cleanser. Remember that a slate tile is a natural metamorphic rock; the chemicals that have been used to clean and strip it of sealer can cause a chemical reaction and make the stone brittle. Rinse the area with distilled water before moving on with the staining process. Remember when rinsing (or the last rinse during cleaning process), always use distilled water. Minerals in tap water can cause spots and discoloration on natural stones like slates.

Let the floor dry for an hour.

Step 4 – Color Stain

Apply a waterbase acrylic stain in the color of your choice using a paintbrush. A slate stone is porous and it absorbs waterbase stains quickly, so apply the stain with several thin coats to achieve the desired color instead of one thick application. Let the stain dry for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Step  5 – Apply the Sealer

Use a penetrating sealer, preferably Silane, and apply it with a paintbrush. Apply several coats in intervals specified by the sealer’s manufacturer. Let it dry thoroughly before putting the furniture and other items back in place.

Sealer works like a waterproofing agent by sealing the pores on the stones, thereby protecting the stones from water, grease and oil. Also, it increases the absorption and adhesion of waterbase stains, specifically sealers containing Silane, which increases stain adhesion by 400%.