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 appliances, 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. Afterward, prepare an oxygen bleach solution. Wipe the entire area with oxygen bleach to remove deep-seated dirt, remove last traces of oil, eliminate mold and mildew, 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 the 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 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 to 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 water-based acrylic stain in the color of your choice using a paintbrush. Slate stone is porous and it absorbs water-based 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 30-60 minutes.
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. It also increases the absorption and adhesion of water-based stains, specifically sealers containing Silane, which increases stain adhesion by 400%.