How To Restore Shine To A Marble Countertop Or Bathroom Vanity That Is Scratched & Dull

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We got this question the other day…

A really dull cultured marble countertop that's only a few months old.

Help! I think I’ve ruined the cultured marble countertop in my bathroom! It’s still white, and looks clean, but it’s got tiny scratches all over it. I’ve only used soft rags to clean it (once I might have used the softest scrubber I could find). I recently used Soft Scrub to clean it, and now our marble countertop is no longer glossy/shiny like before. Is there any hope for restoring the surface of this countertop back to its original shine?

If you’ve ever had a marble countertop — either cultured marble or solid marble — then you know how easily they can be damaged. Normal wear and tear alone can leave your countertop or vanity looking less than stellar, primarily due to minor scratches.

Most homeowners have, at some point, scratched their marble countertops, or cleaned them with the wrong products. The result is usually a dull finish, rather than the sparkle and shine that used to be evident.

Here’s how to restore the color and shine to your marble countertop or vanity sink…


Cultured Marble vs Solid Marble

Before we go any further, you should determine whether you have a solid marble or a cultured marble countertop.

In general, cultured marble is less expensive and slightly easier to maintain due to a gel-like coating that helps protect from stains & scratches.

Solid marble is more expensive, more porous, and takes a good bit of extra care to keep it looking nice.


How To Repair A Cultured Marble Countertop

You can get your cultured marble countertop looking almost new with just a little bit of effort.

All you need to decide is whether you want to use a sander, or not.


Here’s how to repair a cultured marble countertop using a sander:

1. Wet sand the countertop with 1000-grit sand paper which can be found at any home improvement store. Be sure that you don’t sand down too deeply or you’ll go right through the gel top coat of a cultured marble top. (You don’t want to do that, because it’s hard to get it to look nice if you do.) You aren’t going to be able to repair deep gouges with this technique.

2. Once you’ve wet sanded all the shallow scratches and surface stains off, then rinse and dry the countertop.

3. Finally, buff the countertop with a product like Meguiar’s Medium Cut Cleaner.


Here’s how to repair a cultured marble countertop without sanding:


It’s worth mentioning that there are also specially made kits for repairing and refinishing a cultured marble countertop. The kits are usually available for solid color surfaces only.

11 thoughts on “How To Restore Shine To A Marble Countertop Or Bathroom Vanity That Is Scratched & Dull”

  1. The problem with my cultured marble counter top is not with the top, but with the bowl of the lavatory. There are cracks in the surface that look like spider webs. Is there a way to fill these cracks and resurface the bowl? Otherwise it will be to cut out the bowl and install a porcelain bowl.

    • Ramon – I would try using a Magic Eraser to remove the rust. 

      Here’s more about the surfaces that Magic Erasers work well on, and the many stains you can remove with them:

  2. How do I know if I got a cultured or solid marble counter top? I just bought a brand new condo and I ruined the bathroom counter top with acid. Now I go rings from the jar with acid etched on my counter top.

    • patrickbatemann – Here is the best information I have found regarding cultured marble vs solid marble:
      P.S. There’s even more great info in the Comments there. D Kaufman provides quick answers to everyone’s questions!

  3. More likely the soft scrub did no harm from abrasion…but use only pure water in my experience. Because MANY, i would even say MOST commercial bathroom or kitchen cleaners have lemon scent or any acidity to them and will ruin the finish on real marble in an instant! I use vinegar to clean many things in the home, but keep it far from the marble!!

  4. I have a solid black marble counter top in my kitchen and I’m looking for ways to make it shine with a “wet look” But everything I use only makes it look more a white/greyish layer covers it. I like my kitchen to shine and sparkle and I put a lot of hard work into keeping it up and making it look very very clean and I clean it well so that I can take pride in my home. But I’ve used various car waxes ( and tolerated the nasty smell for hours!)including “Rain-X wet car look” and I’ve used plain ol hot water and dish soap (which actually made the counter-tops look better than the wax ever did! lol) Then I went to a marble dealer and asked him about it-he gave me some ridiculously expensive “multipurpose cleaner that did an excellent job of cleaning the marble, stripped away the old wax, but left the counter-tops with the same dull finish-ugh! So, I think today I will try the wet look car wax once agan and this time use the buffer pad that connects to my drill to really buff it hard and better! Any other suggestions?

  5. I bought a beautiful chocolate brown polished carved marble water feature some time ago. It is not yet set up as a water feature but is sitting outside in the sun. The beautiful chocolate colour is turning white all over. Is there anything that I can do to bring the choc shine back? It it turning white/grey especially around the top where the water and sun hit it.

  6. HELP!!! I sprayed my marble bathroom counter with Kaboom not knowing that it wasn’t safe for marble. Now, everywhere I sprayed is dull. How can I restore the shine to this surface and please give some pointers on the best products to use to clean marble surfaces. Thanks


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