Objects with a historical background have usually already seen a lot. This is also the case with this marble feeding trough from imperial times, which is over 400 years old. And of course, that left some traces on the good piece. Since this trough is to be used as a washbasin, thorough cleaning and sealing are on the agenda. The following article reveals how old marble workpieces can be prepared.
THE PROJECT: OLD TROUGH, NEW USE
Turning old into new is a trend that comes back into fashion every few years. Shabby Chick is currently all the rage. It’s all nicer, of course, when really old objects – perhaps even with a historical background – can be used. But how can such old pieces of furniture and objects be prepared so that they can also be used in a modern ambiance? Sometimes this is not so easy, because the restoration profession does not exist for anything.
In this project, we show what it takes to prepare a marble feeding trough from imperial times that are over 400 years old so that it can be converted into a washbasin at the end.
TOOLS AND MATERIALS
Fortunately, the preparation of a marble trough does not require a lot of tools and materials. In addition to algae and mold remover for natural stone, all you need is hydrochloric acid and natural stone oil. It would help if you also had a lot of water and lots of cleaning cloths.
Depending on the type of cleaning agent used, a basic set of protective clothing is essential. In addition to gloves, this also includes protective goggles and robust clothing. If hydrochloric acid is used, as is the case here, these protective measures are mandatory!
CLEANING MARBLE SINKS
The first thing on the program is a thorough cleaning of the marble washbasin. For this purpose, the algae and mold remover is sprayed over the entire surface as possible on all sides. On closer observation, one can watch the product as it gradually disappears all the organic components that have become attached to the basin through storage outdoors. This happens very quickly and can be done without having to use a brush.
The only important thing is that the entire marble sink is sprayed on all sides. If there are particularly dirty areas, a little more cleaning agent can be applied there.
Note: It is a real pleasure to watch the cleaning process. We would like such a cleaning agent for our shower too!
After applying, we take a short break in which we let the remedy work for us. After twenty minutes, however, the time has come and all organic components have dissolved.
Then rinsing with plenty of water is the order of the day. Washing up the marble washbasin is particularly easy with a garden hose. If this is done, the trough is dried or any water that may be in it is removed.
Tip: Since this sink does not yet have a drain opening, we are using a well-known trick. To do this, a hose is filled with water, one end being brought into the vessel, and the other end to the point that is lower than the bottom of the sink. In this way, the water flows off as if driven by a pump. We don’t want to withhold the shaking tube ( Amazon ) as an insider tip!
DARKEN THE SINK
This step is optional. It should only be carried out if the marble washbasin should regain its color. If, on the other hand, the surface is to remain untouched, this step must be skipped.
Highly concentrated (35%) hydrochloric acid is used. It is, therefore, essential to wear protective equipment. Since the hydrochloric acid attacks the surface of the marble (limestone), it should not remain on the marble sink for more than five minutes at such a high concentration. This treatment loosens the limescale in the upper layer of stone so that the original color is better shown.
To achieve this darkening effect, the hydrochloric acid is sprayed over the entire surface and evenly on the sink. After five minutes of exposure, it is then washed off with plenty of water. Then the water is removed from the sink, and everything is wiped dry.
MARBLE SINK SEAL
To seal the marble sink, it must be ensured that it is dry. So at least a few hours of rest or overnight drying are necessary. If you are in a particular hurry, you can also speed up the drying process. This works quite well with air from a compressor.
The sink is now sealed with a purely natural product, namely a natural stone oil based on linseed. A bit of color is added to give the marble trough a nice, rich tint. However, only the polished surface of the basin is oiled here. The part initially built into the wall remains untouched. The oil is best applied with cellulose cleaning cloths. This ensures that not too much oil is applied, which would then have to be removed in a second step. So use the oil sparingly and don’t just tip it into the basin!
Note: The surface sealing with oil is intended for indoor use and must be repeated every two to three years. As an alternative to this seal, the washbasin can also be impregnated. There are also suitable products for this, which have a shelf life of eight years even if the object is set up outdoors!
And then it’s already done. The sink shines in new splendor!
Only a direct comparison with before reveals how successful the processing was. Best of all, the job was effortless with no brushing or scrubbing. Cleaning can be that easy!