Take it for Granite: What to Do If Your Granite Countertop Chips

July 07, 2018

Granite countertops are durable and resist stains, chips and heat damage. However, don’t make the mistake of assuming that natural granite is completely invincible! 

There are certain mishaps that can cause a chip, even in the hardest of natural stone surfaces. For example, dropping an iron skillet or a heavy pot on your granite slab can damage it, whether it strikes on the edge or in the center.

Some granites—particularly those with dramatic movement and color variations—can have more delicate veins or fissures running through the slab. If hit with enough force in one of these spots, a chip can occur. 

It’s not the end of the world, but the important thing is to prevent further damage by fixing any chip in your granite countertop quickly. 

Left unfilled, even a small chip can allow moisture to seep into the counter, and may result in discoloring or even a crack. It doesn’t happen often, but in the event your beautiful granite counter develops a chip, here is what you need to know. 

Step 1: Prevention

Granite counters are an investment in your home; they add value and beauty, and are perfect for hardworking kitchens and baths—especially when properly cleaned and sealed as directed. To care for them properly, quickly wipe up daily spills with a damp cloth, and use a gentle natural stone cleanser for deeper cleaning. Annually, apply a sealer that is specially formulated for granite

These simple steps will allow you to identify chips in their earliest stage so you can protect them from future damage. In a white kitchen with gorgeous white countertops, sealing and chip repair is vital. The last thing you want is for a small chip to lead to discoloration or a large crack. 

Get a similar look with MSI's White Alpha Granite (Photo Credit: Houzz)

This stunning kitchen is a blend of design styles, with its earthy and rustic stacked stone pillar grounding the contemporary cabinetry and gorgeous White Alpha Granite. Clean and dry granite countertops after every meal, paying particular attention to the area around the range and sink; and be sure to wipe up any water that puddles around the faucet, as hard water could cloud the surface. 

Step 2: Determine the Size and Depth of the Chip 

If you suspect there may be a chip in your granite countertop, take a deep breath—it can be fixed! Using clean, dry hands, gently rub your finger over the area to find the damage. If you dropped your grandmother’s iron skillet on the counter, look right away to see if you can find a chip that may have popped out. If you find it, put it somewhere safe until you are ready to repair the countertop’s surface. 

On the other hand, if the damage is large, has hairline cracks radiating from it, or happened some time ago, it’s best to call a professional to repair your granite countertop. With more colorful and dramatic veined granite slabs, it can be more difficult to spot chips and hairline cracks. That is precisely why it is important to do a weekly checkup where you run your clean and dry hand across the entire surface, feeling for any damage. 

Recreate this look with MSI's Bianco Antico Granite (Photo Credit: Houzz)

A good example of a high variation slab that can conceal blemishes is our Bianco Antico Granite, seen here with a contrasting dark island base. Kitchen islands take a lot of use and abuse, and small chips can be difficult to see hidden within the inflections and veins of grey, chocolate, and bordeaux in this granite countertop. 

Step 3: Gather Supplies

Get a similar look with MSI's Oyster White Granite (Photo Credit: Houzz)

For a small chip—particularly one in an inconspicuous place away from a water source—you may be able to fix the chip in your granite countertop yourself. It will require that you purchase ammonia-based cleaner, painter’s tape, thick superglue or clear epoxy, and a straight razor blade. You will also need to set aside at least 24 hours where the chipped area is not used or touched. 

A busy family kitchen is multi-purpose, a place for serving food, providing a surface for homework and art projects, and serving as the hub for entertaining. This stunning and artfully lit white kitchen features Oyster White Granite countertops on both the perimeter cabinetry and the island, and is warmed by a hardwood floor and natural accents. A chip on this island or near the sink should most likely be repaired by a professional. 

Step 4: Clean & Mask

In order for the clear epoxy or superglue to take hold and repair the chip, it is imperative that all traces of oil be removed. Use an ammonia-based cleanser with a lint-free cloth to wipe the area, and allow it to dry for a couple of hours. Next, use painter’s tape to surround the chip as close as possible, to prevent the epoxy from spilling over and clouding the surrounding area. 

Recreate this look with MSI's Caledonia Granite (Photo Credit: Houzz)

With a countertop like Caledonia Granite, where the natural pattern contains more flecks and is pebble-like in appearance, repairing a chip may work well. In this sunny kitchen, the designer drew inspiration from the granite’s soft white veins for the exterior cabinetry and from its darker chocolate flecks for the central island’s base. The result is a warm space that is cohesive and inviting. 

Step 5: Fill & Let Dry

Once the blemished spot has been cleaned and is completely dry, it is time to carefully fill the chip. Use the finest tip possible and very slowly fill the chip with superglue or epoxy. Be careful not to get the epoxy or glue on the surrounding area, but fill the hole until it is just flush with the countertop. 

Recreate this look with MSI's Santa Cecilia Granite (Photo Credit: Houzz)

Next, let your repair cure and dry for at least 24 hours. If you live in an area with high humidity, waiting 48 hours may be advisable. Santa Cecelia Granite slab is another of the granite colors that may make it difficult to see a chip. Again, if the damage is near the stove or sink, you will need to keep an eye on it to make sure water and oils aren’t affecting the seal of the epoxy filling. Chipped areas should be monitored carefully, as even a small chip can cause cracks if water is allowed to seep through. 

Granite is a beautiful natural stone that needs very little care. Annual sealing, and daily cleaning with a mild soap is really all that it takes to keep your countertops looking as good as the day they were installed. If an accident does happen and a small chip occurs, you may wish to attempt a DIY fix. 

However, if the blemish is in a heavy-use area, is near the sink or range, or is larger than the size of a pencil eraser, it is wise to contact a granite professional to properly fix the chip. Professionals have the ability to mix epoxies in colors to match your existing countertops, and can also help weave in the color seamlessly so that it looks like part of the original pattern. 

Finally, when shopping for new granite counters, be sure to ask your fabricator for help choosing the right granite color for your project if you think you’ll be fixing any chips yourself.