corian countertop

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stray_bullet

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  Hi folks,

  My new motorhome has a corian countertop. It is flat to semigloss finish. I have heard they can be polished to a marble like finish. Has anyone polished theirs? If so, what compounds, machines, or materials is best used for this operation. I just feel the countertop would look much better with a shine.

Thanks,

Brad
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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I don't know if it can actually polished to that high a gloss, but you can see what Dupont (manufacturer of Corian) has to say at http://www.corian.com/corian/a/en/h/Care/index.html

Basically you can sand and polish Corian with standard polishing materials, e.g. very fine sandpapers or synthetic sanding/polishing pads. [Don't use steel wool because minute slivers of steel wire will remain behind and rust will form.]  The polishing pads are available in hardware and home stores and the fineness of the grit is denoted by the color of the pads.  You can also use rubbing compounds on Corian, e.g. the types used on automotive finishes, or silver polish or other "fine" surface polishes. These are also available in various grits.

Basically the process is to start polishing with a relatively coarse grit and move progressively to finer and finer grits until the desired finish is achieved.  It can be a lot of work.  Polishing/buffing machines can be used but it takes a skilled hand to do it without leaving swirls or over-polishing in some areas, leaving an uneven finish or even actual low spots in the surface.  If you aren't experienced with buffing equipment, I would not want to learn on my expensive Corian countertop.


 

Steve CDN

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Have a look at this Forum posting for information including a download of Dupont's article on buffing corian.

Essentially corian can be wet sanded starting from a 220 grit and working up to 1500 grit and finishing with a liquid buffing compound.  The result will be a glass like finish, if that's what you would like.

Corian is very forgiving, and errors can be buffed out using the progression of grit numbers above.

You will be pleased with the result.  For practice, go to a counter top installer and ask for scraps of corian.  It's where I get my supplies for carving corian with a dremel.
 

Betty Brewer

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stray_bullet said:
? Hi folks,

? My new motorhome has a corian counter top. It is flat to semigloss finish.  I just feel the counter top would look much better with a shine.Brad 

Brad,
One thing to consider... I have  corian flat to semi gloss corian counter tops as well, I would think hard about making it a shiny surface as the dust will show up on it ever so much more. We just sat through a typical Yuma windy day with all doors and windows closed.  I could see the dust piled up on my window sills and stove top, but I could not see the dust on my semi gloss corian.  I knew it was there because it  was all over everything else, but I could not see it. With  a shiny surface it may look pretty but not be as forgiving to general daily wear.

At times I use a liquid corian polish on the counters which brings up the sheen a bit more and looks pretty  until it wears off.  You might try it first.  I got a free sample of it from the folks at Dupont who sponsored a seminar I attended  at a rally.

Betty
Not into cleaning
 

Ron from Big D

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You probably have already received a lot of great information, except for one important thing.  It will be virtually impossible to get the edges and corners to look like the rest of the surface.  Only way to consider polishing the way you want is to remove the countertop and do it in the shop.

 

Jim Dick

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Hi Brad,

Corian can be polished but I've been told because it is  a soft material it is subject to dishing if you are not careful. Don't rub in one spot too long.
 

Steve CDN

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Ron,

Based on my experience with working with corian, I found I can achieve the same effect on any part of the counter surface by working slowly and patiently.  Corian is surprisingly responsive to wet sanding and by making a variety of rubber backings out of scrap rubber to conform to the shape you're working on, you can wet sand any part of the counter using these rubber forms to support the emery cloth.

Some of my rubber backings are little one inch squares, some have curved edges which can be carved with an Olfa cutter or similar sharp blade.  Then with plenty of water and about 75 to 100 strokes with each successive grit, you can work you way up to a glass finish using the progression I described earlier.

The secret to successful corian finishing is to get a scrap piece and to practice on the scrap to learn the limits of what you can do.  As Jim suggests, if you stay in the same place too long, you can create a depression.
 

jdr37

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Under the watchful eye of an expert painter/woodworker friend, I wet sanded mine to a high gloss and keep it that way by as needed applications of carnauba paste wax.
Dave
 
A

Albslb2

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Jdr is right, just plan on using plenty elbow grease over an elongated time with plenty of caution, cause it can be ruined very quickly.  Best to get someone that know what they are doing.  Perhaps even Jdr.  Sorry for volunteering you, but you are the latest I know of that is qualified to undertake the project.  Heck you night even start a new trade while on the road.  See now look at all the $ you can earn.  Can I get a cut, maybe a percentage?  Tongue in Cheek
 

blueblood

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stray_bullet said:
? Hi folks,

? My new motorhome has a corian countertop. It is flat to semigloss finish. I have heard they can be polished to a marble like finish. Has anyone polished theirs? If so, what compounds, machines, or materials is best used for this operation. I just feel the countertop would look much better with a shine.

Thanks,

Brad

This is from DuPont Workshop bulletin instructions for a High-Gloss Finish

For best results, it is very important that all tool and sanding marks are removed with an orbital sander and 120 grit paper. Then use 220 grit, followed by 400 grit, sanding the surface with each grade twice;once from front to back, once left to right. Wipe the surface clean after each sanding grit. Repeat the F-B and L-R sanding with 600 grit and 700 grit. Wipe clean between grits. Final buffing is achieved using a white polishing compound (automotive type) and low speed polisher equipped with a wool pad. Finish with a? countertop polish like Hope's or Countertop Top Magic.

Leo
 

Steve CDN

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Leo,

Having worked extensively with corian I would not use 120 grit unless I was repairing a serious irregularity.  If I would be refinishing, I would start with a finer grit, perhaps 220 or even 350.
 

blueblood

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Steve said:
Leo,

Having worked extensively with corian I would not use 120 grit unless I was repairing a serious irregularity.? If I would be refinishing, I would start with a finer grit, perhaps 220 or even 350.

I was just copying/quoting from Dupont brochure. However, I thnk they are referring to some fairly serious type marks.

Leo
 

stray_bullet

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Oct 3, 2005
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Thanks everyone!

      I appreciate everone's suggestions. Back in the day, I was extremely good at buffing cars with a buffer. I think with all your help and suggestions, I will have this looking like glass soon!

Brad
 
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