Step 4. Fill a spray bottle with the crystallization fluid. Make sure to shake the container before pouring into the spray bottle.
Step 5. Attach a #1 or #0 steel wool pad, Never Rust pad or equivalent pad to the hand machine.
Step 6. Position the machine over the area you are going to crystallize. Move the machine in a back and forth motion. While the machine is running, apply 2 - 3 squirts of crystallization fluid to the surface. Immediately run the steel wool over the fluid spreading it out over the surface. Continue to work the machine in a slow and steady fashion. Make sure you are covering the entire area and that you do not have any splash over. If necessary run the machine over a larger area to cover any splash. Run the machine until all the fluid is dry and any streaks have disappeared.
Step 7. When the entire surface has been crystallized, inspect it thoroughly for spray marks, streaks, etc. If these are found, re-crystallize the area.
Step 8. Once the entire surface has been crystallized, clean up all steel wool dust by sweeping, dust mopping or vacuuming. It is important to remove all steel wool, since any remaining fibers can rust and cause staining.
Many crystallization products have two or three step processes. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's directions carefully. On certain engineered stones the crystallization process may actually have an adverse effect. It can cause the stone to cloud, dull etc. For this reason, make sure to test the crystallization product on a small area first. If you do cloud the surface, a powder polish should return it to its desired finish.
It is highly recommended that you see each of these processes in action before attempting them, or take a training course similar to that offered by The National Training Center for Stone & Masonry Trades (NTC).
About the Author: Frederick M Hueston columnist and author, is director of the National Training Center for the Stone & Masonry Trades (NTC) located in Asheville, N.C. NTC offers hands on training to industry professionals on topics ranging from basic fabrication techniques to onsite repairs. NTC's website can be found at www.ntc-stone.com.