Silicone is a wonderful adhesive. It stands up to stress and temperature fluctuations. It fills gaps and stays flexible forever. That’s why granite companies use it to hold their slabs in place on your kitchen counters.
But there’s another property to silicone that you need to be aware of–it sticks well to all kinds of stuff, but once it’s dry, nothing sticks to it. Now, there are a lot of places that this is a really good thing, and manufacturers put silicone in a lot of stuff–waterproofing spray, car wax, furniture wax. When you see water beading up on your car, that’s the work of silicone.
But if you’re installing new granite before you hire us to refinish your cabinets, it’s a good idea to make sure the granite installers don’t make a mess like the one pictured here. The non-stick properties of silicone apply to paints and glazes as well. When our glaze, paint or primer hits this stuff it just rolls up in beads, just like the water on your newly-waxed car.
What we have to do in a situation like this one is to scrape off the excess silicone and also scrape the existing finish in hopes that we get it all off. Even with our best attempts at scraping there is often a small piece that still clings to the kitchen cabinet and we discover it too late.
Of course, we work to remove it and touch it up, but often such a touch up will make the final finish not quite as good as it could have been.
We will always try to let you know to watch your granite installers and insist they put masking tape on your kitchen cabinets before they start smearing silicone all over the place. Once the granite is in place and before the silicone is dry, you simply remove the masking tape and you have a crisp thin line of silicone at the very top of your kitchen cabinets, hidden from view.
And when you clean your kitchen cabinets and woodwork, don’t use the spray cleaners that claim to “beautify” wood. They contain silicone. If you ever paint your kitchen cabinets or the woodwork in your house, you’ll have to use powerful chemicals to remove the silicone residue before you can refinish.
It’s best to clean woodwork with dish washing detergent or a mixture of a little white vinegar and water in a spray bottle.