Honed Absolute Black Granite has developed a reputation as a difficult or problem material due to fingerprints showing on the stone. We have even seen columns calling honed absolute black granite a “nightmare” which no one should ever use.
It is true that a honed absolute black granite conference table requires more maintenance than a polished absolute black granite conference table. And it is not possible to completely eliminate fingerprints. For that reason we do not recommend honed absolute black granite for high-use applications like kitchen countertops. But fingerprinting doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Understanding the honed finish and knowing how to work with it are the secrets to success with this beautiful stone.
In some cases, the reason that finger prints show up so much is that the final wash step has not been performed properly. Many crews emphasize multiple applications of Mineral Oil, while we emphasize getting it off again. With oil left on the surface, every time you touch it, you move oil around. The oil is meant to saturate the stone so that the pores do not accept oils from fingerprints. Fingerprint oils will show up as a stain if the pores are not evenly colored by oil already. We suggest the following technique to achieve an even finish:
Re-apply a thin layer of Mineral Oil so that the surface is consistent in color. (Use only cotton rags or a heavy weight paper towel/ shop rag for all steps.) Remove as much excess as possible with dry rags. Clean well with a large sponge, water and a mild dishwashing soap (we use Dove because it has a mild de-greaser). It is important not to apply dish soap directly to the top. Apply soap to the wet sponge. Wash well and rinse extremely well with wet rags. After the top has dried, we use Windex on a rag to even out areas that might still seem a little darker than the rest of the stone due, to too much oil left on that area.