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  • Neyir Urminsky

How to remove marble from a backing

In my hunt for reclaimed marble I managed to pick up two pieces that came with an attached backing so I had to figure out how to remove marble from a backing. I am currently working on a Free standing kitchen refresh using FBMP finds, and some IKEA cabinets all as part of the ORC.

Open wood kitchen cabinet with marble top, 2 shelves with green glass bowl, blue le creuset pot and green le creuset pot
My fav way to do open shelving, beautiful and hardworking!

Week 5, we are over halfway through the spring ORC for 2023!! This has definitely been my most complicated project yet but I am still loving participating yet again in the One Room Challenge, the ORC is a wonderful event in which anyone can participate! The challenge of the ORC lies in completing a space within 8 weeks and we are halfway through! Be sure to click on the link and learn about all the wonderful projects and participants!! If you want to catch up on this year's project my first post is all about the overall plan & mood board, the second Freestanding Kitchens, third getting started planning an IKEA Kitchen, and in week four we tackled whether or not to install a Kitchen Island. In previous years I have completed A DIY Limestone Patio, A Colour Saturated Vestibule, and a Bedroom for Busy Boys.

Logo for the One Room Challenge, capital ORC

Once I got my marble pieces home I searched and searched for a tutorial or info to no avail. The one thing I did find was info on how to remove glue from your marble counters, in short heat and glue.

A metal screwdriver and plastic taping knife inserted between MDF and marble that are glued together.
After applying heat gently try to pry the pieces apart

The first piece I worked on was a large quartz piece of Misty Carrera. I started here because being manmade I was fairly confident it wouldn’t have any naturally occurring fault lines like marble and also because I knew it would be harder to damage. I did end up skipping heat but still think this is a great first step!!

Materials - heat gun/hair dryer, acetone, drywall taping knives or similar.

Here are the steps that I followed;

  1. Make sure to place your marble piece on the side so that the edge (the 1 inch or so) is resting on the ground at a slightly off a 90 degree angle. Make sure it is well supported and will not fall over. Also you want to be able to work along the longest side.

  2. Using a heat gun or hair dryer try to soften the glue at the edges where the marble meets the backing. If you are able, carefully insert a drywall knife or other metal with a handle into the space between the stone and backing.

  3. Do this at as many places as you can reach without moving the stone.

  4. Now that you ideally have an opening start to pour in the acetone.

  5. Let sit 10 mins

  6. See if you are able to gently move the knives in any further, you are looking to hear the noise of the glue releasing - this is very different than the noise of marble cracking.

  7. You will have to be patient and work a little by little, you don’t want to put too much stress on the marble or it will likely crack. I kept checking the marble for any signs of stress and worked very, very slowly.

  8. If necessary, flip the stone over and work on the other long side. The first piece I did the backing was in strips so I didn’t need to flip.

Ideally you will be able to release the glue, I was able to with the first piece I worked on. With the second I actually did not get the glue to release. In the end the acetone softened the paint on the back MDF panel and allowed the backing to come off. I will need to gently sand off the remaining backing and glue which is only about ¼ inch.

Kitchen stove with 2 antique cabinets on either side topped with marble, natural wood range hood on wall
Recirculating fan is installed and DIY hood cover is ready for sanding and plaster

The other big excitement this week was building the cover for the re-circulating fan insert and getting everything installed. We roughly followed this tutorial though only attached the frame to the studs on the back wall and not the ceiling. We also did not split our venting. It still needs to be sanded and finished but it is all installed and working well!

Only 3 more weeks to go and still lots to accomplish!!

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