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The Great Blackberry & Marble Countertop Debacle

A few months ago, a building project we were working on 
brought both of my big boys home for a weekend of demo work
which to them = fun.

French Kitchen Marble Counters and chandelier

I was pretty darn happy to have all the bustle and busy in the house again
and on that lazy Saturday morning,
I decided to make those special pancakes full of protein powder and fruit
 that they love for breakfast. 

And that same lazy Saturday was also the day that 
the great blackberry and marble counter debacle took place...

We had picked an abundance of blackberries during the season 
and we had several bags of mixed fresh berries
that we used for shakes and baking stored in the freezer.

And so, while getting ready to cook those pancakes and eggs, 
I grabbed one of the ready to go bags full of blackberries and blueberries out of the freezer 
and set it on the counter while I mixed the batter.
I mixed and stirred and cooked and proceeded to make about a dozen pancakes
 before taking a few minutes to sit down to talk with the boys 
 and enjoy a cup of coffee.

Marble counter with peonies and coffee on it

Then my daughter walked into the kitchen and noticed that the ziplock bag
 that was next to the yet warm griddle that was waiting for round #2 of pancakes to be made...
had leaked.
As in...the ziplock bag full of berries had leaked   and there was blackberry and blueberry juice 

My heart started to race and panic set in as I ran over and picked the leaky bag up 
and wiped away the juice 
with eyes half closed & keeping fingers crossed that the sealer
I had applied 6 months ago worked...

Marble counters with stock flowers in vase

but there it was. 

A large purple stain staring at me. 
And my heart sank. 
And then it sank some more
and I just knew that 
I had ruined my beautiful marble counters.

Marble countertops with lemons

After I stopped freaking out
I took a deep breath and did what any person in our tech savvy world does...
I googled 'berry stain on marble counter'
 and thankfully found a few things to try.

 Oxyclean was one of them and since I am a huge fan of oxyclean- 
I already had it in the laundry room. 
 I sprinkled a little bit on the stain and let it sit for about 1 minute 
and then wiped away the powder and
the purple stain was gone.

I breathed a sigh of relief and my marble counters and I
well, we had a moment.
I ran my hand across them, and spoke sweet nothings to that pretty face
and promised to never bring leaky bags of frozen berries near them again.

Marble counters in French Cottage kitchen with lemons and flowers and plate rack

So after over a year with these marble counters in the kitchen-
with various mishaps here and there-
how are they holding up?

And what have I learned since that first spot of marinara sauce
and buttered popcorn and now berry juice?
A lot actually.
Here are a few thoughts:

The Key

Remember that sealer I used when we first put the counters in? 
The one that I applied 3 coats of?
 Simply put-
that sealer worked.

The stain didn't penetrate the marble and stain it- it was merely on the surface and the oxyclean pulled it right off the surface. 
So- the sealer did exactly what it was supposed to do. 

And I have found the same with other stains that were not noticed right away- 
such as that marinara sauce or red wine or even a drip of coffee -
there has been no problem at all wiping any of them up.

Chandelier and topiary in kitchen

What about oils?

Yes, oils do seem to reach the stone- but the look of oil on marble adds patina in my mind. 
Where the bulk of cooking is done- you can be certain that many a drip of olive oil
 has seasoned the counters.
And that was something that I knew was likely and that I was totally okay with.
It isn't something that would be noticed (as in rings or anything else)
and take away from them just by looking at them-
 but if you are considering marble- it is something to think about if that bothers you.


Yes, there is etching on the countertops from various things.
Again- part of the patina.
 IF you look for it-and scrunch down to eye level- you will notice it.
If you don't - you will not.
Though I love shiny- honed is the way to go folks. 

Yay or Nay?

So would I put marble counters in a kitchen again?
Absolutely 10,000%  yes. yes. yes.
And when we build at some point- marble will be on the list and in the kitchen
and the bathroom and heck- where else can I get away with putting it?
I love marble and the look and patina of it is unlike anything else- 
so if you love that look- go for it.

Breakfast pastry with peonies and dishes on marble counter

And if you take a few precautions and make sure to seal-
you can relax without stressing about your
 Italian husband and marinara sauce and red wine... 
or late night popcorn parties... 
berries in ziplock bags that someone forgot about 
for a few minutes too long

Marble counters in kitchen with flowers and stool

and just enjoy them.

Find the original post about marble counter Q &A HERE
including the best place to shop for slabs

And the

Hope your Tuesday is off to a great start

And in full disclosure: Not a marble expert or a stain removal expert.
I found the oxyclean fix on google- and it worked for me but use at your own judgement.

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  1. Just gorgeous. An absolutely stunning kitchen. I would live in fear though. I wonder how that white kitchen would look with black granite countertops instead?

    1. Thank you Mich! We actually had a dark gray granite before the marble-you can see more of them here:
      They were pretty but I definitely love the marble much more. And aside from the berry incident- so far so good. I am in love with them. :)

  2. Oh my goodness! I'm not certain I would have handled that anywhere near as calmly as you did. Your kitchen is soooo gorgeous. Have you ever had problems with accidentally burning the marble by leaving hot pots and pans on it? I've always heard that it was a very soft stone. I was planning on butcher block for my kitchen but seeing that GORGEOUS marble is giving me all sorts of ideas.......

    1. I have not had any issues with burning the marble- but that said, I have not placed hot pots and pans on it either so not sure if that would be a problem? I think the only counter I have heard about that had problems with that which is similar to marble was quartz- but not 100% sure on that.

  3. I love marble. But, I am a terrible house keeper and in our kitchen I went for quartz. One that looks like granite, but definitely isn't. I have had one one stain ....turmeric.
    I do pickling and turmeric is in the bread and butter stained the white stove and the counter...I had a moment like your blackberry moment...nothing took it off. Boy, did I panic!
    In this case, I used Bar Keeper's friend. It worked..... yeah!
    So, I as much as I love isn't for me...I'm, well, a slob....especially when I am splashing about and making dishes.
    I have never burned the quartz counters, but I haven't ever put a pot on the counter without a trivet...never. There I'm not a slob. I wouldn't put a hot pot on granite either...I had a friend who did and her granite cracked. It is after stone...
    I love your glad you got the stain out....

  4. Oh no! Well I am SUPER glad the oxyclean worked :) I love marble as well but I don't know if my perfectionist heart could take the "precautions" they tell you about. Its so beautiful though and it just looks magical (just me?)

    Lauren Baxter | Lovely Decor

  5. I have Carrera marble polished, I wanted a honed finish. But hisness really wanted polished. It is getting shadows and light patina that can be seen in various light - and I'm happy with that. The look is become exactly what I wanted - old world.
    My husband sat a wine decanter on the island and it left a slight red mark. I noticed it pretty much immediately and wet a magic eraser and gently buffed it off. Maybe not what is recommended, but it worked.
    Love your kitchen.... and new mantle.

  6. I just finished my total remodel of my kitchen last week. I chose a polished quartz counter that resembles marble incredibly. Much of the concerns you stated was the reason why. I have Carrera marble on my bathroom vanity and love it as well as the floor tiles in both of my bathrooms. It was a tough decision because like you, I love marble. Your kitchen is gorgeous! I also have the painted wood ceilings. I'm so glad there are no stains and I will definitely seal my bathroom marble.

  7. I love your marble counters. I am looking at getting some too in the house I'm building. The stains make me fearful but I just love the look so much. I like the honed marble, it's a bit more rough and can take more stain than the high shine/ polished marble. So glad the berries didn't ruin it for you!!!

  8. Whew!! I bet you are relieved. Zip-lock bags are never fool proof and I've learned that the hard way. I always put a plate/bowl/anything under the bag. Your kitchen is absolutely beautiful!! I'm glad it all worked out.

  9. OMG! I love Oxyclean, so now there's yet another reason to keep it in stock.
    I have had marble countertops for 15 years. Ours are a deep red, "marbre de Caunes," which is a French village near us. It doesn't show every stain as much, but, like you, I seal them every summer (when the windows are open). Sometimes people haven't been as careful as we are as far as using cutting boards and not just cutting on the marble. But honestly, it looks pretty much the same as it did when it first went in, and probably will still look great decades from now.
    We also do blackberries (foraged in the surrounding woods) and I will keep in mind not to let juice get on my counters now!

  10. Your counter tops are gorgeous. We have Corian and they are white, as well. I always freak out when I spill but so far, they've held up.

  11. Great To hear that the sealer worked. thanks for the oxyclean tip.

  12. Okay so like you I love the look of marvel and I have had marble in my home for years but I will be truthful about a new less need not as high maintenance love her to me looks even more beautiful than marble. Ready marble lovers? The best alternative which in my opinion is my first pick with marble second is quartz. You get the look the style and the elegance without the pain of its high maintenance and constantly staining downside. Quartz is the way to go. Berries, wine, marinara, even pomegranate won’t stain it. Even the powder of red amarilys won’t stain it just a simple sponge wipe and it’s gone. Also cleans beautifully with windex as well as stone polishes. Honest.