How to Enhance an Exisiting Headstone

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4 min read

This blog post was initially published on October 27th, 2014. It has been updated for clarity and to include additional suggestions.

When a loved one’s headstone fades over time, it’s an unpleasant and upsetting reality. Of course, selecting a durable monument material like granite will prevent any fading or discoloration for a considerable length of time. However, fading is inevitable – even with the highest-quality materials and the most attentive memorial care. Obviously, the sight of a loved one’s headstone fading can be heartbreaking. Fortunately, there are several reliable techniques that can restore its original, singular beauty.

Sometimes, a headstone serves as the only enduring, tangible presence of a loved one. Also, memorials allow our relatives a way to discern their ancestry and trace their lineage. Luckily, talented monument artists can repair older headstones to restore their uniquely luminous appeal. In addition, they can enhance it with new features and upgrades if you wish. In this post, we’ll outline how to apply these improvements in order to preserve the beauty and radiance of your loved one’s monument, keeping it in pristine condition for countless grave visitations, and for many years to come.


What if My Headstone’s Lettering has Faded?

A headstone’s inscription is generally the focal point, and rightfully so. Often, this is the primary element that captures the spirit of your loved one’s legacy and distinguishes their monument from others in the cemetery. Additionally, the text is the most direct way to identify it.

Usually, the inscription includes the name, birth and death dates, and prominent life details that encapsulate their legacy. At the time of creation, headstone lettering is sharp, distinct and clearly legible. Unfortunately, this headstone inscription lettering can be sensitive. As a result, it can fade from a prolonged exposure to the elements like inclement weather, grass, pollen, and any other outdoor variables that can affect the monument.

How to Restore Headstone Text

Restoring the headstone inscription can be a remarkable improvement for text that has faded over time. Thoroughly cleaning the monument is the first step toward a brand-new luster. Navigating this process hastily and recklessly can further damage the headstone. Many common household cleaning agents with abrasive, harsh chemical formulas can erode a memorial even further.

Leaving this process to experienced craftsmen gives you the peace of mind in knowing the job will be done correctly, and the monument will last. Usually, routine cleaning effectively washes away discoloration from grass clippings or other organic debris.

As a full-service monument design company, our staff is more than capable of performing all on-site repairs to counteract any signs of aging. We take pride in our ability to refurbish your monuments without removing them and disturbing the resting site.


What if My Headstone Has Sunk into the Ground?

It may be less obvious than faded text, but monuments can also sink into the ground. Usually, the pace of this prolonged process depends on the soil conditions and the height and weight of the headstone.

Eventually, the headstone may sink to a certain point where the text is obscured, though it can take a long time. Headstones sink naturally, because as it erodes, the ground beneath it erodes, as well.

How to Repair a Sinking Headstone

The simplest (and perhaps most advisable) way to counteract a sinking headstone is to increase its height by adding a base. This will elevate the memorial above its original height.

Additionally, this supplemental stone material anchors the headstone while providing an appealing decorative touch.

headstone sinking

Adding a base raises the memorial above its initial height. This additional stone material secures the headstone, while also adding a nice embellishment. Raising the monument with a base enhances the overall appearance of the headstone.

My Headstone is Chipped, Cracked, or Broken?

While not as common as sinking or fading, headstones can also sustain visible damage. These signs of wear-and-tear could be the result of heavy ice from winter storms, falling tree limbs, natural disasters, contact with a car or any other profound impact.

Discovering a crack in a loved one’s headstone can be upsetting. However, our monument artists utilize proven techniques to repair the signs of impact and restore it to a single, intact headstone.

Restoring a Cracked Headstone

Often, damaged headstones do not require a full replacement. Instead, monument artists proficient with granite and other materials can restore them to their original condition. By using granite epoxies, we can repair the crack without leaving visible marks.


How to Add New Names or Dates to the Headstone

In addition to repairing broken headstones, monument artists can also add more details to existing monuments. This is a common choice for families who purchase a dual headstone during end-of-life planning, and must add new details later on.

Families who want to add a boat, cross or other symbol may also choose to receive a subsequent inscription in the future, as well.Without removing it from the ground, monument artists can add new symbols or lettering.



At St. Charles Monuments, we understand how profound a memorial can be for your family. We’re committed to ensuring that the memorial remains a worthy symbol of your loved one’s life and legacy for many years to come.


What people say about us

“Thank you Marcus. We drove by the monument yesterday afternoon. My husband and I were very pleased. Thank you for giving us a gift of comfort and peace.”

Mary Amber

“Thank you so much. It has been a comforting and pleasant experience working with St. Charles Monuments. The memorial set looks great.””

Pam Carter

“The headstone is beautiful. They did a fantastic job. Again my family and I thank you for all your help with suggestions and with the arrangements.”

Laura Leddy

“My family and I visited my husband’s grave today. We were very pleased with the results. It looks very nice. Thank you.””

Mrs. Guginsky

 for all Cemeteries in NY & NJ
 for all Cemeteries in NY & NJ
 for all Cemeteries in NY & NJ
 for all Cemeteries in NY & NJ