How to Polish Soapstone

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Things You'll Need

  • Sand paper

  • Tung oil or furniture polishing oil

  • Clean, dry rags

Soapstone is a soft-and-beautiful mineral that is popular for hand carving. If you want a finished soapstone work to shine, it must be properly treated and polished using the right kind of oil and the proper techniques. Polishing your soapstone will give it a professional-looking finish and help bring out the subtle features, natural colors and shapes within the stone.


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Step 1

Sand the stone to remove cutting and filing marks. Use medium-grain sandpaper to start, then switch to finer paper after you have removed the largest marks to refine the stone's overall texture.


Step 2

Rinse the stone in a gentle stream of water to remove all traces of dust from sanding. Let the stone dry completely before polishing.


Step 3

Apply tung oil or furniture polish to a polishing cloth. Use just a few drops of oil at a time to avoid oversaturation because this will leave the stone oily or gummy instead of well-polished.


Step 4

Rub the stone with oil. Use firm, circular motions over the stone's entire surface. Apply more oil as needed (a drop at a time) until you have created a shiny finish over the entire surface of the stone.


Step 5

Buff the polished soapstone. Rub the stone with a dry, clean rag to even out the distribution of polishing oil and to remove any excess.


To prevent dust in the air during sanding, wet both the stone and paper.