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.
Things You'll Need
Tung oil or furniture polishing oil
Clean, dry rags
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.
Rinse the stone in a gentle stream of water to remove all traces of dust from sanding. Let the stone dry completely before polishing.
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.
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.
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.