How Do You Hand Polish Stones?

Hand polish stones using progressively finer types of abrasive material, including concrete, sandpaper and leather. The process requires patience, several different levels of sandpaper, finishing leather and jeweler's rouge. Depending on the size and hardness of the rock, it requires several weeks.

  1. Select the right stone

    Polishing does not improve the appearance of all stones. If scraping the stone with a knife leaves a white mark, it is too soft for polishing. Choose stones that are left with a metal mark from the test.

  2. Shape the stone

    If the stone is large, break it into smaller pieces for polishing using a hammer and chisel. Break off any large protrusions to create a stone in the approximate shape of the finished product you desire.

  3. Polish roughly with concrete

    Rub the stone against a concrete slab to remove any rough edges. Turn the stone as you rub.

  4. Work through sandpaper grits

    Begin sanding with 50-grit sandpaper. Use finer sandpaper to remove the scratches from the previous sanding. Continue decreasing the sandpaper grit and removing scratches until you are using 1500 grit sandpaper.

  5. Polish with leather and rouge

    Choose rouge that is approximately the same color as the stone to prevent staining. Apply the rouge and a few drops of water to the leather. Polish the stone to the desired luster.