Having completed the carving of your soapstone, you
can put a glossy finish on the stone by the following the steps
the file marks by sanding, using 220 or 240-wet/dry sandpaper.
This sanding is done wet. Hold the carving in one hand, wet the
carving and the sandpaper in a container of water and begin sanding
the carving with the sandpaper. The white mud that develops can
be rinsed off in the container of water. Hold on to your carving
as wet, smooth soapstone can be very slippery.
2. Wet sanding is done until all the file marks are removed.
File marks show as white lines on your green stone.
3. After completion of the wet sanding, rinse the carving
and allow to dry. The carving will turn gray when it is dry.
*For a higher polish, additional sanding
can be done using a 400, 600 or 1500 wet/dry sandpaper
Polishing Soapstone with oil
4. Using a soft cloth, wipe
on a light coat of boiled linseed oil. Tung oil or Danish oil
can also be used. Do not apply heavy coats or the oil will become
gummy and hard to polish. Wipe off the excess oil and allow to
5. When the oil has dried, buff with a cotton or flannel
cloth to polish.
Other Oils that have been used are;
Boiled Linseed Oil, Double Boiled Linseed Oil, Goddards Marble
Wax, Danish Oil and Tung Oil.
4. Place the carving in a oven
and heat to 250 º F. Try not to heat over 300 º F.
High temperatures will not hurt the stone, (Soapstone can take
temperatures of 1700 º F without any adverse effect) but
the beeswax will evaporate at 300 º F.
5. Remove the carving from the oven using gloves. Melt
the bee's wax onto the carving by holding it against the hot
stone. Spread the wax over the carving with a small soft piece
of cloth. When the carving has been fully waxed, allow the carving
6. As the carving cools, the surface of the carving will
turn from shiny to dull. At this point, the wax has turned from
liquid to a soft solid. This is the time to begin wiping down
the carving and remove the excess wax on the surface of the stone.
7. After the excess wax has been wiped off, allow the
carving to fully cool. You may now polish the carving with a
soft cloth sprayed with Pledge; this will bring up a high shine
on the carving.