If you have scratched your slate (or other stone) house sign, memorial, worktop or cheeseboard, fear no more. Read on for a step by step guide on how to repolish that damaged surface and make it as good as new or better.
Illustration of scratched slate: Image 1
Illustration of scratched slate: Image 2
A customer of ours recently asked me to replace a slate plaque that he had accidentally scratched when opening the package. He was very upset as it was a plaque commemorating both of his parents. It was a pretty deep scratch caused by a craft knife when cutting the packaging. Rather than charge him for a new plaque or get him to send it back for me to re polish, this is the advice I gave him.
The following pictures are of a slate sign sample that I inadvertently scratched myself by placing other stone up against it. I will show you in the rest of the page how to remove scratches and scuffs. This will work on most stone including marble and sandstone and granite. Though with granite you may have to continue right up to 1200 grit and maybe beyond to get the high sheen that it has.
*Note that I am using diamond pads and finishing with wet and dry paper. You can use wet and dry paper for all three. Wet and dry is very cheap and available in all car repair shops and hardware shops.
Step 1: Wash the slate or stone
Spray water from the hosepipe to firstly remove any grit or dust from the surface, edges and within the text itself. This prevents further scratches from the dirt getting under the wet and dry!
Step 2: Wash off the tools
Wash off the wet and dry that you are using as these can pick up grit as well. Best to do this after every time you put it down.
Step 3: Use 200 grit diamond pad or wet and dry
Making sure the stone is still wet, start to rub with the 200 grit diamond pad or wet and dry paper. In this case, I re-polished the whole plaque but you may just want to concentrate on the scratched area. Wash off the stone and the abrasive when you are done. If you can still see the scratched area, do it again until you can’t.
Step 4: Use 400 grit diamond pad or wet and dry
Repeat step 3 with the 400 grit diamond pad or wet and dry. Wash off both afterwards.
Step 5: Use 600 grit wet and dry paper
Repeat step 3 and 4 with 600 grit wet and dry paper. At this stage you will want to go over the whole plaque so that the finish is uniform and you don’t get different levels of polished stone. Wash off the plaque and the wet and dry.
Step 6: Let the plaque dry
Let the plaque dry and inspect it closely. Not all scratches are visible when it’s wet. This is especially true of slate. Repeat step 5 if you are unhappy when it’s dry.
Step 7: Slate only this step
THIS IS JUST FOR SLATE. With a clean sponge, apply a very small amount of linseed oil to the face of the slate (make sure the slate is dry at this point) and the visible edges. Once done, polish with a soft polishing cloth, removing any streaks left by the linseed oil. This finishes the slate nicely and gives it a sheen.
Step 8: Enjoy your once again shiny stone
Admire your handy work! You have just polished your first piece of stone or slate. The whole of the above process took me 10 minutes.