Things You'll Need
Sandpaper, 80 grit
Sandpaper, 180 grit
Sandpaper, 600 grit
Piece of scrap denim cloth
Make sure to keep the rock wet when polishing with the sandpaper. This will help prevent dirt and rock particles from clouding up the air around you. Be sure to purchase wet/dry sandpaper.
Rock collecting is a fun hobby and a great way to learn about geology. But after you've spent a day collecting rocks, what do you do with them? If the rocks are hard enough and you have a rock tumbler, you may want to polish them using the tumbler. However, if the rocks you have found are of a softer variety, you may get better results polishing them by hand. This can be a little time consuming, depending on the hardness of the rock, but hand-polishing will give you more control over your final result. You'll also be able to see the changes take place right before your very eyes.
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Wet the rock and use the 80-grit sandpaper to roughly shape and round the corners of the stone. Keep a bucket of water nearby so that you can continue to wet the rock as needed. Continue this until the rock has been shaped to your satisfaction.
Use the 180-grit sandpaper to further refine the shape of your rock and to remove any heavy scratches. Make sure to keep the rock wet throughout this process as well.
With the rock still wet, use the 600-grit sandpaper to get rid of any lighter scratches on the rock's surface. Rinse the rock with water often during this step.
Place a bit of powdered polish on a damp denim cloth. Polish the rock with the cloth until you are satisfied with the result. Depending on the rock, you may have to keep adding polish to the damp cloth at regular intervals.