Slate is one of the preferred natural stones for use in high-end projects. Its durability, combined with its natural beauty, makes it a good choice, and it has a range of tones and colors. While the raw stone is rugged and naturally beautiful, it can also be polished to enhance the look of the slate. If you want to polish your slate fireplace surround, there are a handful of methods you can use.
Stone Enhancer Polishing Solutions
Stone enhancers are the first choice for many people looking to polish the surface of their natural stone. While enhancers can be sold separately, they also come in polishing mixtures, which are applied to the surface of natural stone such as slate and rubbed in with a rag or buffed onto the surface with an angle grinder using a buffing wheel attachment.
Wax and Buffer
While it is one of the least common methods of polishing slate, you can use an angle grinder with a buffing wheel along with wax to create a natural polish on the surface of the natural stone. Apply the wax to the surface of the slate, and then buff it into the surface with the machine to create the level of shine you are looking for.
Polishing Machine and Kit
Less useful for polishing the surface tiles of a slate stone fireplace and more useful for the edges, a polishing machine and corresponding kit with polishing pads is perfect for creating bullnose edges on your surround. The rougher pads can be used to define the edge of the bullnose, while the finer pads in the kit can be used in subsequent order to polish the edges to whatever sheen you prefer.
Natural oil is an often-ignored polishing solution. It can be applied with an old rag or buffed onto the surface as you would apply wax, but instead of using chemicals to enhance and polish the surface, it relies on the power of nature. Cold-pressed, pure oils such as olive oil, sunflower seed oil, linseed oil or coconut oil should be used to avoid contaminants and additives.
Tim Anderson has been freelance writing since 2007. His has been published online through GTV Magazine, Home Anatomy, TravBuddy, MMO Hub, Killer Guides and the Delegate2 group. He spent more than 15 years as a third-generation tile and stone contractor before transitioning into freelance writing.