How to polish rough marble

Written by lisa east hunter
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How to polish rough marble
Bring out marble's shine by polishing it properly. (Marble texture image by Viacheslav Anyakin from

Marble is an attractive surface with variations in colour and pattern that are best brought out when the marble is polished to a high shine. Rough marble should be polished with the correct tools and techniques. If you have never polished marble, work on a few scrap pieces before moving on to the piece in your home. Marble-polishing techniques are tricky and may take a few tries to master.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Rags
  • Sander
  • Coarse-grit sandpaper
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Buffing cloth
  • Marble and granite polish
  • Impregnating sealer

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  1. 1

    Clean the surface of the marble with a slightly damp rag. Remove all small particles that might scratch the surface.

  2. 2

    Attach coarse-grit sandpaper to the sander. Pour water of the top of the marble. Lower the sander to the marble and begin working in a back-and-forth and up-and-down motion. Move across the entire piece of marble.

  3. 3

    Switch to a finer-grit sandpaper. Pour more water on the marble and sand the surface again.

  4. 4

    Change to finer grits of paper and sand with them until you get the level of shine you like. Use 1,000-grit paper for a high shine. Always use water with the sandpaper to avoid scratching the marble.

  5. 5

    Place a buffing cloth over the end of the sander. Rub ½ tsp of marble and granite polish into the buffing cloth. Move the polisher across the surface until the marble shines.

  6. 6

    Spread impregnating sealer on the marble with a soft rag or clean T-shirt. Rub in the sealer with a circular motion until absorbed.

Tips and warnings

  • Some homeowners like the look of honed marble. The surface is less shiny than polished marble. The shine on marble is largely a personal preference. You do not have to keep polishing to a high shine.
  • Wear protective eyewear when sanding marble.

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