Hello everyone! This is my first Instructable so I hope it goes well! So this Instructable started a few weeks ago when my family and I were visiting Ireland. On the way to the Cliffs of Moher we stopped in a rock shop which was really neat. What wasn't neat was the prices. As we were there I thought to myself, "I bet I could polish up rocks like this!" So at the Cliffs of Moher I picked up some cool looking rocks (Which I later found out to be Kilkenny Black Marble) and brought them home. When I looked up ways to polish these stones I found to my disgust that the process would take a minimum of two weeks! Being as impatient as I am, I set out to polish these rocks in the time span of one morning and I think they turned out looking about the same if not better than the two week process.
Step 1: Materials
For this you will need a wide range of sandpaper. I used different grit sandpapers ranging from 60 grit to 1200 grit. Keep in mind that the higher the grit of sandpaper you end with, the shinier the rock will be.
You will also need car wax and a rag to rub it in. I tried this granite polish stuff, but it didn't seem to work as well as the car wax.
And finally you will need...ROCKS! The type of rock you choose should obviously be able to be made shiny. You won't be able to do this sandstone or anything like that. As you can see I did cut one of the rocks in half. I did this with a diamond blade on the chop saw.
Step 2: Sanding
This part is pretty simple. Start with your lowest grit sandpaper to get the general shape of the rock that you want. This could take some time. Once you have the general shape, cycle through all the sandpapers. I found counting to ten Mississippi on each side of the rock with each sandpaper gave it a good enough sanding. You might want to spend a little more time with the highest grit sandpaper just to give it that extra shine. What I would recommend rather than sanding the rock with the sandpaper in your hand is find a flat piece of wood to put the sandpaper on. I found this method much more efficient.
Step 3: Polishing
You should now have a very dusty, but smooth rock. Therefore, you should thoroughly wash all the dust off the rock water and then dry it before you put polish on. When you're ready to polish the rock, get your rag and put a small dot of car wax on it and rub it in to the rock. You may need to add more wax depending on the size of the rock, but make sure to only add it in little amounts at a time. After the wax dried, I added another layer of wax, and I don't know if it is my imagination or not, but I'm pretty sure it got shinier.
Step 4: Final Results
In all, shining up these five rocks probably took me about an hour and a half. These may not be store quality shiny, but I'm still really happy with the way they turned out. Good luck to everyone out there and if you have any comments, suggestions, or questions feel free to ask!