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I was just wondering if anyone out there knew how to seal stone in such a way as to make it useful as a food service platter or maybe a cup. I know its possible to use glaze like one would on a piece of pottery (or maybe tile sealant?) but I would like to find some way that 1)doesn't require a kiln and 2) leaves the rock looking like regular rock. Best would be a way that makes the rock look wet but matte and doesn't change the texture. I was thinking something similar to what is used to seal wooden cups but I haven't been able to figure out what is used.

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It depends what kind of rock you're talking about - if it's dense and non-porous, like slate, marble or granite, then all you need to do is polish it. If it's porous, like sandstone, then... ...matt varnish? Try it on a scrap piece. Wooden cups are usually varnished, but may be oiled instead, which doesn't seal them, instead it makes them water-repellent.

I don't think regular use wooden cups are oiled. I know wooden cutting boards have to be oiled regularly, while other serving ware is fine use after use. Getting a piece of stone that can be used after polishing is probably your best bet. Look at the different types that are used for counter tops and go for that.

switching to marble has its own interesting factors. like: is marble micrwave safe?

I wonder if I could find an old microwave at the thrift shop and test it out. That way if something goes horribly, horribly wrong I've only traded $10-15 for the knowledge. Thanks for the advice.

I am talking about volcanic red rocks like people have for gravel in their yards in the southwestern quadrant of the country. I had thought of varnish, enamel, and lacquer but I wondered if varnish would be food safe. I am not sure if they sell transparent enamel. (even if they do it would change the texture) Lacquer would soak in and I don't know what would happen there. How would it affect taste and would it really have any effect on absorbency?

Volcanic red rocks are probably a type of granite - just polish it up (although that will take a lot of work).

Well time is one of the few things I have an infinite supply of.