Soapstone Maintenance

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Taking care of soapstone is a breeze. Apply a protective coat of mineral oil to all sinks and counter tops upon installation. Mineral oil enhances the inherent natural veining characteristics and crystallization detail of the stone. If your soapstone follow the easy restoration instructions below.

STEP 1 – Sanding Scratches
Most all scratches will disappear with a direct dab of mineral oil. To permanently remove a deep scratch, apply medium pressure to the scratched area with 80 grit sandpaper. A sanding sponge is recommended. The
deeper the scratch, the more sanding will be needed.

STEP 2 – Oiling

After the scratch has been sanded out, you will need to apply a light coat of mineral oil to the sanded area. The mineral oil application should be repeated 2-3 times over a 2-3 day period to match the coloration of the rest of the stone.

Returned to it’s former beauty…
To maintain your soapstone use a damp cloth or sponge with cleanser for daily cleanings when needed. Oiling will enhance the luster and color of the stone, and restore that brand new look once again. Subsequent coats should be re-applied monthly.


ennistbp,  September 12, 2007  

Does mineral oil shine the same as beeswax? Beeswax is what came with our soapstone slabs, but oil would be so much easier to spread.

Laurie Burke, Kitchen Designer,  September 12, 2007  

Mineral oil will have a satin shine when it is first applied and will remain a buffed finish after a while.
I would imagine beeswax is harder to maintain.

ennistbp,  September 14, 2007  

I just had my cabinets painted Ben Moore "White Dove". If my cabinets don't go all the way to the ceiling, what is usually done with the wall space to go with soapstone countertops. Paint the walls white dove as well or some other color? If other, what would you suggest. Thank you.

Laurie Burke, Kitchen Designer,  September 14, 2007  

If I understand, you have open space in your wall cabinet design? I may need clarification. I don't know what your design looks like but if your cabinets do not go the ceiling, you need an anchor of sorts. A shelf can act as a bridge to unify the splash, and a measure for how high the splash should be. The picture I attached at the bottom of the soapstone post shows a complementary glass mosaic tile that goes with the soapstone. You could do this with white dove painted cabinets and soap stone! There are plenty of options for you. What is the theme? Craftsman, Modern, East Coast Beach House, Eclectic. Start with a theme to help you carry out what will happen with the splash.

ennistbp,  September 15, 2007  

Yes, I have a 45" corner cabinet (90 degree angle) with no upper cabinets. Also, the cabinets don't go to the ceiling. My house is new farmhouse style. Thank you for your wonderful website.

Laurie Burke, Kitchen Designer,  September 15, 2007  

I just reread your comment on the white dove paint for the walls. I may not choose white, as I think it is too monochromatic. I would try a "tone on tone" color scheme, deepening the shade of dove white down a notch or two. Try Sea Pearl by Benjamin Moore.

Anonymous,  November 29, 2007  

Soapstone offers a smooth feel and is usually dark gray in color. It is much softer than granite. It can be used in both traditional homes modern homes as both a countertop and sink material. Soapstone is rich with deep color and is stain resistant for the most part. It does require regular maintenance and it may scratch and chip, especially on the edges.

I was very impressed by this company.

Laurie Burke,  November 29, 2007  

Yes, Soapstone is a soft stone and this should be discussed before every sale. However, what I have noticed about this counter top option for those who select it is this: It's a sensory experience that drives the sale on these beautiful materials. Soapstone and other calcites like creamy white Marbles have an emotional appeal same as a Corvette or Jaguar has for an auto aficionado.

Anonymous,  January 25, 2008  


I definetly know that I want to go with soapstone counters and creamy painted cabinets, and am concerned about what color I should choose for my floor and center island. Do I go with a cherry color wood for the island and if so, can I do a wood floor? If I choose a tile instead, should it be dark like a slate or light like a tumbled marble? There are so many choices I don't want to get it wrong!

Thanks for your help!!

Laurie Y. Burke,  January 26, 2008  

The choices, it leaves you wondering. The best thing to do when unsure, develop a concept board. Designers pull materials together and begin to edit. There is no right or wrong, but many good ideas. It is hard to make a decision without looking at the overall concept board. Designers working on client projects may pull together two or three options for clients to select from.

Don't be too emotional about the selections until you analyze how they work with your budget. The budget is a factor on all projects, and know that your decisions will be influenced by how they work with the project budget.

As for tile or wood, ask yourself if you are prepared to live with wood upkeep? Read my post Dec 12, 2007 post: Dogs and Hardwood Floors.

Slate is gorgeous. Tile and Stone is very hard on the back if you work in the kitchen for long hours, but it is very easy to maintain, although slate has slight high spots that makes cleaning a little harder. has a line called Mirage that has a beautiful porcelain slate floor. Very durable.

Steve,  September 16, 2008  

Excellent restoration tips. Makes maintenance much easier.

PassionateChef,  January 31, 2009  

We prefer to use a product that contains a blend of both high quality natural beeswax and food grade mineral oil (WOODEN WONDERS Beeswax Butcher Block Conditioner) It is actually easier to apply than messy mineral oil and holds up considerably longer. Mineral oil does not last as long as a tin of conditioner. This blend last considerably longer and leaves a more glossy glow than mineral oil. There are other similar products out there but we have found the pricing on Wooden Wonders products normally much lower than the competition plus they send extra bonus product when you order more than one tin. In the long run you pay less using this conditioner than many bottles of Mineral Oil that are not as effective.

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