How to Polish Petoskey Stones

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How to Polish Petoskey Stones

When it comes to shaping and making the perfect Petoskey Stones, you will need to cut it and shine it to perfection. It’s not a difficult process, but rather time-consuming, and some people refer to it as a therapeutic hobby.

A how to guide on polishing Petoskey stones.

There are several steps to making these stones picture perfect, but there are also some really cool tools and accessories that you can use in the process. We will give you some steps on how to polish Petoskey Stones as well as some of those tools that are available for you to purchase on Amazon.

How to Hand Polish Petoskey Stones

Before you can begin to polish your stones, you will need to shape and smooth them to your satisfaction. The following steps will guide you through the process.


  • Sandpaper that can be wet or dry, 220, 400, and 600 grit
  • Heavy towel 
  • A piece of velvet or corduroy
  • Bowl of water
  • Polishing powder
  • File

Remove the Scratches

1. Begin the process by filing the stone to give it the shape you desire and to make it smooth

2. Sand the stone with the 220-grit sandpaper. Hold the stone firmly throughout this process so that you can concentrate on the section to be shined. 

3. When you’re finished sanding the stone, rinse it in the bowl of water and dry it off with the towel. 

4. Check the stone for scratches.

5. Continue the sanding process using the 400-grit sandpaper to remove white spots and additional scratches.

6. Rinse the stone again, dry it and check once again for scratches.

7. Complete this first process by using the 600-grit sandpaper.

8. Check the rock again to be sure you have gotten out all the white spots and scratches.

9. When it meets your satisfaction, sand it again with the 600-grit paper for another 5-10 minutes.

10. Give the stone a final rinse and dry it completely.

If you’re still not satisfied after completing step 10, repeat the process again. You cannot polish your stone until all the scratches are removed. 

Be sure and change the bowl of water often so that you will always have clean water.

Polishing the Stone

Now that you have successfully removed all the scratches, you’re ready to begin polishing your Petoskey Stone. 

1. Apply a small amount of polishing powder to a dampened piece of velvet or corduroy.

2. Gently rub the powder into the rock until it’s polished to your satisfaction.

3. Examine the rock carefully; if you find there are still scratches then you can go back to step 5 under the previous section and repeat the process.

4. Once you have perfected your stone you can use a dry cloth to wipe it off.

5. Examine your work to be sure the rock is polished and smooth.

To make this process easier, keep reading for additional ideas and things you can use to assist you through the process.

Petoskey Stone Polishing Kit

Learn the importance of a Petoskey stone polishing kit for polishing stones.

A polishing kit will provide you with all the basic items you will need to hand polish your Petoskey Stones. We have taken the time to sort through the kits to find the one that will benefit you the most.

The Best Petoskey Stone Polishing Kit

We found a polishing kit on Amazon that comes with everything you will need to get started. This polishing kit is recommended for all ages and it comes with 220 and 600 grit sandpaper. It also comes with polish, a leather pad, a sanding board, and directions for use. The price is outstanding and the ratings on this one are great! You don’t even need to have a rock because it comes with one! 

If you’re a beginner, a seasoned hobbyist, or even a teacher, this kit would be perfect for you!

Polishing Powder for Petoskey Stones

The best polishing powder for Petoskey stones.

Polishing powder can be used after your Petoskey Stone is cut, shaped, and scratch free, but even after you apply the polishing powder you might find a few scratches that you missed. With the right polish, you might be able to get the smaller scratches out.

Although polishing powder can be used with automatic tools such as a buffer, it is recommended to apply the powder onto a soft cloth and gently rub it into the Petoskey Stone by hand.

The Best Polishing Powder for Petoskey Stones

You can choose MB Stone Care to assist in polishing your stones. This polish is a bit pricey for 8 ounces, but it has extremely high reviews with positive satisfaction. It will also last a long time because, unless you’re polishing an entire bag of rocks at once, it won’t take a lot to shine just one rock at a time. 

This polishing powder is easy to use, just add a bit of water to the powder to make a paste and buff it onto your rock by hand using your soft cloth, it’s that simple! The final results will amaze you.

Polishing Petoskey Stones Dremel

The best dremel for polishing Petoskey stones.

If you prefer, you can use a Dremel tool to polish your Petoskey Stones. The procedure is not much different from the way you would polish the stones by hand, but the Dremel will make sanding the stone easier on your hands. The following steps will guide you through the process of polishing your Petoskey Stones with a Dremel.

1. Place your stone on a hard, flat surface. Using a 50-grit sanding drum pad, sand the stone’s surface completely.

2. Continue to sand the stone gradually changing the drum pads until you have progressed through to the 1500-grit sanding pad. 

3. Once the stone is smooth and polished to your likeness, change the sanding drum bit to the buffing/ polishing wheel. Add polishing powder to the wheel and continue to polish the stone to your satisfaction.  

4.  At this point, your stone may seem oily. You can resolve this by putting denatured alcohol onto the wheel and then continue to polish the stone until the oil is gone. 

The Best Dremel Tool for Polishing Petoskey Stones

This Dremel 4000- 4/34 high-performance rotary tool kit offers variable speed and comes with 4 attachments and 34 accessories. The 6-foot cord makes it easy to use anywhere and it is compatible with all Dremel rotary tool attachments and accessories. 

This tool is lightweight and versatile so that it’s easy to hold and it can be used for carving and cutting too. It’s offered at an economical price with a high rating.

Rock Tumbler for Petoskey Stones

The best rock tumbler for polishing Petoskey stones.

Using a rock tumbler is another option for polishing your stones, however, it can be a bit more difficult and is recommended to be used by only those who are more experienced. 

We did the research though, and we were able to find a tumbler that’s so easy even your children can use it with supervision.

The Best Rock Tumbler for Petoskey Stones

The National Geographic Hobby Rock Tumbler comes with simple instructions that make this easy for even a novice to use. The tumbler barrel is made of tire rubber to reduce the noise and it has a leak-proof, stainless steel lid. The one-touch operation and automatic shut-off timer make it simple for even a child to use.

Be sure and read the instructions carefully before operating and note that for Petoskey Stones you will need to use 600 or 800 carbide grit when adding the rocks and mixing with water. 

This tumbler comes with 4 polishing grits, a sifter, and 9 rough gemstones. Everything is included in this kit to get you started. It’s complete with an affordable price and an excellent customer rating.

How to Cut Petoskey Stones

A detailed guide on how to cut Petoskey stones.

Before you begin your shaping and polishing process, you might decide that you want to cut your Petoskey Stone. There are several tools that you can use to achieve this, however, exercise extreme caution while using the tools and when sharing this hobby with children, the adults should complete this step.

Consider these tools when cutting your Petoskey Stones:

  • Tile Saw with Diamond Blade- This type of saw will work best if you want to make a perfect line across the stone when cutting it. A tile saw is a wet saw so that it will make cutting through the stone simple and easy.

The Best Tile Saw for Cutting Petoskey Stones

This Skil 7-inch wet tile saw features a Hydro Lock water containment system so that you can pour the water directly into the table top. It will contain the dust so that you can cut your stone right at your craft table. This saw includes a 22.5-degree bevel and a 45- degree bevel. It also includes an adjustable side extension so that you can use this saw for many of your other projects too. The tabletop is made of aluminum, it comes with a rip fence and even a miter gauge. It’s complete with a 7-inch diamond blade and a blade wrench.

With the affordable price and versatility this saw provides, you can’t go wrong!

  • Rock Hammer- For the quickest way to break up a rock into smaller pieces you will want to invest in a good, solid, rock hammer. The side of the hammer that is used for prying the rocks open resembles an ice pick and the opposite side resembles the flat end of a hammer. That is the side you will use for beating the rocks.

The Best Rock Hammer for Cutting Stones

The Estwing 22-ounce rock pick is the best choice for performance and comfort. It’s made of solid, hard metal and the handle is wrapped in leather to assure comfort without getting blisters. This is the type of rock hammer Geologists and contractors prefer to use. It comes with excellent ratings at an affordable price.

  • Tile Nippers- When you find useless pieces of material or rough edges hanging from the stones you can use a pair of tile nippers to remove these pieces.

The Best Tile Nippers for Cutting Stones

This pair of tile nippers can be the perfect companion for pulling off all those unwanted pieces from the edge of your stones. Designed to cut straight edges, these nippers feature a non-slip handle with a comfort grip to avoid blisters. This tool will not only assist you in preparing your precious gems, but you can also use them to cut glass tiles up to ½-inch thick. Complete with an outstanding rating at an affordable price, you must have these nippers in your tool bag.

  • Grinding Wheel- A grinder can be used for cutting and smoothing curves around your stones. Not only can a grinder be useful for cutting, but you can also add a buffer to it and use it when polishing your stones. 

The Best Grinder for Cutting Stones

 The size and mobility of this WEN 6-inch grinder will help you tremendously when it comes to cutting, smoothing, buffing, and shining your stones. It only weighs 16-pounds which makes it easy to move around if you don’t want to make it stationary. It features a quiet 2.1 AMP motor, an adjustable tool rest, and a sturdy base. It comes with a coarse wheel and a fine wheel, a flexible work light that’s attached for easy visibility, and eye guards for added protection. It makes a great buffer and you can easily install a polishing wheel. You can see this grinder is extremely versatile and the price can’t be beat! 

Final Thoughts

Now that you’ve learned how to polish Petoskey Stones you should be able to cut them, shape them, clean them, and shine them like a pro! With all the right tools on hand, you can create all kinds of things using the Petoskey Stones. You can make jewelry, decorate the house with the stones, or even use them outside in the garden. The things you can do with them are endless.

One thing you will want to keep in mind when preparing and polishing your Petoskey Stones is safety. Always wear gloves and eye protection when using tools and machinery. Watch so that electrical cords are away from the walkways to avoid tripping, keep sharp tools out of the reach of small children, and never leave the children unattended while they are working with chemicals, tumblers, and other tools used for polishing Petoskey Stones. 

Have fun and enjoy your hobby and before you know it, you will be making gifts for everyone in the family!