Soapstone - Help!

MAL77August 20, 2012

We just moved into our new home, built by a large commercial builder whose subcontractor had never installed soapstone in any other house. We chose soapstone for the island and it was a beautiful grey slab with significant veining. The sub oiled it with linseed oil, and unbeknowst to us, never wiped off the excess oil. There is such a film on the island now, and it is sticky, with small bubbles of dried oil everywhere. To say the least, it is an absolute mess - shiny in some places, sticky, dull in other places where the oil has started to wear. We love the dark color but otherwise we are miserable over it. We think we have to strip it back to its natural state pre-oil but have no clue how to do it. The builder is sending out someone from the countertop contractor but we don't trust that they have a clue what to do. Any advice is much appreciated!

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The good news is that you cannot really hurt the soapstone with chemicals. I would recommend stripping it with a chemical stripper. I would try something like acetone or turpentine or mineral spirits to start. This will take off the least cross-polymerized parts. If there is stuff remaining, I would try oven cleaner (which is made to get off polymerized oils, after all). Just follow the directions and let it sit for the recommended period of time.

Worst comes to worst, you can lightly sand the soapstone.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 10:36PM
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