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How to finish soapstone counter

Posted by eleena (My Page) on
Fri, Mar 15, 13 at 17:29

I have read that SS (as in soapstone) needs to be oiled after installation and then from time to time. I think it is a small price to pay for such a versatile countertop and I am totally willing to do it.

However, I have read the following statement that sort of puzzled me:

"Be careful though, because it's one of the stones that if not finished correctly will give you horrendous water rings and spots. If it hadn't been for Florida Joshua I may have ripped my counters out but he refinished them and they are much more manageable now."

It is the very last post to the thread I am linking.

I did a search and it looks like the poster is no longer *around*.

Is there something else I need to know about finishing it?


Here is a link that might be useful: Old SS thread

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: How to finish soapstone counter

I can't really speak to that post about the water rings and spots but I do have a question for you. Do you WANT to oil it? If not, it isn't necessary, and there are many happy ss owners (like me) on here who don't. It seems to me that all the threads I've read about these issues were when folks oiled their counters; I could be wrong about that.

There are many people on here who are much more knowledgeable about this than I am (Angie_DIY; enduring spring to mind), so hopefully they (or Joshua) will chime in.

RE: How to finish soapstone counter

Another post about water marks

Here is a link that might be useful: Another soapstone post

RE: How to finish soapstone counter


I posted before seeing your reply.

I guess I do. Oiling makes a grey soapstone greener and I want to see the green. Not oiled SS looks "dusty" to me on the pix. I saw only 3 SS slabs IRL and I was not impressed with the look till they put some water on it to imitate oiling.

But I'll think about it. Thank you!

RE: How to finish soapstone counter

eleena- I remember Francy's thread and just reread it (for some unknown reason) a month or so ago. I wonder if things ever resolved for her.

If I remember correctly it seems that both the finishing and what is used to oil the ss can both have an effect on the possibility of water rings or spots.

We don't oil because we actually like our counters light instead of dark. Have you chosen your slab/s yet?

RE: How to finish soapstone counter

I thought I would oil but now that our counters are installed, we really prefer the look unoiled. My belevedere is gray with dark veins and the veins dissapear when oiled. A big part of the water rings is how it is finished. I specifically asked for my stone to be finished to a lower grit based on feedback from this forum.

Your kitchen sounds interesting. It sounds like you are doing soapstone and stainless? Did you post your overall plan?

RE: How to finish soapstone counter

My SS fabricator has an "enhancer" that I'm going to use instead of mineral oil. Once my ss is installed, I could let you know what is in his product.

RE: How to finish soapstone counter

I use the wax combo that was supplied by Green Mountain. I have had the counters since the Summer and have only used it once.
Avoid buying from a fabricator that has no experience with it, since the finishing(and hardness-talc content) is very important. The suppliers such as Vermont SS and Greenmountain SS either do their own installations or refer you to a dealer. My dealer for GMSS was a pleasure to work with. He arranged for delivery to a stone yard where I viewed the slab and the template/install. Most important, he was available to answer questions and really took the time to make sure I was satisfied. I just ordered 3 Original PA windowsills from him to match the counters.

RE: How to finish soapstone counter

Thank you, all!


When are you installing it? I can wait with oiling - I guess - but not sure.

I am going to have SS in my cooking area so I am afraid that oil spills and food grease would "oil" the counter anyway but not the way I want, kwim? :-)


Thank you! No, no plans posted. The stainless counter was installed today in the clean-up area (located in the "butler's pantry") and we LOVE it. DH says he is now ready to commit to doing the dishes "forever", LOL.

I had a Kraus sink integrated. The only minor problem is the darker color where the sides were welded to the counter and the back-splash b/c the shop did not have the equipment to polish them. It is a local shop that makes mainly commercial countertops (for restaurants and such) which do not require a polished look. I saved $$$ by ordering it there and even $$$$ compared to online sources. The sink is not very visible from the kitchen, so I took my chances and do not regret it.

I have been in love with soapstone for a long time and couldn't find the right color b/c I wanted a green one but of harder variety. Most of those had been quarried out by the time I was ready to order. I'll report back when we finally order it b/c the fabricator has to place order. I don't want to temp my luck by bragging about right now, LOL.

(Edited for a silly typo)

This post was edited by eleena on Sat, Mar 16, 13 at 17:38

RE: How to finish soapstone counter

I think Francy's stone was ultimately replaced for unrelated reasons and she changed to a different type, if I remember. Different soapstones show water marks and spots differently in my experience, so the best thing to do is to test samples. Ours, for instance (Barroca, which I don't recommend for a litany of other reasons!) is great on the water spot front. It rarely shows marks (usually only if something wet's been left there for a day or more) and they have all oiled out easily. I have friends who have other varieties where it is all but impossible to get the water marks out. The best thing to do is to try the specific soapstone you're considering and see. Good luck! Love the soapstone-stainless combo--so wish I'd been able to sell DH on that!

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