Where can I buy Pumice and Rottenstone

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Forum topic by CanadaJeff posted 08-24-2010 07:10 PM 11753 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View CanadaJeff's profile


207 posts in 3752 days

08-24-2010 07:10 PM

I’m finally starting to learn the value of a good finish and interested in using pumice and rottenstone to really bring out a nice sheen on my projects, however I am not able to find pumice or rottenstone anywhere.

For those who know or own it, where can you buy it? I have checked out Lowes, HD, Lee Valley, and hardware stores, but haven’t been able to find it. Perhaps I’m looking in the wrong section of these stores.

Any help is appreciated.


6 replies so far

View HerbC's profile


1789 posts in 3002 days

#1 posted 08-24-2010 08:10 PM


Try here.


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View joek30296's profile


53 posts in 3009 days

#2 posted 08-24-2010 09:26 PM

I don’t know if they still carry it or not but I bought pumice and rottenstone years ago at Sherwin-Williams paint stores. Something that usually works just as well, however, is coarse (red) and fine (white) automotive rubbing compound. I’ve used both to rub out lacquer finishes on furniture. Be careful with the red though, you’ll rub through pretty quick.

Just my 2 cents.

-- "There are two theories to arguing with a woman....neither of them work"

View Tom Coster's profile

Tom Coster

120 posts in 2981 days

#3 posted 08-25-2010 06:50 PM

I’m a newbie here and a novice wood worker. That said, I own a classic car resto shop. Our paint jobs are all about the wet sand and buffing. Although I have yet to use our system on wood finishes I have spoken to lots of woodworker who have and tell me it works great. The grit levels we use on auto paint systems might not apply directly to wood finish but it may help you get the gist of it. A way to test your grits is to apply your finish onto something clear like Plexiglas and then experiment with different grits. We start with as low as 800 grit and work up to 3000 grit wet sand paper. Keep cleaning the paper in the bucket of water so that loose grit doesn’t scratch the surface. Next step is the liquid compound, we start with the “coarse cut” first. I’m not sure what the grit is but it removes the 3000 grit sand marks. The next stage is polish. This product is about half as abrasive as the coarse cut. The final stage is swirl remover. This is very fine and removes the swirl marks left by the power buffer. All three of these steps do polish and level the surface as you go along. We used heavy duty buffers to work the liquid materials and if the tech does not know what he is doing he will burn thru the clear coat in seconds and ruin a very expensive paint job. Not all compounds are the same! Straight up, there is a lot of polishing products out there that are junk. 3M makes the best and also is the most expensive. Also watch out for finger marks transmitting thru the sandpaper and however you apply the compound. A cheap source for these supplies:

-- Tom, MI, SC

View rwyoung's profile


409 posts in 3614 days

#4 posted 08-25-2010 10:46 PM

Lee Valley lists Rottenstone in their catalog:,190,43040

as well as pumice:,190,43040

Woodcraft also carries it.

-- Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

View Jonnyfurniture's profile


59 posts in 2969 days

#5 posted 08-31-2010 10:02 AM


View RogerBean's profile


1605 posts in 3096 days

#6 posted 08-31-2010 12:59 PM

In my experience Tom Coster’s comments are on the money. The modern abrasives and polishing compounds from the automotive industry are vastly superior. All polishing operations, whether for metal, plastic, glass, or wood finishes are accomplished by a methodical application of progressively finer abrasives. The new stuff works a lot better and offers more control than pumice and rottenstone. It’s probably why the old stuff is getting harder to find. Good luck with your polishing.

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

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