How to Sand and Polish Quartz Countertops

Quartz countertops are popular in kitchens and bathrooms thanks to their durability, easy maintenance, and stylish appearance. However, over time quartz can lose its luster and shine from everyday wear and tear. Sanding and polishing is an effective way to restore the beautiful finish of your quartz countertops. Follow these steps for how to properly sand and polish quartz countertops.

What You’ll Need

  • Orbital sander or palm sander with 80, 120, 220 grit sandpaper
  • Clean rags
  • Respirator mask
  • Safety goggles
  • Denatured alcohol
  • Polishing compound or automotive polishing paste
  • Soft polishing pad or terry cloth

Step 1: Clean the Countertops

Before sanding, thoroughly clean the countertops to remove any dirt, debris, oils or residue. Use a non-abrasive cleaner and rinse well. Allow the quartz to fully dry. This allows the sandpaper to sand evenly across the surface.

Step 2: Sand the Countertops

Start sanding with 80 grit sandpaper to remove any deep scratches or dull areas. Always keep the sander moving to avoid creating deeper grooves. Sand in a circular motion.

  • Work in small sections, about 2 square feet at a time
  • Apply even pressure as you sand
  • Continue sanding until the deep scratches are gone

Step 3: Remove Sanding Residue

Use a clean rag to carefully wipe away all sanding dust. Make sure to remove any residue left behind from the coarser 80 grit paper.

Step 4: Smooth the Surface with Finer Sandpaper

Switch to 120 or 220 grit sandpaper. Lightly sand the entire countertop surface to smooth out any 80 grit scratches.

  • Use lighter pressure with the finer grit
  • Continue sanding until the countertops feel smooth

Step 5: Clean Again

Following the finer grit sanding, wipe the countertops again using denatured alcohol on a clean rag. This cleans away all residual sanding debris.

Step 6: Apply the Polishing Compound

Use a soft polishing pad or terry cloth with your chosen polishing product. Automotive polishes or buffing creams designed for natural stone also work well for quartz.

  • Apply a small amount of polishing compound to the pad
  • Use circular motions to buff the countertop
  • Start in a small area, working the polish thoroughly into the quartz
  • Add more polish as needed
  • Overlap sections to blend properly

Step 7: Buff to a Shine

As you see the quartz surface restore its polish, increase your buffing speed. Keep buffing until you achieve an even, brilliant luster.

  • Maintain the circular polishing motion
  • Buff all areas evenly
  • Avoid applying too much pressure

Step 8: Remove Polishing Residue

Carefully clean away any leftover polishing compound using a clean, dry terry cloth. Buff lightly to remove any haze and bring back a crystal clear shine.

Tips for Sanding and Polishing Quartz

  • Always sand and polish the entire countertop surface to prevent dull spots
  • Move the sander constantly to prevent grooves
  • Let the sandpaper do the work – don’t press too hard
  • Monitor quartz edges so they don’t round over
  • Clean frequently when sanding to see your progress
  • Work in good ventilation and wear a safety mask
  • Use polish products specifically designed for quartz

FAQs About Sanding and Polishing Quartz

How often should I sand and polish my quartz countertops?

For everyday maintenance, sanding and polishing is only needed every 2-3 years. Quartz is less prone to scratching than other materials. Proper cleaning is usually enough between polishing.

What grit sandpaper should be used on quartz?

Start with 80 grit to remove scratches. Then smooth with 120 or 220 grit. Avoid skipping straight to 220 grit as it won’t effectively remove deeper marks.

Can I use a power polisher?

Yes, an orbital power polisher fitted with a polishing pad can help speed up the buffing process. Maintain a steady speed and light pressure.

What polish should I use on quartz?

Look for polishing creams made for engineered stone or natural stone countertops. Automotive polish also restores shine well. Avoid polish with abrasives.

How can I make future polishing easier?

Using coasters, trivets and cutting boards will help minimize daily scratching and wear. Promptly wipe up spills to prevent staining.

Should I seal my quartz after polishing?

No, quartz countertops do not need to be sealed. The resin makes quartz non-porous so sealing agents cannot penetrate or bond effectively.


Sanding and polishing brings quartz countertops back to a like-new condition by removing scratches and restoring the glossy surface. With the right techniques and quality sandpaper, polishing pads and compounds, you can easily renew the beautiful factory finish. Be sure to work carefully and methodically for best results. Follow up with routine care and maintenance to keep your quartz counters looking their best for many years.