Marble is porous in nature. Deep scratches cause stains in marble therefore polishing is needed. Using a high quality tin oxide removes the scratches by polishing the surface back to its original sheen. A professional can restore larger, highly trafficked areas like floors or tables.
The process for polishing marble with tin oxide putty is relatively easy. Tin oxide putty comes premixed and is available from a hardware store. The putty is rubbed onto the surface with a damp cloth. Damp areas are rubbed until smooth with clean cloth. An electric polisher is preferred for buffing larger surfaces. One pound of putty polish costs around $25.
Ultralaps are thin polyester plastic sheets pre-coated with a tin oxide polishing agent on one side. Used with a circular buffing machine, ultralaps are great for smaller surfaces, such as marble lamp bases or sculptures. Ultralaps are not messy like other polishing methods, are inexpensive. A pack of five 6-inch laps run around $7.
Tin oxide (stannic oxide) is also available in the powder form. With powder, the consistency is controlled to form a paste to slurry depending on the mixture of tin oxide powder with denatured alcohol. The application of the final product is the same as with the pre-mixed putty polish. Stone dealers sell tin oxide powder for polishing.