Abalone shells are beautiful shells that come from edible sea snails. These shells have an inner lining, or nacre, which is iridescent and gives them a beautiful pearly glow. Abalone shells are used to make buttons, jewels, furniture inlays and accents in guitars

Things You Will Need

Abalone shells
Clear nail polish
1/2 inch paint brush
Face mask
Small bowl
Soft toothbrush
Muriatic Acid
Plastic Garbage Bag
Soft cloth

Step 1

Abalone shell

Soak the abalone shells in a bucket filled with water. Soak for several days to remove dirt and debris. Use a soft toothbrush to remove grime. Dry the shells with the soft cloth. Prepping the shells properly is important to polish abalone shells to perfection.

Step 2

Working in a well ventilated area, put on a face mask and gloves. Put the shells in the bucket. Pour a small amount of muriatic acid in the bucket to just cover the shells. Leave the abalone shells in the acid bath for about 10 seconds.

Step 3

Remove the shells with tongs and place them on a plastic garbage bag. Spray the shells with water. Shift the position with the tongs so the shells are thoroughly rinsed. Allow time for the shells to dry thoroughly.

Step 4

Pour the clear nail polish into a small bowl. Using a clear polish will help bring out the beauty fo the nacre and will polish the abalone shells to perfection.

Step 5

Using the 1/2 inch paint brush, paint the abalone shell with the clear nail polish. Use the smaller brush the nail polish came with to paint tiny crevices in the shell.

Step 6

Allow the abalone shell time to air dry. The result will be a shiny, polished abalone shell.

If you prefer not to paint the shell with nail polish you can rub mineral oil into the shell instead to get a nice luster. This will have to be repeated every few weeks.

Tips & Warnings

Do not leave the shells in the acid bath for longer than 15 minute or you could damage them.

Muriatic acid can be very dangerous. Wear rubber gloves and a mask and work in a well ventilated area.