How to polish stainless steel? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-02-2019, 09:15 PM   #1
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How to polish stainless steel?

Our sink and stove are original to our 76 Boler, I think. The stove has a stainless steel cover. The only issue is that they are very scratched. The stove and lid especially look like someone used coarse steel wool on them. Id like to polish them to a nice shine if possible. Im thinking I could probably get a buffing attachment for my drill and use stainless polish. Or is there some progression of sanding grits Id need to use?
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Old 12-02-2019, 09:28 PM   #2
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Our sink and stove are original to our ‘76 Boler, I think. The stove has a stainless steel cover. The only issue is that they are very scratched. The stove and lid especially look like someone used coarse steel wool on them. I’d like to polish them to a nice shine if possible. I’m thinking I could probably get a buffing attachment for my drill and use stainless polish. Or is there some progression of sanding grits I’d need to use?
Go to youtube and watch a few videos, one easy to find stainless steel polishing project to find as a video is how to get rid of scratchs and polish stainless steel sinks.


Progression of grits yes, sanding no, steel wool OK but not so easy . You want to use Scotch-Brite Pads. Scotch-Brite is actually aluminum wool and the pads are convenient. You can even get them in a form to use on a car buffer or in a drill motor if you really want to speed up the job. At the auto parts store get some rubbing compound to use for your polishing process.
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Old 12-02-2019, 10:31 PM   #3
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If you use carbon steel wool to polish stainless steel, you can work small particles of the steel wool into the surface of the stainless steel and when the carbon steel rusts, it will make stains on the stainless steel.
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Old 12-02-2019, 11:20 PM   #4
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Buffing stainless

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Originally Posted by Kate W View Post
Our sink and stove are original to our 76 Boler, The only issue is that they are very scratched. Im thinking I could probably get a buffing attachment for my drill and use stainless polish. Or is there some progression of sanding grits Id need to use?
It will depend on the finish you want. You may need to sand to get deep scratches out. But 600 or 1000 grit paper will do it. Then the work begins, start with a stiff buffing wheel and course abrasive and work your way to softer wheels and fine abrasives. Keep in mind that if you go to a mirror finish it will show every fingerprint. I like Zepher products, found at many truck stops. Stainless bolts and screws as well as aluminum wheels can all be made to look like chrome. Be careful not to overheat the thin metal, it will dis-color. I cant find a video about buffing small items that I like but it takes a lot of steps to get a mirror finish Id go for a brushed look.
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Old 12-02-2019, 11:26 PM   #5
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Buff kit

I cant find a video about buffing small items that I like but it takes a lot of steps to get a mirror finish Id go for a brushed look.[/QUOTE]
I did find this but stainless and aluminum are a little different to buff.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...ature=emb_logo
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Old 12-03-2019, 11:08 AM   #6
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Some sinks and stove tops are stainless steel and some are aluminum. Aluminum is much softer, easier to polish but easier to scratch.
The grit you start with depends on how bad (deep) the scratches are. When you sand (polish) you are grinding away the surface of the metal to a depth equal to the depth of the scratches you want to remove. It is a process of replacing deeper scratches with scratches that are not as deep but covering a larger area. This process continues until the scratches are so minute as not to be discernible.
I've used this process for metal, fiberglass and automotive paint. Works well but can be labor intensive and time consuming. Good luck.
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Old 12-03-2019, 11:33 AM   #7
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There is one other way to do it. Get a roll of aluminum foil. Wad some of it up into a ball. Then scrub away at the surface. It is a trick that also works for cleaning up rusty spots and gunk off of chromed exhaust pipes.



I know it sounds a bit crazy but I have tested it and it does work.
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Old 12-03-2019, 12:34 PM   #8
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This video is one of the most informative videos I have ever seen. The guy really does a good job of explaining stainless steel finishes. He says mirror type finishes are rarely used and that the industry standard for a brushed finish is a #4 finish. Apparently everybody uses the #4 finish on their brushed stainless appliances. Watch the video on how the use of the different color Scotch brite pads can really bring back the finish on brushed stainless.
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Old 12-03-2019, 03:15 PM   #9
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This video is one of the most informative videos I have ever seen. The guy really does a good job of explaining stainless steel finishes. He says mirror type finishes are rarely used and that the industry standard for a brushed finish is a #4 finish. Apparently everybody uses the #4 finish on their brushed stainless appliances. Watch the video on how the use of the different color Scotch brite pads can really bring back the finish on brushed stainless.
It played great...in my imagination. You forgot to put the link in so people could watch it.
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Old 12-03-2019, 04:02 PM   #10
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Oh sorry.
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Old 12-04-2019, 12:38 AM   #11
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Oh sorry.
Captleemo, thanks. That’s very clear and well-done.
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Old 12-04-2019, 12:48 AM   #12
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Thanks for all the great advice. Very helpful as always! I found a buffing kit online that seems worthwhile, given how much better all the metal bits will look when they’re shiny. https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/m...p.0545895.html
“Includes 5 detailing felt bobs, 3 sewn polishing buffs, mushroom buff, cylinder buff, facer buff, tapered buff, 6 polishing compounds”.
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