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"Polishing Formica and brushed aluminum"


I am trying to restore an old 50's style kitchen table with a formica top, brushed aluminum skirting around the edges and chrome legs. The chrome is not a problem but cleaning and polishing both the aluminum and the formica have not produced the results that I am looking for, would like some help on how to clean and polish both types of material that will not only hide or eliminate most of scratches but produce a high shine on both. Any help would be greatly appreciated or if you can steer me in the right direction to get some answers.


Phil Vavasseur
- Port Allen, Louisiana (USA)

"Going Home to the Fifties"
by Bill Yenne
from Abe Books

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I am now in the process of polishing some aluminium parts for a motorcycle, I have a "mirror" finish on my completed parts. Started out by wet-sanding my parts with 400 grit paper then 800/1500/2400 papers. After wet-sanding is completed, I use a cloth buffing wheel mounted on my bench grinder. Apply tripoli [affil. link to info/product on Amazon] polishing compound to the cloth wheel and then polish the parts. The results will knock your socks off ! Brilliant......yeh ! Shiny......Yeh! Will it stay that way forever........No !

I am now looking into protecting all my hard work, by sealing the surface with a protective clearcoat. This is where it gets tricky......Some of the products available will work fine, but over time when exposed to the elements they will crack/peel/turn yellow/gray. Then you are faced with removing the clearcoat and re-polishing and then clearcoating again. However for the aluminium band around your table I don't think you should worry about the elements making the clearcoat crack or peel. As for the buffing/polishing you can buy a cloth wheel that fits on an electric drill and polish it that way.

Hope this helps you.......

Peter Mc Avoy
- Brampton, Ontario, Canada

August 29, 2008

Hello, Phil. letters 800, 1831, and 10917 go into substantial detail about aluminum polishing. Good luck!


Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

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