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"Making other materials look like stainless steel"

An ongoing discussion beginning back in 1998 ...


Q. I am working on an art project for a class that I am in and I want it to look like stainless steel. It is made from wood and steel. Is there any paint or plating techniques I can use to get a "stainless steel" look?

Mike N [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]


A. To me it sounds like you need something fast and cheap. Your project sounds much like other theatre props I have made. I recommend spray painting your part. There are a lot of silvery spray paints out there. Try at your local hardware store or try in an automotive shop. I have seen special sprays for restoring wheel hubs.

If you want other ideas try to look at a discussion forum on theater props. There are several at www.dejanews.com, which is a free archive. They are the experts in make-believe situations like this.



Karsten V. Nielsen

Ed. note August 2012: Dejanews does not exist anymore, but if you have enough patience to suffer through "Google Groups", there are groups you can join that follow these subjects and which have archived some old discussions.


Q. I am looking to use the stainless look in my kitchen. I saw an episode of trading spaces, were Genivev used some kind of metal or stainless rub. DOES ANYONE KNOW WHAT THE PRODUCT IS CALLED?

Tina P [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Elizabethton, Tennessee, USA


A. Hello, Tina, you might inquire if Trading Spaces offers DVDs of their episodes -- some such TV shows do. There are "metallic wax rubs" [Rub'N'Buff [affil. link to info/product on Amazon]] that may be what you are talking about but I didn't see the show. Good luck.

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


A. For those of you looking for that film from Trading Spaces, I found it, or something very like it. If you do a google search for "faux stainless steel," the website www.glassdecorandmore.com comes up. They have stuff that may be what you're looking for there.


K Remien
- Graham, Washington, USA

Ed. note August 2012: That URL doesn't look like it leads to the same place that it did in 2006, which may not be a problem if people are patient and persevering, but it may lead to confusion :-)


A. Thought I would give my thoughts on the subject. And to answer Tina's question I have seen Design to Sell use a film on their show and Trading Spaces used a Spray of some sort. I am hoping to find it in local hardware stores but so far no luck, looks like it will have to be an internet order.

Lori C [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Atoka, Tennessee

August 9, 2012

Q. Anyone try Thomas' "Liquid Stainless Steeltm" www.liquidstainlesssteel.com?

Andrew Christenbury
- Mooresville North Carolina USA

Stainless Steel Paint

Affiliate Link
(finishing.com earns commission on what you buy after clicking)

August 10, 2012

Hi Andrew. You might be interested in reviewing letters 21894 and 26845, which discuss that paint =>
as well as other "stainless steel look" paints.Good luck.

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

Plating to look like brushed stainless steel

May 31, 2017 -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

Q. I am making table legs for a customer out of steel and am requested to have them plated to look like a brushed #4 stainless finish. What would the procedure be?

Matt Haas
W. J. Haas mfg - Hastings [Minnesota]

  ^- Privately respond to this RFQ -^

May 2017

A. Hi Matt. Brushing the steel to the same #4 finish and then nickel plating should be close, but don't expect to mix & match. Presumably this furniture is for indoor use? Better clearly label it, as we just posted two scathing letters from customers who put their tables outside and ruined them; standard nickel plating won't do for outdoors. Good luck.


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

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