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How to do Brushed Steel look

(-----) 2003

Can you put a "Brushed Metal" look on Cold Rolled Steel tubing and then clear coat it? On a Motorcycle frame to be specific. And do you have any idea's on how I could put that finish on the frame.


Brad Turner
hobbyist - Pownal, Vermont


The best way is to make sure your frame is COMPLETELY dry and free from damp.Put it under a cover and heat it until it is almost too hot to touch. Paint it with a 2 pack car lacquer immediately ! Don't worry the lacquer will not burn or melt, use very little thinner if any, heat the lacquer CAREFULLY too this will make it flow better.

Eamon McAtarsney
metal fabrication - Armagh, N Ireland


Yes you can do a brushed finish on cold rolled steel and then coat it. "brushed" is a bit of a general term so I'm not exactly sure what look your going for. To brush steel just play around with different grits of Sandpaper [affil. link to info/product at Rockler] or rough scotchbrite pads. Rubbing in different directions will give you different looks. For example on my knives I start at 220 grit (silicon carbide paper) and rub the length of the blade one direction, then lift the paper off and start again always going the same direction. I go from 220-400-600 sometimes as far down as 1200. I'm assuming with your project it will be a bit different because you will have joints where the tubing meets that will be hard to reach. Some type of power tool like a drill with a sanding "flap wheel" may work better...or use a long thin sanding belt (like a 2x72") and wrap it around the tube and pull back and forth. Steel tubing is cheap enough that you can buy a chunk and play around with the different types of finishes before doing it on the bike frame.

As for coating it, I'm not sure what you should use. I coat many of my projects with clear casting urethane..but they aren't subjected to heat or abrasion like a bike frame would be. Just make sure whatever coating you go with is UV resistant or else it will turn a nasty yellow color with age. If cost isn't an option I would go with a stainless steel. Giving a brushed finish will make it corrode much quicker than a polished finish and if the bike will be ridden any coating you put on it will probably come off in spots.

Jason Aube
- Flint, Michigan


I'm a new home owner and my kitchen has metal cabinets that have been painted over a number of times. I want to know that best way to strip the paint off the doors and give the metal a brushed look. Can anyone point me in the right direction? I've looked everywhere and can't seem to find anything on this subject.


Mike Denman
stripping paint off metal Cabinets - Memphis, Tennessee   

April 13, 2011

I removed the layers of paint from an old aluminum ceiling tile with a paint removal spray foam. You spray it on, let it sit for a while and then gently scrape the paint off with a plastic spackling knife, or whatever way works best for you. The paint becomes a gooey layer after the foam does it's work. May have to reapply for tougher areas. Can get it at any hardware store, where the paint removers are. Good luck!

Cindy Gardner
- Charleston, South Carolina, USA

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