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topic 59606

Giving stainless steel a rustic finish



April 27, 2014

Q. I recently visited a Bass Pro Shop restroom located in Spanish Fort, AL. The stalls and countertops are made of stainless steel and they had a finish that I have been unable to find any info on. It appeared to be stained in spots with the stainless also visible underneath. I am very interested in finding out the technique to get this rustic appearance on some projects. Please help.

Lucy Freeny
- Daphne, Alabama, USA


May 22, 2014

A. Lucy,
Given the location of the stainless you saw, I suspect the stains were exactly that, stains. "Rustic" can mean a lot of different things I guess, I mean you don't have to have a polished surface just because it's stainless steel, stainless is done in brushed or matte finishes all the time.

If you want to abuse the surface a little you can always give it a wash with ferric chloride or hydrochloric acid to etch it (many a stainless steel kitchen sink or refrigerator has been damaged by using a muriatic acid based floor or tile grout cleaner nearby). You can repassivate afterwards to prevent further corrosion but the etch damage should remain.

ray kremer
Ray Kremer
Stellar Solutions, Inc.
supporting advertiser
McHenry, Illinois
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