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How to Polish Metal to a Mirror Finish

by Emile Heskey

Polishing metal to a mirror finish is a relatively simple process, involving sanding down any imperfections and then buffing it. You can do this process on a car or motorcycle to give it a professional and maintained look, or on garden ornaments or sculptures. Although the process does require repetition, once you have completed it, you will be able to see the benefit immediately after completion, and you will have customized a piece of metal to look good.

Step 1

Begin by sanding the surface with a coarse sandpaper, around a 40 grit. Either sand the surface by hand, or using a sanding tool. Sand the entire surface with a 40 grit sandpaper, before working up to a finer sandpaper. Finish with a fine sandpaper, a 320 or a 600 grit.

Step 2

Use a sisal mop to apply a buffing compound, usually in grey or brown. Buff the entire surface of the metal to remove any large scratches from the sanding stage. You can do this process by hand or by using a buffing wheel.

Step 3

Replace the material on the buffing wheel with a white stitched mop. Use a grey or brown compound again and buff the entire surface. This will increase the shine and smoothness of the surface, ready for the finishing process.

Use a calico mop and a white compound for the final stage. This will be the stage that gives the mirror finish.

Items you will need

  • Sandpaper
  • Calico mop
  • Sisal mop
  • Stitched mop
  • Grey compound
  • White compound

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