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Removing scratches from stainless steel

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by slobake, Aug 19, 2013.

  1. slobake

    slobake Supporting Member

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    Anyone here experienced with removing scratches from stainless steel. I want to remove some scratches from an oven hood and a sink. They are not too deep. I have read and watched videos suggesting various methods.
    I am concerned about making things worse. Has anyone here actually done this? Or better still is there someone here who does this often, maybe part of your job?
  2. megafiddle

    megafiddle

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    I have removed scratches from metal, but it involves removing metal to the same depth
    as the scratch. And then the surface finish needs to be restored. A polished surface is
    simplest to restore, although it's a bit of work. A matte finish requires abrasive blasting,
    or chemical etching. A brushed finish can sometimes be blended back in pretty well with
    abrasive pads, or you might have to rebrush the entire surface.

    And that's the problem, restoring the repaired finish so that that it is not worse than
    the original scratch (common problem with guitar and bass finishes too).
    Sometimes it's better to just minimize the appearance of the scratch, if it can be blended
    into the surrounding area.

    What type of finish is on those?

    And what methods have you looked at?

    .
  3. Stumbo

    Stumbo Supporting Member

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    If you try rubbing them out or using a drill with a buffer pad or such, the area won't look the same as the rest of the appliance. Maybe if you do the whole surface, but for me, it's a lot of work for not enough gain. Kinda like trying to remove scratches from a car.

    I've tried on my sink but when I remember that the sink is stainless steel and not scratchless steel, I don't worry about it any more. It gets its own mojo over time. Eventually it'll have to be replaced but as usual, that's the cost of doing business.
  4. slobake

    slobake Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the responses. I believe the finish is called brushed nickel it is probably a number 4 brushed finish. So far this method seems the best to my inexperienced mind. It involves usin 3M pads.
  5. megafiddle

    megafiddle

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    If that is a nickel alloy (and not just a name for the finish), it will often have a protective
    coating. In that case, refinishing will remove the coating and leave it more vulnerable to
    staining.

    You might want to check with the manufacturer if possible.

    The video is good information for stainless and any uncoated alloy.
    Many "scratches" are just thin surface marks where the finish has been burnished down
    smooth. Basically the brushed finished has been removed by the "scratch". These, along
    with very light actual scratches, can very effectively be removed with abrasive pads as
    in the video.

    One thing that may not be obvious in the video, is that the hand refinishing will have a
    more random pattern to the brushing, not perfectly straight and parallel like the original.
    A lot depends on how accurately you can work.
  6. slobake

    slobake Supporting Member

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    Getting near the end of a kitchen re-model and finally worked up my nerve to work on the stainless steel. It came out pretty good. Megafiddle was right the patterns are not as straight. One thing I noticed is a tendency to curve upward at the end of each stroke. I had to re-do the pattern to remove the upward strokes. It wasn't as hard as I thougt it would be. Thanks everyone for your advice.
  7. DerHoggz

    DerHoggz I like cats :| Supporting Member

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    Depending on how thick of a layer you took off, and the manufacturing, it may develop rust spots.
  8. mpdd

    mpdd Supporting Member

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    old museum trick when you scratch something stainless, toothpaste
  9. slobake

    slobake Supporting Member

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    I hope not. :p The video was pretty specific about this hood if it does develop rust I guess it's not stainless anymore. :bag: I can always get out the pads again and remove the rust.
  10. slobake

    slobake Supporting Member

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    Oh great, where were you a month ago? :p
  11. P Town

    P Town Guest

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    Some people will pay a premium for those "road worn" vent hoods.
  12. megafiddle

    megafiddle

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    Something I haven't tried, but it ought to work if you need to do any touch up in the future:

    Use a length of wood about 1" x 2" as a fence to guide the brushing pad along.
    Or a piece of aluminum angle. (use gloves to avoid splinters with wood)
    May need some extra hands to hold the "fence".

    ...

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