Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Creating and finishing "brushed" look on brass?

Hi All,

I created some rings with a “brushed” look by loading a split
mandrel with 220 grit sandpaper, clamping the flex shaft (with the
mandrel) unto a vise so the flex shaft is horizontal, and pressed the
rings unto the rotating sandpaper-loaded mandrel.

I like the brushed look this gives, but the scratches kind of give
the rings a “cloudy” appearance and thus make it seem unfinished in
someway. I guess my questions are:

-What is this cloudiness I am seeing?

Is it just the scratches/matte appearance from the sandpaper? Is it
an issues of not enough polishing before or after the treatment?

-What do I do after the brush treatment?

How can I make it look more finished? Do I used red rouge/other
polishing compound afterwards? I used renaissance wax directly after
the 220 grit treatment. but I feel like I am skipping something…

-Is there a better way to apply a brushed look than my sandpaper

I did try some fiber wheel on the flex shaft, and while the fiber
wheel gives a shinier and more polished look, the “brushmarks” are
less regulated and quite uneven. maybe my technique is wrong? or is
that the nature of the fiber wheel?

-Any resources / tips I can read up on metal polishing / sanding /
finishing, specifically for brushed finish?

I don’t seem to have that good of a grasp on the topic. I already
have Jinks McGrath’s The Jeweler’s Directory of Decorative Finishes
and The Theory and Practice of Goldsmithing (Brepohl), but neither
breaks it down for me step by step and explain when to do what–
specifically, what should be done after the brush treatment.

Polish as you would normally before you apply the finish. If it is
sterling, make sure that you have removed any firescale. There are
various 3M and other similar wheels that will texture, try different
grits of steel wool, you can also buy different soft metal bristle
brushes and wheels.

Keep trying until you find what you like, but remove any surface
imperfection first or they may show thru. Rob

You might try some different grits, different speeds on the flex
shaft and different grit media. I really like what is often called a
"blending disc" for a directional scratch finish. I also like a
little “cross pad/disc” I get from from a “Mom and Pa” couple in
Ohio. Again, , different grits can have HUGE differences. How you
are “working” the grit makes a difference too. “In line"or"circular”
(most likely). The cross pads allow for a true "straight line"
scratch when using a new cross pad on it’s “edge”. Call or write
directly is you want/need better info.

I hope this makes some sort of sense, the pictures in my mind are
great, , the description most likely is lacking. I would be
willing to send you a cross pad or 2 to try or give you the address
of the folks who are making them. I also use a “blending disc” that
can be used on edge when new, to give parallel scratch lines verses
circular lines. Speed, cutting media/material and "how the
working/scratching unit is being rotated in relations to the piece"
can make HUGE differences in how the scratch looks. Most any of
these will be relatively temporary when being worn however, just the
nature of things… Have you tried a small wire wheel, as this
may give you a different look too.

john dach

A couple of suggestions.

Try tumble polishing the jewelry in an abrasive media, using either
a rotary or vibratory tumbler.

After the 220 grit treatment, try rubbing (by hand) #0000 steel wool
on it.

Judy Bjorkman

Try using like 1500 grit to make the brushed appearance.


A simple and relatively low cost brushed finish requires: 1. a
flexible shaft machine; 2. a screw mandrel for the flex shaft; 3. a
sheet of Scotchbrite, either coarse or fine. Cut three one-inch
squares of the Scotchbrite. Push the screw of the mandrel through
the center of each square and screw onto the mandrel. Insert the
mandrel in the flex shaft handpiece. Rotating the squares on your
piece will true them into circles and will develop a brushed finish
on metal.

Hope this is useful,
Linda Kaye-Moses