Removing brushed marks on sheet metal?

Hello Everyone,

I mainly work with sheet metal, and I purchase from various places (like Rio grande). However, when finishing my pieces, I find it very difficult to remove she brushed marks. Being a perfectionist doesn’t help. I’ve ordered Judy’s book which I hope will help me pin down the exact tumbling settings I need, but beyond that, any suggestions?

I’ve used silicone wheels with my flex shaft and even then it’s still very difficult. It stands out a lot when getting to that high polish finish.

Am I asking too much, being a perfectionist? Does non-brushed sheet metal exist, and if so, where can I buy it?


I would try some hand sanding with the appropriate grades of abrasives. But if you could send a photo or two it might help with replies.

Don Meixner

Thanks, Don. A photo wouldn’t really help because of the reflective nature of the metal and it’s also very tiny. To see them I have to move the pieces in the light to see it, but it’s small brush marks. I do sand my pieces, but I find that I’m having to remove a lot of material to get close to them being gone. Maybe I’m just being too much of a perfectionist.

This is not my piece, but an example of what I’m talking about, though not nearly as extreme.

Do they even sell sheet metal that ins’t brushed, but rather a more stain or matte finish?

If I need a really high polish on a large flat area, I use the 6" resin wheels on my lapidary bench followed by Tripoli and then rouge. This would not be unlike using progressively finer abrasive papers to about 1200 grit before polishing.

1 Like

I noticed this ‘brushed finish’ back in my days of buying lots of 26 and 24 G sheet for bezel cup backing for pendants and rings respectively. Either someone at the mill was swiping down the rolled sheet with a wire brush, or was cleaning the rollers with something which left striations which were transferred to the metal. My solution: fine a better supplier. Hauser and Miller in St Louis was the best. While the sheet I got from them was not polished to a mirror finish, it had non of those vexing directional scratches. I would pick the best side, write TOP on it with a marker, always having that side up when I sawed on my bench pin (the underside would get scuffed from abrading against the sawdust) and there was no excess polishing time given over to removing those curiously originated brush marks. You will have better luck dealing directly with refineries than 2nd party vendors like Rio. Cheers, DALE


Thanks Dale. It actually appears to be an intentional finish offered. I just ordered the matte/plain sheet metal and hopefully my issue is resolved. I feel dumb for not realizing that sooner, as I’ve been taking too much time getting those brushed marks out. Ah well. :smile: