Steel metal question (not sure best place for it)

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Forum topic by Dannnyh posted 08-27-2014 10:16 AM 1038 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Dannnyh's profile


29 posts in 1625 days

08-27-2014 10:16 AM

Hi All

I know this is a woodworking forum, but I know plenty of people also use steel in their projects.

My question is, can you make a mild steel frame have the appearance of stainless steel, via polishing then applying a clear lacquer ?

Thanks Dan

6 replies so far

View ChrisK's profile


2017 posts in 3322 days

#1 posted 08-27-2014 12:06 PM

I do not think the polished carbon steel will have the duller grey look of stainless. You might get it to look like brushed stainless if you rub the polished carbon steel with steel wool.

-- Chris K

View Dannnyh's profile


29 posts in 1625 days

#2 posted 08-27-2014 12:20 PM

Thx for your reply Chris, do you think that is what has been done here ?

View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1317 posts in 2176 days

#3 posted 08-27-2014 12:51 PM

Yep. That process isn’t that hard. If you put a lot of elbow grease into it, I bet you could make it look like polished stainless. Try not to touch it at all so that you don’t leave any moisture on the surface. I would wipe the whole thing with denatured alcohol right before the lacquer to make sure all of the moisture is out. You could even run a heat gun on the whole project to evaporate water as well. The real question is how long will the lacquer protect it from rusting? I bet it would be about 10 years before you saw any rusting issues though, as long as you did it right. Just make sure there isn’t any water in the tube steel when you are welding it up.

I was a site superintendent on a restaurant where we installed a mild steel custom welded storefront that was about 200 feet long by 15 feet tall. We didn’t polish the steel, just left it in its raw state. We used the alcohol and heat gun to get rid of moisture before applying the clear finish, as that was what the finish manufacturer said to do. We used a finish by a company called Sculpt Nouveau. Call those folks up and ask them which of their products would work best. They are good folks.

Good Luck

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View Dannnyh's profile


29 posts in 1625 days

#4 posted 08-27-2014 01:01 PM

Thanks for the reply Wooden Oyster, I would of had my frame made from stainless but it was 4 times the price !

Sorry about the poor pic, it was practically dark before I had chance to take the photo.

What would use to polish it in the first place, mop attachment on a drill ?

Thanks again for the advice

View Crank50's profile


173 posts in 1817 days

#5 posted 08-27-2014 01:21 PM

I’d use this style of abrasive flap disk in an angle grinder first to cut through the mill scale.
It’s what w used in the fab shop where I worked.

View Dannnyh's profile


29 posts in 1625 days

#6 posted 08-27-2014 01:27 PM

Thanks Crank , the frame has the sort of finish I am after around the areas where they have welded, I guess this is left after they have ground down the weld flat.

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