Satin nickel, also known as brushed nickel, is an attractive finish available on modern refrigerators, stoves, faucets, and other household fixture. Despite nickel's durability, scratches do sometimes occur in nickel finishes. When they do, you need to buff them out. You can do so by hand with some water and very-fine wet/dry sandpaper, or use a scratch removal compound and an electric buffer. No matter which method you choose, proper technique is important and will prevent you from adding new scratches while removing the old ones.

Water flowing from Brushed Nickel Faucet on Porcelain Bathroom Sink
credit: aricspence/iStock/GettyImages
Brushed nickel fixtures are beautiful when properly maintained.

Step 1

Wipe the scratched area with soft, clean cloth to ensure that the area is clean and free from debris. It is important to avoid creating new scratches during the repair.

Step 2

Wet the scratched area with water. The water will act as a lubricant for the sandpaper. If you are using a scratch-removing compound, apply it to the scratch in place of water.

Step 3

Rub the scratched area with 600-grit wet/dry sandpaper. Do not rub the sandpaper back and forth. Instead, move the paper in one direction only, moving with the nickel's grain. Continue doing this until the scratch comes out. If it doesn't, move to a slightly coarser 500-grit sandpaper and try again.

Step 4

Dry the area with a soft, clean cloth. If you used a scratch-removal compound, rinse the area with a slightly dampened cloth to remove any excess compound and then dry.

Step 5

Apply vinegar to the buffed or sanded area. The vinegar will help remove any oil or other debris left on the fixture from the sanding and buffing process. Wipe the vinegar off of the treated area with a dampened cloth.

Step 6

Dry the treated area with a soft cloth and buff lightly.