How to Make Polished Chrome Look Brushed

Chrome, or chromium, is a protective and decorative metal used for many applications, from motorcycles and automobiles to plumbing and furniture. Chrome is a hard, shiny metal often plated with nickel. While polished chrome is chrome plated with bright nickel, the plating on brushed chrome is satin-finish nickel, providing a durable surface that is semi-lustrous. Used mostly in the plumbing, lighting and furniture industries, it gets its brushed look from the mechanical polishing that takes place after the plating of the nickel to the chromium.

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Brushed chrome can be re-brushed to remove any recently-acquired blemishes.

Step 1

Clean the polished chrome surface that you want to have a brushed look. Remove all dirt and grease by washing the chrome surface using a detergent such as dish washing liquid.

Step 2

Tape off any surrounding areas that you do not want brushed. When scrubbing the chrome surface, a slip can cause damage to surrounding surfaces that are painted. Masking tape is sufficient to protect these surfaces, and will not damage the chrome.

Step 3

Scrub the polished chrome surface using an abrasive pad. To make the process easier, spray a lubricant, such as WD-40, on the polished chrome surface. Continue scrubbing the chrome in a circular pattern until you achieve the desired brushed chrome look.

Step 4

Wash the brushed chrome surface with detergent to remove the spray lubricant and to bring out its luster.