How to Make Stainless Steel Look Like Chrome

By Edwin Thomas

Making a stainless steel object shine with the luster of chrome is both as simple and as involved as polishing and buffing the metal up to a high gloss. While making stainless steel look like chrome doesn't involve any magic or secret compounds, the task requires considerable work, even with the aid of power tools. At the end of an intensive round of polishing and buffing, the steel surface won't have quite the coloring of chrome, but it will be just as shiny.

List of Items Needed

  • Dual-action orbital sander
  • Edging sander
  • Closed-coat aluminum oxide or silicon carbide sandpaper in the 1000-, 2000- and 3000-grit range
  • Handheld rotary tool
  • Felt polishing wheel and cone accessories
  • Polishing compound
  1. Sand the main body of the stainless steel with a dual-action orbital sander fitted with sandpaper in the 1000-grit range. Use an edging sander on any hard-to-reach areas. This round of sanding removes scratches from the steel.

  2. Replace the sandpaper on the orbital and edging sanders with fresh sheets in the 2000-grit range, and give the stainless steel a second round of sanding.

  3. Fit fresh sandpaper in the 3000-grit range to your orbital and edging sanders for the final round of sanding.

  4. Polish the steel with a handheld rotary tool, using a felt polishing wheel accessory for the main body and a felt polishing cone accessory for hard-to-reach areas. Apply polishing compound to the felt, and then the felt to the steel.

Tips and Warnings

  • Always wear safety goggles and a respirator mask when sanding metal.

© Demand Media 2011