How to Remove an Engraving From Stainless Steel

By Tom Becker

With its unique mixture of iron and carbon, stainless steel stands alone in its strength and resistance to corrosion. Stainless comes in several types, but all share these special properties. These properties can introduce significant challenges when working with stainless, especially if you wish to abrade the material's surface. If you wish to remove surface marks such as engraving, you must use not only the right materials but a significant amount of physical effort. After removing the unwanted engraving, use a rotary tool equipped with an engraving accessory to add a new engraving.

List of Items Needed

  • 40-grit sandpaper
  • Clean cloths
  • 80-grit sandpaper
  • 120-grit sandpaper
  • 240-grit sandpaper
  • 320-grit sandpaper
  • 600-grit sandpaper
  • Stainless steel polishing compound
  1. Sand the engraved portion of the stainless steel surface with wet 40-grit sandpaper. Sand in a circular motion and keep the paper continuously wet.

  2. Wipe away excess sanding debris with a clean cloth.

  3. Sand the engraving using the same technique with 80-grit sandpaper, 120-grit sandpaper, 240-grit sandpaper and 320-grit sandpaper. Repeat this process beginning with the 40-grit sandpaper until you have sanded the engraving from the surface.

  4. Apply stainless steel polishing compound to the sanded area and sand the surface with 600-grit sandpaper.

  5. Wipe away excess sanding debris or polishing compound with a clean cloth.

  6. Apply polishing compound to the sanded area with a clean cloth and polish the surface in a circular motion. Reapply and polish until the surface has a bright, even shine.

Tips and Warnings

  • Practice with different types of engraving accessories to determine the desired result.
  • Some polishing compounds have toxic vapors. Use these compounds in a well-ventilated area according to manufacturer instructions.
  • Wear protective eye gear when operating power tools.

© Demand Media 2011