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304 Stainless Letters - How to Finish?

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by JTBoh, May 9, 2019.

  1. JTBoh

    JTBoh I sell signage and signage accessories.

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    So we have a bunch of 16" stainless steel letters, with what i guess is the oxidation on them. Non-brushed finish.

    (we don't work with steel, much)

    In the past, we've done some small SS things- custom ornaments for trucks, etc.

    Customer wants shiny.
    Its exterior signage.

    How do we make them shiny, and make sure they stay shiny?
     

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  2. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

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    A lot of work. Try catching a truck polishing guy. I don't think 75 chrome is that far from you, can call up there and ask.
    Otherwise, D/A with progressively finer paper, up to maybe 1200 and then use polish and progressively step up to finer grits in that or rouge and high speed buffer with a polishing wheel. Truck stop for rouge, auto body supply for the other stuff depending on which way you go. After, you can try and clear coat but it may flake down the road. Shiny stainless requires maintenance unfortunately. I did a set of tanks and wheels on a semi tractor once, that is some miserable work, I just pay a guy now.
     
  3. Johnny Best

    Johnny Best Very Active Member

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    https://www.eastwood.com
    600 then 1000 or higher wet and dry sandpaper, then polishing wheel and compounds, finish with two part clear coat.
    You should look for a company that polishes car rims in your area to give you a price on doing them for you. A lot of work and learning curve if you have never done them before.
     
  4. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

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    Like the others said, it's doable with the directions they have given you and then an 2 part clear...but it's a lot of work. I would be getting quotes to have it done by a specialist
     
  5. Moze

    Moze Precision Sign Services

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    I'd avoid the headache and get a new set of clear-coated letters from Steel Art.
     
  6. rjssigns

    rjssigns Major Contributor

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    Like others have said find a polish shop. Then send them to be clear powder coated.
     
  7. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

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    If the integrity of the surface is fine, try looking for a plating company who can do electro polishing. Stainless will hold its own polish without additional coating, so long as they're kept clean.

    Lawn sprinklers (hard municipal water), lawn fertilizer overspray and such will cause spotting and residue issues. Also, various architectural features can cause rain water runoff to leave streaking.

    But a word to the wise...highly polished lettering is reflective and may camouflage itself, depending on the setting. Brushed / matte is the most visible.

    JB
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2019
  8. Bevets

    Bevets New Member

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    I would get them powder coated with chrome powder.
     
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