Stainless Steel Finishes

Stainless steel finishes we offer:

There are many types of stainless steel finishes. Each technique requires a varying level of labor required to achieve. Furthermore, each technique can create an entirely different look. When specifying stainless steel finishes, its important to understand that each finish type requires a different degree of labor which will affect the cost. Some common finishes are shown below:

#4 Polish (Brushed Finish):

Stainless steel finishes - #4 brushed finish
Sometimes called a line finish, this finish is achieved by sanding in a vertical direction using a 150-180 grit abrasive sandpaper. This is one of the most common stainless steel finishes used in architectural metal work. You can see an example of a #4 polished railing here.

#6 Polish (Fine-Brushed Finish):

Stainless steel finishes - #6 brushed finish
A #6 polished railing will have a finer grain finish with a with a brighter sheen than a #4 finished railing. The fine-brushed finish requires the same sanding but also must be buffed with a buffing compound on a cloth wheel. The quality of the surface depends greatly on the amount of sanding done and the fineness of the abrasives used.

Matte Finish (Bead Blast):

Stainless steel finishes - glass beaded
This process provides a dull, matte finish. For the best results, glass beads are used. The matte finish is relatively cost effective and has a nice uniform matte appearance. One drawback, however, is it is susceptible to fingerprint staining.

#8 Polish (Mirror Finish): 

Stainless steel finishes - Mirror Polish on a Railing

A high polish stainless finish looks much like chrome.

As the name implies, a mirror polish will result in a highly reflective finish. Mirror polishing requires a significant amount of buffing to achieve. While polishing, great care must be taken to remove deep scratches. Any defects will show through and  be quite noticeable once you reach the final stage.  One benefit of mirror polishing stainless steel is that it improves its corrosion resistance. This is because it removes crevices where corrosion-causing chlorides can sit and do their work.