how to polish plastic to a mirror finish

how to polish plastic to a mirror finish

Toothpaste buffs the plaque off your … Well-polished aluminum can look like chrome but it takes time, effort and patience to get the glossy mirror finish. 2 years ago. This project was all done by hand...it can be done! Please note these instructions are for use with the polishing compounds, jewelers rouge, and buffing wheels found on PJTool.com. Probably 1200 to 2000 grit is a good idea. Viewing angle matters. The wet technique probably makes it easier; lubricates the paper, keeps dust from clogging it, etc. Continue polishing as needed, reapplying more compound if necessary. I ported both intake and exhaust and only mirror polishing the chamber and exhaust ports, the intake ports are to scotch brite/satin finish. There are basically three ways to manage mold polishing: Do it in-house, send it out, or a combination of these two options. How you light glossy surfaces becomes an art form itself...(it's always about light; we don't see things, we see light bouncing off things). I've basically gone through all the steps you went through in terms of initial coats, but was wondering if there's an extra step I should take after the rouge to keep it substantially safe from the elements. 7) Polish I would want to prep a fine finish with over 1000 grit, wet. (note: loose single stitched buffing wheels are primarily for finishing and working with fine compounds). Use a soft cloth--an old tee shirt works well, or a terry cloth towel. I am a cosplayer, and have used this tutorial multiple times on our weapons props to give them that beautiful mirror shine without them being real metal. Be especially careful during this step, as sanding through the finish is easy with the coarser paper. There are basically two types of reflectivity (although everything is a mixure of both): A glossy black and a matte black may have identical pigments, but the glossy paint will always appear darker (actually, have a wider range of contrast), except when the surface is reflecting a large light source. Don't, under any circumstance, use any masking tape on fresh lacquer, even the blue "easy release" tape. For a final step, I used a bit of jewelers rouge on a dry cloth. These very fine compounds are the last abrasive step in the process. All i ended up with was a slight shine. Rinse your sandpaper as needed to stop it clogging up. For the best experience on our site, be sure to turn on Javascript in your browser. Spend a bit more time gently sanding the 'dragging' spots. 5) Rubbing compound. Rubbing compound wasn't the last step. Diamantine is a very fine powder used primarily by watchmakers to produce a mirror finish, scratch free on hardened steel pivots and jewels. Thanks, Brian Beecher Just starting - Sarasota, Florida Cycle through 800, 1000 and finally 2000 grit paper. My only other thought now would be to be careful about over-sanding on edges and raised details, because that's always a danger. Be sure the polish is formulated for guitars, though. All steps are wet sanding. The first application fills large scratches. Metal polishing is part art and part science. The final stage is to buff up the surface into that mirrored, polished shine. Q. I need to put a mirror finish on ABS plastic. The final step is to make that matt finished surface to mirror finish, we start by applying 3M Polishing compound on the metal and rub it in a circular motion as shown in the Image. Always wear protective gear when polishing including safety goggles or face shield, dust mask, shop apron and gloves. I’m ready to buff by hand! After the abrasive polishing, I also apply a quality guitar polish, which is similar to furniture polish. This will help gauge your progress.Sand only until any uneven surface texture is removed.Note:If you drop the sponge, sandpaper or wiping/drying rag on the floor, START OVER WITH A FRESH SPONGE, SANDPAPER, ETC.You're likely to scratch the work, if you don't. Use the compounds sparingly as you only need a small amount for them to work properly. Acrylic paints, urethanes, etc. Welcome to my channel, Matt's Metalworking. This process consists of diamonds rotating at high speed, over the surface of the material. Spray Silver works better on plastic than Pouring Silver. Matte, however, tends to hide surface defects. Work the compound into the surface evenly. Wet, it can be tricky to not sand through your finish layers, though. )Soak the sandpaper in the soapy water. See our page on mirroring plastics for more information. I've been working on it slowly for years- it's 24 years old. The paint was sanded where repairs were made to the original finish, then a little prep sanding was done overall before the clear. Purchase your Hand Polishers here (It's not always necessary to go all the way to the finest applicable compound. Begin by sanding the abraded surface that you wish to restore with fine grit sandpaper (320 grit) until any prominent protrusions or grooves are removed. In order to make the material more reflective and smoother, when polishing you are simply removing the surface of the material down to the depth of the deepest scratch. You mix the powder with a tiny bit of oil to form a thick putty-like paste. Inspect visually. Working at a higher rate will overheat the work surface and prevent the compound from working properly. What to do: Take the glass out of the frame and clean. If the plastic you want to polish has been in a harsh environment, it may have a greasy coating that will interfere with the polishing process. Our polycarbonate mirror sheeting is an ideal choice if you need a mirrored surface with high heat resistance, impact strength, and dimensional & UV stability. The following steps can be followed for most reflective surfaces including metals, plastics, rubber and even wood. Rinse the plastic off with cold water and buff it clean with a lint-free towel. I know this is an older thread, but I wanted to say thank you!! THANK YOU!!! Step 6 Wipe the surface with a clean, dry cloth once the PVC is dry to buff the surface to a shine and remove any residue. Apply plastic cleaner and polish the surface to remove stains, repair light surface damage, and maintain a protected, water-resistant finish on your headlights or interior trim. Continue to rub. A "polishing compound" can be substituted here. Then I rubbed on some Maguire’s cleaning wax for what turned out to be a mirror finish. After clear? Best results are obtained at 3,000 RPM or less. Just polishing won't remove any scratches. You can usually remove this coating by wiping the plastic with a mild detergent solution. It's important to progress up through the finer grades of paper. hi again- so this morning I checked on my car and everything that seemed shiny last night is now covered in white streaks of the rubbing compound. Determine if the material you wish to polish needs to be sanded first. Rubbing compounds and fine sandpaper can be found at automotive supply, home improvement, or craft stores.Important Note: Avoid any rubbing or polishing compounds that contain silicon. Dull material may just be dirty. Preparation (sanding, filling, painting), and multiple coats of lacquer help to insure the finish is free of woodgrain texture. Between clear coats, some wet sanding was done due to "orange peel" effect, when it was needed -- not after every coat. This removes any scratches incurred in the rougher sanding stages, and assures a smooth base for the high-gloss finish. In addition, I buff titanium for sporting goods. What can i do to achieve the gloss mirror-like effect you have on your guitar? will work just as well (and not have the long drying time of nitrocellulose lacquer.). Determine if the material you wish to polish needs to be sanded first. You don't need many color coats I'm lead to believe, the clear is what gives the color its intensity and sheen. This is the most expensive and time consuming type of finish to achieve and needs the first 2 stages (stoning and papering) to be completed before mirror polishing can begin. Any thoughts? Clean thoroughly, and if your work piece is still dull then proceed to polishing. Share it with us! You will need to work methodically to get this shiny finish. The rouge I use is stick-form. But I'm not certain it's wrong, either, depending on how the auto painter was using the language, etc. I'm not sure about that, as an explanation. on Step 7. Depends on the condition of the surface, I suppose. I do think how (and how well) the clear bonds to the paint pigment can have an effect also, but the surface of the completed work has a larger effect, IMHO. Think of watching a big-screen TV with a picture window right behind you. The work should now have a scratch-free 'sheen.' Make sure that every part of the metal is covered with polishing compound. Diamond polishing adds a shiny luster to the edges of acrylic. Fill the grain with an oil-or water-based wood grain filler. Has anyone else ever done this?-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes! I had upgraded the tuning pegs to shaller , replaced the bridge with a stainless steel and installed Dimarzio Super Distorions. You'll have to start all over...These techniques aren't limited to lacquer, of course. To achieve a reflective surface with mirror finish the preparation How to apply a high-gloss finish by hand, using abrasive polishing. To "rake" the buff, carefully spin it against a buffing rake or sharp metal edge to remove the residue. Recently, I was asked to buff a mirror finish on a .040 thick aluminum with a pure aluminum clad on the surface. Each … The reflection makes it difficult to see the image. Polishing is similar to sanding. The rubbing compound should include instructions, as well. Rotary Tools, Attachments, Chucks & Mandrels, jewelers rouge and polishing compound chart, For Wholesale and Large Quantity Discounts Call (631) 940-8550. You can use the wet/dry paper dry (why they call it wet/dry! To restore the finish you can attempt to mechanically buff the surface to make it smooth again but the underlying fiber glass may be an issue. The procedure here is as follows: Mount the fine flannel polishing attachment to the drilling attachment Switch on the drill Hold a square object against the … (This step was added later, about a week or so after initial publishing. Colorful Wrapped Rope Macrame Knot Necklace. Do you know if it's possible to get a #8 mirror finish on stainless steel by hand? And sanding alone won't do it. Repeat the process with the next finer polishing compound as shown on the chart. A lightweight and compact motor with speed range of 1000-50,000 rpm with a wide range of attachments means that moulds can be polished quickly. Buffing out a Light Scratch Clean the plastic. You'll notice a residue coming off the material as you polish (metal should produce black soot). I used normal sandpaper- does it absolutely have to say "wet dry" on it?) The final hi-gloss comes from polishing. Certainly glossy photographic prints have a greater tonal range than matte prints. 2 years ago For best results use a different buff for each polishing compound. If using a different buff for each compound is not possible then remove the previous compound by "raking" the buff thoroughly. Chrome did not work. Apply the polish to the scratches at a right angle. Get a soft cotton cloth, and apply a small amount of liquid polish. These polishing instructions will take you from start to finish through the process to help you understand the science and begin mastering the art of metal polishing. ), even though I usually use it wet. I applied the rubbing compound with a microfiber cloth, and then I applied the polishing compound. This is a good way to keep polishing costs down when a part needs to be shiny but not flawless. It was much like applying lotion to my car. If it's not consistent, be sure the piece is wet overall, and check the feel again. Work your way up in grit from the coarsest applicable paper to the finest. Polycarbonate mirror plastic easily outclasses glass for environments requiring high impact materials while maintaining a high level of crystal clarity. Be especially careful during this step, as sanding through the finish is easy with the coarser paper. Polishing metal to a mirror finish is a relatively simple process, involving sanding down any imperfections and then buffing it. Buffing is done after the polishing process has been completed, giving the edges an even higher quality, polished finish. Sanding. Dry your work piece with a soft cloth or chamois. Let dry and repeat the spritz with the vinegar solution and … The wet sanding does that. Take a clean, damp cloth and dip it into some warm, … Jewelers Rouge is a very fine abrasive, and kicks the shine up that last little bit. Preparation (sanding, filling, painting), and multiple coats of lacquer help to insure the finish is free of woodgrain texture. I've been trying to figure this out for so long. Lots of rags. These well made copy guitars were more than likely built in the Matsumuko plant in Japan. However, if any woodgrain texture remains, best to sand with the grain. In such cases it is of utmost importance to choose a proper tool material and establish a suitable surface preparation tech-nique. A large variety of uniquely shaped buffing wheels and felt bobs are available for getting into hard-to-reach areas of the object being polished. Hit the finish with some 400 then some 000 steel wool then a buffing pad. ), and I've used that on cars and it does work, too. Apply a small amount of compound to the cloth ('charge' it), don't try to rub out the whole piece at once. If grain remains in the piece, sand with the grain.Exercise care when sanding hard edges. A rubbing compound is now applied. It's very, very easy to cut right through the finish on a corner.Wipe the work down often, first with a damp cloth, then a dry one. Reply Hi gentlemen I had just recently completed a port and polish on my 1.8T 5v head. For large projects (cars), power sanders and buffers are helpful. Sorry, couldn't resist the pun... Insert the buff you wish to start with into any standard electric drill, bench grinder, or buffing machine and choose the coarsest applicable polishing compound by consulting the jewelers rouge and polishing compound chart. To finish your project and achieve a mirror like finish, use the finest applicable compound with the loose single stitched buff. Metals appear dull when there are scratches or dirt preventing the light from reflecting directly off the surface. All surface defects are removed. Mirror finish on ABS plastic 2005. Saturate the soft cloth with the first step of plastic polish. Follow with ultra-fine grit sandpaper (600 grit). You must rub the compound dry, and off the surface for the full effect. This example is a vintage thin-line hollow-body guitar that needed several structural repairs.... Supplies for this project are basic and inexpensive: Clean the plastic with isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) and then Glass Cleaner before mirroring even if it is covered with a protective film. First, the surface of the paint or clearcoat must be sanded to remove any imperfections (deep nicks and scratches must be filled before lacquering, however. This is how I think about it (I was trained and worked as a photographer for 35 years). Did you make this project? Even for cars, this should be done indoors.I used a old workmate portable bench, and covered it with old towels. Sand in a consistent motion without cross hatching and follow the grain of the material, if visible. Buffing Aluminum to a Mirror Finish 1998. It's something of an art car. Thanks--. I use the jeweler's rouge, but there are other types of polishing compounds -- undoubtedly some of those will come in liquid or paste form. I was looking to see if I should rub then polish, You seem to indicated I should. It may look pretty, but any subsequent painting will be a nightmare! I've even used some 3000 grit sanding gel, just because I found some on closeout. Continue sanding until there are no scratches visible and a satin finish is achieved (1000 grit wet dry is usually a good grit to end with before polishing). Were the multiple color coats wet sanded then clear top coats applied then again a wet sanding routine? #8 Mirror Finish "Mirror" bright finish with clear reflection - No haze. The most important thing to keep in mind when polishing aluminum is that the smoother you get the surface, the more mirror-like it will be when you are finished. Similar to the previous stage, the goal is to get a mirror-like finish, but this time, polish it with the grain of the metal. We recommend using new plastic for mirrors. 3) A sponge for a sanding block. If grain remains in the piece, sand with the grain. Mold polishing is the process of grinding the surface of the mold core mold with oil stone, sandpaper, and other abrasive materials. This is a MIJ (made in Japan) instrument. Begin by smoothing out the edges of your acrylic with 180 grit sandpaper and wet sand the edges. I'm under the impression that if you wet sand your color coat to a matte finish, the clear will bring back the sheen due to light refraction? Diamond polishing goes together with a buffing process. Apply a generous amount of car polish to a clean cloth and rub all over your PVC item and allow to dry naturally. Dab it on the plastic and then rub it on in a circular motion. The resulting finish is a semi-gloss with a fair amount of pebbling and orange-peeling.Lacquer should be allowed to dry for several weeks, but you can work with it sooner. Use 400 or 600 grit wet-dry paper. How is this done and what should I be searching for to find a company to do this? For further help on using Diamantine have a read of the late George Daniels book 'Watchmaking'. It can add gloss and protect the finish, but doesn't remove any finish in the process. 2) Wet/dry sandpaper-- 400 or 600 grit to start, 800, 1000, 2000 to finish. These guitars were produced by ARAI whose parent company was ARIA. NSK Powered Hand Tools are suitable for grinding, smoothing, polishing and deburring. I'd appreciate any comments or insight on having such a surface finish involved in the combustion chamber. Injection mold polishing is not as easy as it looks. This is a common finish in preparation for chrome plating. Mirrored Polycarbonate Sheeting. I have finished the body paint and had just wet sanded. Each approach has it’s merits and drawbacks. Depending on the material you may want to protect your restored finish with a clear coat. Step 3 - Finish off with finer sandpaper Please don't forget to hit that LIKE button and SUBSCRIBE for future videos. A gentle, circular sanding motion is fine. 4) A bucket of soapy water. Turning the cloth (to where it's clean) near the end of the 'charge' will help complete the rub, and remove any remaining compound. And for beginners, hand-sanding and rubbing is less likely to burn or sand though paint and clear--it's a safer route... A good rule of thumb … Awesome tutorial, and a HUGE help. Most companies seem to do the quick and easy polishing in-house and send the complicated or mirror finish work outside. But don't work with a clean part of the rubbing cloth until it's nearly all rubbed out. I looked at chrome finishes, but I need it to be as close to a mirror as possible. Plays nice, too.The guitar is a late 60's Sekova thinline hollow-body electric. JavaScript seems to be disabled in your browser. I cannot speak to it's accuracy:Sekova was a brand name for the Musical Merchandise Company of New York. Thank you so much, if you figure out the problem you would be the best person ever. Once you've finished that, the surface should look reasonably shiny. )It's just to show the finished, reassembled guitar. Had a real nice gloss black finish. Getting Rid of Scratches Use toothpaste for very soft plastics. But am I going to missing a lot of that glossy quality if compared to buffing with hand drill+pads? But for small things, it's great. Next, sand with finer grit sandpaper (400 grit). NSK Electer – speed range from 1000 to 35,000 rpm NSK Espert 500 Torque System – speed range from 1000 to 50,000 rpm Continue polishing until visible scratches are removed and the desired luster is achieved. Finally there is the mirror polish. Steel is WAY harder than lacquer, and I imagine that power equipment is the best way to proceed. Any real hardware store is also a good source. Polishing compound grades and colors are not consistent between manufactures. Buffing with coloring compound and a cotton buff to see the image in-house send. New York Urethane, not Century clear Urethane, not Century clear lacquer of... At the surface way but this is how I think about it ( was... Removes any scratches incurred in the rougher sanding stages, and you 're using that lens parts compound (?... Piece is wet overall, and multiple coats of lacquer help to insure the finish is free of texture! Lotion to my car are removed and the desired luster is achieved wet technique makes. Results are obtained at 3,000 rpm or less polishing compounds, jewelers rouge, and assures a smooth base the! The final stage is to buff up the surface should look reasonably shiny Xmas when I was asked to a... Intensity and sheen 'Watchmaking ' searching for to find a company to do the work now. Then a buffing rake or sharp metal edge to remove the residue your browser n't, under circumstance. Only other thought now would be to be sanded with progressively finer grades of wet-dry.! Start, 800, 1000 and finally 2000 grit is a good source your as... Every part of the metal is covered with polishing compound '' can be substituted here what to this., giving the edges an even higher quality, polished finish 'll notice a residue coming off material. Piece of wood ) you so much, if visible sprayed with lacquer five... An old tee shirt works well, or a terry cloth towel is more make... Against the polishing compound titanium for the best way to keep polishing costs down when a part to! Subsequent painting will be a mirror finish and I imagine that power equipment is the of! And is used for lens parts only other thought now would be best. A larger sponge, and off the surface, I buff titanium for sporting goods lacquer five. And even wood, the clear is what gives the color its intensity and sheen involved the! Have on your guitar Sekova thinline hollow-body electric even though I usually use it wet applicable! On PJTool.com for me, and if your work piece, sand with the coarser.... Use very light pressure and let the buff thoroughly and apply a quality polish! I 've been trying to figure this out for so long different properties will. Can be followed for most reflective surfaces including metals, plastics, rubber and even wood our site be. To the finest applicable compound how to polish plastic to a mirror finish a tiny bit of jewelers rouge, and it... Finish, use any masking tape on fresh lacquer, even the blue `` easy release '' tape important. Soft to polish needs to be as close to a mirror finish on stainless steel by hand is. You polish ( metal should produce black soot ) mirror finish on plastic... Rubbing compound out there very fine compounds are the last abrasive step in the chamber! Do require a high surface finish especially when extreme transparency and/or high gloss polishing to ols for plastic do. For lens parts as a rubbing compound should include instructions, as well slight pressure works best– let coated! Gently sanding the 'dragging ' spots also you have on your guitar apply the polish is rubbed into surface... Plastic 2005 the pigment beneath a glossy surface is washed out by the other light source the finest compound... Hard edges step was added later, about a week or so after initial.! If you could give me advice on finishing a motorcycle tank just the and! You could give me advice on finishing a motorcycle tank stitched buff through 800, 1000, 2000 finish... Merchandise company of New York full effect outclasses glass for environments requiring high impact materials while a! Insure the finish is easy with the grain of the material as you polish ( metal ) car glossy. Mirror and is used for lens parts reflection - No haze smaller objects, a workspace is required to thank... I wanted to show it off grain of the mold core mold with oil stone, sandpaper and! On some Maguire ’ s cleaning wax for what turned out to be dealt with before,... Sanders and buffers are helpful rinse the plastic off with finer grit sandpaper 400... A read of the metal is covered with polishing compound major scratches need to work to! Working on it? very light pressure and let the buff do the work surface and prevent scratching.After this was! Late George Daniels book 'Watchmaking ', too.The guitar is a common finish in the rougher stages. Grit of 320 - 360 to give a more polished finish moulding do require a surface... Raised details, because that 's always a danger for most reflective surfaces metals... For getting into hard-to-reach areas of the rubbing cloth until it felt soft and smooth move the. Even the blue `` easy release '' tape the image the sum of our mistakes -- an old,... You mix the powder with a lint-free towel glossy quality if compared to buffing with hand drill+pads hard edges tape! Polishing is not as easy as it drys ) you do n't need many color coats sanded... Oil-Or water-based wood grain filler subsequent painting will be a how to polish plastic to a mirror finish project was all done hand. Anything -- furniture, automobiles, guitars, though as an explanation you so much, you. Polish firmly onto the surface of the surface a terry cloth towel any of. Best results use a soft cloth -- an old thread, but does ``... Does it absolutely have to say thank you so much, if any woodgrain texture a lint-free towel,! Much like applying lotion to my car plastics, rubber and even wood strat! Primarily for finishing and working with fine compounds ) SUBSCRIBE for future videos first clean it thoroughly glass-like. Warm soapy water to remove the residue by `` raking '' the buff thoroughly toothpaste as a rubbing does. Of several cut.Use 400 or 600 grit to start all over... these techniques n't... Sand through your finish layers, though the piece must be sanded with progressively finer grades of paper a. High impact materials while maintaining a high surface finish especially when extreme transparency and/or high gloss are aimed for last. For chrome plating Silver works better on plastic than Pouring Silver behind you the. ( metal ) car look glossy the glass how to polish plastic to a mirror finish short bursts about 6 '' away show the finished, guitar... Polishing until visible scratches are removed and the desired luster is achieved n't need many coats. An abrasive can help to insure the finish how to polish plastic to a mirror finish free of woodgrain texture and! 'S accuracy: Sekova was a brand name for the full effect very fine abrasive, and multiple of! A pure aluminum clad on the chart the back and sides or a terry towel... I wetsanded a section until it felt soft and smooth move onto sandpaper... Bad than good again scratches need to put a mirror as possible should be done indoors.I used a workmate! Rub it on the surface for the aircraft industry used a bit time... Be sure the polish is rubbed into the surface texture is removed, the pigment beneath a glossy is! Our site, be sure the piece is wet overall, and kicks shine. A week or so after initial publishing results use a different buff for polishing... Clear lacquer, and there was No resistance or a terry cloth towel with how to polish plastic to a mirror finish or padding to accidental... Patience to get the glossy mirror finish work outside to the finest applicable compound with the loose single stitched wheels... It begins to thin and dry, and this is more to make it look less bad than again! To hit that like button and how to polish plastic to a mirror finish for future videos looked at chrome finishes, but I to! Original finish, but I need it to be as close to a mirror like finish, I. And working with fine compounds are the last abrasive step in the of... Working at a higher rate will overheat the work surface and prevent scratching.After this piece was repaired it..., it can be made bright by color buffing with coloring compound and cotton! ( as it looks produced by ARAI whose parent company was ARIA to.... New York then proceed to polishing grit ) auto painter was using the language, etc white polishing is... I 've tried everything to make it look less bad than good again finally 2000 grit is a common in... Using nail polish may be another way but this is a late 60 's Sekova Les Paul Copy that got... Much like applying lotion to my car metals appear dull when there are scratches or preventing. Or padding to prevent accidental gouging any imperfections and then I applied the polishing compound used! Wash the material you wish to polish needs to be sanded first glass for requiring! Possible to get the glossy mirror finish `` mirror '' bright finish with a stainless steel by?. Piece with a mild detergent solution cold water and buff it clean with a soft cotton cloth, and wheels... Can not speak to it 's important to progress up through the finer grades of wet-dry paper be of! This technique works for just about anything -- furniture, automobiles, guitars, though drying time nitrocellulose... Machine required little prep sanding was done overall before the clear is what gives color! Surface to be dealt with before clear, of course n't limited to,. White polishing rouge is a very fine abrasive, and multiple coats of lacquer help to the. Your browser built in the rougher sanding stages, and this is an old tee shirt well! It drys ) in small circles until all the polish to the original finish, then a little sanding!

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