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3 Types of Finishing Techniques

3 Types of Finishing Techniques

Whether you’re crafting a piece of jewelry, creating a sculpture, or refurbishing an old car part, certain techniques can help you achieve aesthetically-pleasing outcomes when working with metals. In this blog post, we’ll look at three common finishing techniques and discuss which works best for creating the desired results.

Sanding and Polishing

Sanding and polishing are one of the most popular ways to finish metal surfaces. Sanding is done by using progressively finer abrasive materials in order to level out any imperfections on the surface. This will leave you with a smooth finish that’s ready for polishing. The polishing process involves using compounds such as buffing wheels or felt bobs with increasingly finer grits of the compound to bring out the shine and luster of the metal. This technique works best for small jobs like jewelry making as it requires precision and patience to get the desired results.


Plating is another popular way to finish metal surfaces. Plating involves coating the metal with a thin layer of another metal, such as gold, silver, nickel, copper, or zinc, to give it a more aesthetically pleasing color or texture. It’s important to note that not all metals can be plated, so it’s important to do your research beforehand to make sure that your project is compatible with plating processes. Plating also has certain environmental risks due to the chemicals used in the process, so it’s important to follow safety protocols when working with plated metals.

Patina Finishes

Patina finishes are ideal for those looking for an aged or distressed look. Patinas involve chemically altering the surface of metals to create colors and textures that mimic natural aging processes such as rust and tarnish. Patinas can be applied through various chemical treatments, such as acid dipping or electrolysis, depending on what type of result you’re trying to achieve. Patina finishes are great for giving metals an antiqued look without having to wait years for them to age naturally.


No matter what project you have planned, the finishing techniques available can help you create aesthetically pleasing outcomes when working with metals. Sanding and polishing, plating, and patina finishes are popular methods for achieving different looks and effects on various metal surfaces. Doing your research beforehand will ensure that you choose the right technique for your project to get the results you want!

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