Graining & Blending Stainless Steel

This application reviews the steps in graining and blending a Brushed or Satin (#4) finish in metal countertops, including stainless counters or copper counters.

Manual Application of Scotch-Brite T Hand Pads

General Information :

  • For this process we are using two Scotch-Brite T Hand Pad products:
    #7447 Color: Maroon, Abrasive Mineral: Very fine grade aluminum oxide.
    #7748 Color: Light Gray, Abrasive Mineral: Ultra fine grade silicon carbide.
  • Any type of pressure on a Scotch-BriteT pad will create new “scratches” regardless of what direction it is applied.
  • Rule #1: Stroke the pad in the same direction as the existing grain for straight graining.
  • Rule #2: Lubricate the surface to be blended with soap and water, WD-40, or any light oil product. Wipe clean as needed to inspect your progress.
  • A hand block may be used to assist in applying even pressure with a pad. Variations of fingertip pressure may be seen if uneven pressure is applied.
  • When using a hand pad, use lighter pressure at the beginning and the end of each stroke to blend or feather in the abrasive applications.

The Process:

(1) First time users: We recommend testing pads on a scrap piece of metal similar to your countertop (stainless steel, copper, etc.) or in a non-critical area. This will allow you test the effects of various pressures applied with the pad before starting on your project.


(2) Begin with a light gray pad and apply light feathering straight strokes to the desired area. This pad will tone down the grain and create a slightly dull hue. Apply additional pressure to obtain more aggressive results.


(3) Next, use the maroon pad if step #2 was not aggressive enough to blend the desired area. CAUTION: This pad will produce more aggressive graining and visual (deeper) scratches. However, this process will generally blend out most surface scratches or blemishes. Start with applying light feathering straight strokes to the area. Continue to apply additional pressure for more aggressive results.


(4) When you have obtained the desired blend with step #3, you may tone it down with a repeat of step #2. However, this reverse process is not necessary if you are pleased with the results of step #3.


(5) For visual areas that “attract” your eyes after attempting to blend out a specific area, you may elect to condition the entire surface area. Choose the pad that best matches the area you have blended out and apply using the steps above.


(6) Clean the blended surface with mild soap and water and dry with a soft cloth.

As an alternate to the straight grain process explained above, you may apply various random strokes with Scotch-BriteT Hand Pads to create a unique look that will not only blend multiple scratches, but will produce a natural patina finish.

The test of time: All metal countertops and sinks will “age” naturally as scratches and surface abrasions randomly blend in, creating exceptional character for your home.

by Jeff Subra, President of Eskay Metal Fabricating