How to Use Jewelers Rouge to Polish Aluminum

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Jeweler's rouge achieves stunningly smooth results when used to polish metals. The rouge comes in several colors, each of which represents a different grit. Powders of varying fineness make up the rouge compounds. The best color for a specific project depends on the metal, its condition and the smoothness of the sheen desired. According to jeweler's rouge manufacturer Schaffner Manufacturing Co., white "produces a clear, brilliant, mirror-like finish" on aluminum. However, you must first polish scratched aluminum with a grittier jeweler's rouge and then re-polish it with progressively finer-grit rouges until you've removed the scratches; then apply a finish polish.

Things You'll Need

  • Clamps
  • Buffing wheel drill attachment
  • Power drill
  • Non-scratching cloth
  • Clamp the aluminum to a workbench or table, leaving the part you plan to polish exposed and easily accessible.

  • Attach a buffing wheel attachment to a power drill.

  • Apply a small amount of rouge to the wheel by touching it to the rouge as it spins.

  • Touch the spinning buffing wheel to the part of the aluminum you plan to polish. Move the wheel back and forth over the surface using light, even pressure.

  • Apply additional rouge to the buffing wheel as needed.

  • Continue buffing until you have polished the entire surface.

  • Repeat with a finer-grit rouge if you desire a shinier surface.

  • Wash the aluminum in warm, soapy water to remove any rouge residue. Dry with a soft, scratch-free cloth.

Tips & Warnings

  • For badly scratched aluminum, sand the scratches out with sandpaper before polishing the piece with jeweler's rouge.
  • Photo Credit Creative Crop/Digital Vision/Getty Images
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