How to Make Chrome a Satin Finish

Sometimes you just want to reduce the luster on your chrome bathroom fixtures.
Sometimes you just want to reduce the luster on your chrome bathroom fixtures. (Image: Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Chrome is usually applied as a plating on top of other household metals to make them more resistant to corrosive elements and to increase their visual appeal. Contrary to popular belief, chrome does not have a natural shine to it. Most people think of it as being naturally shiny because that is the typical way that it is plated and presented. The metal plating is actually grayish in color, but is typically polished to an extremely vibrant shine for the sake of visual effect. For those who prefer a less conspicuous look, however, it is possible to sand the chrome down to give it a more natural satin finish.

Things You'll Need

  • Cloth
  • Sandpaper, 220 grit and 400 grit
  • Water bucket

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Fill the bucket with water. Let both pieces of sandpaper soak in the bucket for about 10 minutes.

Use the 220 grit sandpaper to sand down the chrome. This will cause the surface of the metal to become less smooth, which will cause the luster of the chrome to fade and gray out. Sand the chrome thoroughly until the polish is gone.

Use the 400-grit sandpaper to sand the chrome down one more time, but very lightly. The objective here is to smooth out the roughness created by removing the shine without causing further damage to the metal's surface.

Soak the cloth in the bucket of water and wring it out. Use the cloth to wipe away any debris that may have been left behind by the sanding process.

References

  • "Chromium Plating"; Wiener, R. & Walmsley, A.; Finishing Publications, 1980.
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