How to Use Jewelers Rouge to Polish Aluminum

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

Step 1

Clamp the aluminum to a workbench or table, leaving the part you plan to polish exposed and easily accessible.

Step 2

Attach a buffing wheel attachment to a power drill.

Step 3

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

Step 4

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.

Step 5

Apply additional rouge to the buffing wheel as needed.

Step 6

Continue buffing until you have polished the entire surface.

Step 7

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

Step 8

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

Tip

For badly scratched aluminum, sand the scratches out with sandpaper before polishing the piece with jeweler's rouge.