How to use jewelers rouge to polish aluminum

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How to use jewelers rouge to polish aluminum
Buff aluminium to a shiny finish with jeweller's rouge. (Creative Crop/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

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

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Clamps
  • Buffing wheel drill attachment
  • Power drill
  • Non-scratching cloth

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Instructions

  1. 1

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

  2. 2

    Attach a buffing wheel attachment to a power drill.

  3. 3

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

  4. 4

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

  5. 5

    Apply additional rouge to the buffing wheel as needed.

  6. 6

    Continue buffing until you have polished the entire surface.

  7. 7

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

  8. 8

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

Tips and warnings

  • For badly scratched aluminium, sand the scratches out with sandpaper before polishing the piece with jeweller's rouge.

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