How to Brush Chrome

Updated April 17, 2017

Chrome is a decorative and protective plating that is applied on top of metal. This coating gives a lustrous shine to the surface. This coating is commonly found in everything from bathroom fixtures to automotive wheels. Rather that the standard mirrored look, some applications use chrome with a brushed finish. This gives a softer look to the chrome plating and can be much easier to keep clean. Applying a brushed finish to your chrome can be easily achieved with a little time and the right tools.

Clean the chrome surface with water and light detergent. Wash away any dirt or impurities from the surface of the chrome with a soft cloth.

Mask off any areas that you wish to protect, such as painted surfaces. Areas that you wish to keep shiny rather than brushed need to me masked as well. Masking protects these surfaces from accidentally getting scratched with the abrasive pad.

Use an abrasive pad to give your chrome a brushed look. Scotch-brite or steel wool pads are good choices to use. Apply WD-40 lubricant to the surface of the chrome to make brushing easier. Move the abrasive pads in one straight direction or in a circular direction, depending on the surface look that you desire. Continue the process until you achieve the desired look.

Clean the surface of the chrome again. Remove any lubricant and loose particles. Dry with a clean cloth.


For large areas of chrome, consider using an orbital or rotary sander that will accept light abrasive pads.


Wear latex gloves to protect your skin from irritation caused by the lubricant or abrasive particles.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Light detergent
  • Clean, soft cloths
  • Masking tape
  • Abrasive pads
  • WD-40 lubricant
  • Latex gloves
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About the Author

Located in southeastern Kentucky, Charles Judd began writing semi-professionally in early 2005 for local publications. His work has been published in his hometown newspapers, the "Jackson Sun" and the "Jackson Times." He has many diverse interests and enjoys writing about various subjects. Charles holds a Bachelor of Science in industrial machine technology.