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philminotti 09-06-2020 10:55 AM

Restoring brushed finish
I have a brushed finish with polished stripes. With over 8k miles on the car, the brushed finish needs tlc. I'm looking for recommendations for deep cleaning and then restoring the brushed look. Save the Scotch-brite... That's not gonna do it. Thanks for any help.


twobjshelbys 09-06-2020 11:02 AM

You're not going to want to hear this, but...

Bite the bullet and paint it.

philminotti 09-06-2020 11:13 AM

Wow. I definitely didn't want to hear that lol!!

Phx Mike 09-06-2020 01:07 PM

Phil, I would recommend you call David and get his input. I tried a couple of things on the brushed stripes on my car, but it’s a real challenge to find something that doesn’t scratch it more deeply than the original finish, nor polish it. I think your best bet is to find something that you can clean it with that removes the oxidation, but does not end up polishing it or altering the basic finish. this is one reason why I always found the polished sections easier to take care of then the brushed areas. But I bet David has some experience with this that he can share with you.

Good luck.

philminotti 09-06-2020 02:42 PM

That's a good idea.

Dimis 09-06-2020 06:37 PM

Watching this post closely...

Please share your findings.

Many thanks

Phx Mike 09-06-2020 06:47 PM


Originally Posted by philminotti (Post 1482252)
That's a good idea.

I do know you DO NOT want to use any sort of polish. It will absolutely change the brushed finish and you will definitely see it. There may be some chemical like a mild cleaner that will remove the oxidation but I never tried that. I did use windex but it did not seem to alter the brushed sections at all.

philminotti 09-07-2020 05:28 PM

I heard from David Kirkham today. He recommended dry red Scotch-brite. Apparently that is what they use to get the final finish. He also mentioned 400 grit sandpaper for trouble spots and then finishing with the red Scotch-brite. I dunno. Guess I'll give it a try. I'm sure patience is a key ingredient. As for cleaning, he recommended soap and water. That being said, I did my whole car with 409 cleaner today and it did a great job of degreasing it. And now the car has a lovely lemon scent.

Bricklayer 09-08-2020 08:54 AM

There is a product made by a company called Bio-Kleen that is used mostly on snowmobiles for cleaning and restoring bare aluminum, it's called Aluma-Kleen and it works great at removing oxidation and cleaning bare aluminum and it won't hurt painted surfaces. I have been using it since 2003 as i got tired of the WD40 and ScotchBrite grind! Spray it on and wait between 15-45 seconds and rinse off, you won't believe the difference. If it streaks spray on again and rinse immediately. My Hi-Tech is painted but my engine and trunk, wheel wells etc. are all aluminum. Make sure you spell it as above because there is another company called Bioclean that makes laundry and house cleaning supplies!

philminotti 09-12-2020 06:47 PM

So, I tore into restoring the brushed finish on KMP736 today. I should preface by stating that I felt that Scotch-Brite couldn't handle the job....that opinion stemmed from when I tried to get rid of a few scratches years ago by using the green scrub pads that you buy in the supermarket to scrub your pots and pans. That stuff is not the stuff. Red Scotch-Brite. David Kirkham stated that this is what they use. Dry. And it works.

You know that picture on the Kirkham website of the brushed/polished stripes model and said to yourself "my car never ever looked that way"? The front of my car looks like that right now.

That being said, this is alot of work. I spent four hours on the front of the car back to the forward door seams. Effort really pays off. Deep oxidation, stains and scratches can be removed and more importantly, the brushed, uniform look can absolutely be restored.

I've noticed two negatives to the process:
1. the "coarseness" of the brush is a bit finer that the original. This could predispose to easier scratching from now on.
2. If you have severe OCD, I strongly recommend that you think twice about doing it. You can easily drive yourself insane trying to get the grain the way you want it. But it can be done.

As for technique, this is what i did.

I first cleaned to the car with 409 to remove superficial grease and dirt.

The red scotchbrite is the main tool here. Deeper scratches, swirles and oxidation can be cut out. I roughly followed the grain, but at this stage, it's not super important. I just focused on cutting out the oxidation with a roughly parallel stroke. A very few areas required 400 grit sandpaper. I would follow up the sandpaper with the scotch-brite. Once I was down to clean metal, I lengthened my stroke to re-establish the grain direction. The last stage is using unidirectional, long strokes over the entire length of the panel you're working on. You know when it's perfect because it feels like glass.

In between each step, I wiped the area with clean water and a microfiber towel.

I likely have another 4 hours to go tomorrow, but for a brief moment, the brushed finish can be perfect.

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