Metal finishing involves the application of a thin complementary layer of metal to the surface. Different types of metal finishes are used for a variety of applications. Metal finishing increases the durability and improves the appearance of a piece of metalwork. It is also applied to enhance electrical conductivity and provide higher electrical and chemical resistance.

Metal Finishing Options

(Pixabay / jarmoluk)

The following are types of metal finishing:

  • Metal plating – This procedure uses a chemical bath to provide a coating of thin metal. The method uses an electric current to coat the substrate. Another method of metal plating – electroless plating – uses an autocatalytic process where the substrate catalyzes the reaction. Metal plating improves the durability and appearance of the product and makes it corrosion-resistant.
  • Sandblasting – This method forces sand, metal pellets, or steel shots into the substrate at a very high speed, resulting in a clean and smooth product.
  • Metal grinding – The process uses attrition, friction, or compression to make the surface of the metal product smooth. Several types of grinding machines may be used to perform the process.
  • Metal vibratory finish – This procedure uses a vibratory finishing machine to deburr and remove sharp edges of a metal product. The material is positioned inside a drum with abrasive pellets and a substrate. The tumbling vibration will create a uniform texture.
  • Brushed metal – The process removes surface imperfections of a metal product. The machine creates a parallel and uniform grain texture for a smooth exterior. The task is achieved through the use of a wire brush or abrasive belt that moves in a singular direction.
  • Hot blackening – For a matte black finish, a thin layer of black oxide is applied on the surface of a metal substrate. The resulting product has high-abrasion resistance.
  • Buff polishing – The buff-polishing machine employs a cloth wheel to buff the surface of a metal product in order to achieve a glossy sheen.
  • Powder coating – To create a decorative finish that looks like paint, this process uses melted plastic powder bonded to the metal to produce a matte or glossy coating. The coating can hide defects on the product’s original surface.

Choosing the right finishing process will depend on the base material and the desired effects.


Nothing can be compared to a metal piece that has several memories associated with it. But because of time, some people have neglected its value and will only remember it when there is an important occasion. If you got a metal piece that needs to be restored, you can choose from the different types of gold plating systems listed in this infographic.

Different Types of Metal Finishing [infographic]