View Full Version : Fabrication and Shop Techniques Finish Schedule for Mill Finish Mild Steel

Bill Adamsen
12-24-2015, 12:28 PM
I have a project coming up that uses mill finish mild steel plate as part of the cabinets. The architect wants a "clear finish" but essentially no specification. One common practice is simply to clean using either an alkaline or solvent cleaner (like Prep-All by Klean-Strip) and then simply wax (multiple coats). I have used acetone in the past, followed by the wax, successfully. Though I have read recently that lacquer thinner and some other pre-cleaners (like Prep-All) are better at lifting oils and especially silicones that can cause fisheye with a painted or clear finish.

So I'm curious about others finishing schedules for mild steel both where the desired look is the factory mill finish. Also, how to repair or recreate the mill finish from an aesthetic perspective.

Dennis Ford
12-25-2015, 2:44 PM
I have used lacquer thinner as a de-greaser successfully in the past, doubt that it works on silicone contamination.

Bruce Page
12-25-2015, 3:05 PM
The best metal cleaner I have used for removing grease, wax, & silicone is DuPont's Prep-Sol. I have 3/4 gallon you're welcome to if you're in the neighborhood. :)

John K Jordan
12-25-2015, 3:16 PM
Is this a working surface or a vertical panel of some sort? If a horizontal surface, what kind of finish would could up to use?

Can it possibly be stainless? A friend built a curved island in his kitchen with a sheet of stainless with a matte finish. It has held up well over the decades.

Knowing architects and designers, I would deliver samples with various treatments and make them sign off on one.