View Full Version : Orientation of "brushed" or grain finishes

Mike Chance in Iowa
12-16-2018, 7:05 PM
Is there one of those unwritten rules that the orientation of brushed finishes should be horizontal? I have always wondered if there is a preference for vertical direction. Or maybe it depends upon the shape of the item - such as the lines match the longest direction. Such as horizontal lines on a 2" tall by 10" wide item and vertical lines on a 10" tall by 2" wide item.

I'm thinking of various brushed metallic finishes, but it could also relate to wood grain patterns too.

Gary Hair
12-16-2018, 8:24 PM
Brushed finish plaques and badges, and wood name badges look better horizontal but wood grain plaques should go with the longest dimension. This was what I was told when I started my business and I have always followed the advice.

Kev Williams
12-16-2018, 8:45 PM
As a rule, unwritten or not, horizontal seems to be the 'default'. Example, I can't recall ever seeing a stainless kitchen sink, countertop or appliance with vertical grain... But to each his own! The vast majority of grained metal I work with is horizontal. I do have one customer that likes their ID plates with vertical grain. And one of my ski-lift customers cuts and sands their own SS panels, and they don't seem to care which way the grain runs, they'll sand them both ways...

Wood usually has the grain 'the long ways' regardless...

Mike Chance in Iowa
12-16-2018, 9:06 PM
LOL I had to go look at our SS kitchen appliances that came with the house. Yup. Horizontal grain along with lots of lick marks from our young Great Tunga Hound.

So far, I have never had anyone specifically say they want it a certain direction but I have always gone with the grain matches the longest direction - which is almost always horizontal for the items I make.

Mike Null
12-17-2018, 8:10 AM
My "rule", like the others, is that grain follows text--horizontal text-horizontal grain. The only time I use vertical grain is when the metal is a backing for other art. In portrait oriented wood plaques the grain is always vertical.