Selective Polish


Selectively polished metals for architectural and artistic applications can produce stunning aesthetics. As a medium, selective metal polishing can be used to define patterns, accentuate text, or reduce the glare of metal selectively for both aesthetic and practical purposes.

Selective polishing can produce uniquely decorative designs on metals. These effects are achievable through special resists as well as other methods. The exposed regions of the metal surface will receive textured polishes by blasting or brushing. This process gives the surface a highlighted appearance — a result of the alternating reflectivity.

The resist materials can be a laser-cut rubber film, photo-resist, or plastisols applied by silk screen. These processes can be further refined to achieve fine detail by using photoresists. Many designs are possible through these techniques.

After applying the resist, the metal surfaces can be selectively polished in a number of ways. In many cases, an area of polished metal is roughened using a bead-blasted surface.


Another method is through the use of acid etching, which can be applied for artistic effect. The acid etching surface finishing process uses chemical treatments to arrive at a custom finish. Acid etching actually removes a thin layer of stainless by dissolving the metal.

Acid etching of stainless steel can produce an attractive surface on the metal. Etching can be selective, by coating the surface of the stainless with a resist material capable of withstanding the corrosive behavior of the ferric chloride. Designs can be silk-screened onto the surface or applied in reverse with a photo resist.

Developing a custom-etched polish system starts with your concept. Zahner can provide a number of design options as well as full service design assist, engineering, manufacturing and installation services. To learn more about selective polish for metal, or if you’re developing a project with etched metal, contact the Zahner sales team and get started.

© 2020 A. Zahner Company – All Rights Reserved.

1400 East 9th Street,
Kansas City, MO 64106, USA