How to Add Depth and Movement to a Finish - Understanding Options in Brushing on Aluminum

Brushed Aluminum

A brushed aluminum surface is a popular option for aluminum trim and nameplates because it is an authentic metal surface.  The brushing process is a mechanical process which abrades the surface of the metal.  When combined with a resist or mask, brushing can be applied selectively to the surface of the metal. 

This article, the second in a four part series on designing a custom finish, focuses on your options in adding brushing to aluminum finishes.

overall brushed aluminum

Brushed Aluminum

Selective Brushing

A selective brush takes on the character of the printed resist.  The resist can be used to create an endless variety of structures ranging from technical to organic.  The resulting combination of brushed and bright aluminum catches light and reflections creating movement in the surface of the metal.

technical brushed pattern

Selective Brushing on Aluminum

carbon fiber, patina and organic brushed aluminum

Carbon Fiber, Patina and Organic Structures Brushed on Aluminum

large scale graphic brushed aluminum

Graphic Image Brushed on Aluminum

multiple direction brushed aluminum

Multiple Direction Brush

spin, engine stripe and engine turn aluminum

Spin, Engine Stripe, Engine Turn

Other mechanical finishes available to be incorporated into finishes are spins, engine stripe and engine turn.

Mechanical finishes are the first step in building a decorative finish on aluminum.  They can be layered with printed color and texture to create precise geometric structures or aged patinaed surfaces.  The abraded surfaces are one of the tools available to you in designing a custom finish on aluminum.

For further information on your options in decorating aluminum read the following articles:

How to Design a Custom Finish - 3 Building Blocks of Aluminum Decoration
How to Add Color to an Aluminum Finish - Options in Printing on Metal
How to Add a Tactile Dimension to Aluminum Finishes - Choices in Textures

Request a disc collection, a sampling of aluminum finishes, to begin exploring the depth and movement that brushing brings to aluminum surfaces.