[DIY] Polishing iPhone 4 Stainless Steel Band

Shenaniganz08

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 26, 2010
467
4
This one is actually quite a simple mod if you already have the right tools

Tools
a) blue Painters tape
b) 2500 and 3000 Grit Sandpaper
c) 3M Rubbing Compound
d) Mother's Power Metal
e) Microfiber towels

I did not take any in Progress shots of the iPhone being polished but the steps are pretty simple (might take some if i do my friends phone)

1) Tape up your Iphone 4 using blue painter tape. Wrap around the plastic edges as close as you can to the metal band

2) Wetsand with 2500 sandpaper until you get a slightly shiny finish, follow up with 3500 grit. You can also use a Green Brillo pad, or 0000 steel wool.

3) Using a microfiber apply the 3m rubbing compound, it will probably take four passes to get it good


4) Use Mother Power Metal to finish the mirror finish


And the money shots





 

Shenaniganz08

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 26, 2010
467
4
And that's pretty much it. But I decided to see if this would also work on Anodized Aluminum ( Ipod Nano 6th Generation)



Unlike the Stainless the Ipod Nano 6th gen is anodized = A B*#& to sand off. Only thing that worked was using a dremel + a sanding disk


Next 300 Grit Sandpaper


Then 800 Grit


Then the 3M rubbing compound


Finish with Power Metal


Unlike the iphone however, since I had to use a dremel to sand off the anodized coating, the finish is not perfectly flat vs the iPhone 4 finish that was already 100% flat and just needed to be brought up to a shiny finish.

Enjoy Macrumors !

 

SL4VE

macrumors 6502
Aug 19, 2010
442
6
how did you make sure you didnt get any compound/polish under the vol buttons and in the silent switch etc etc

very good work btw, whats it like for flying out your hand. i find the std iPhone pretty slippery myself
 

dontworry

Suspended
Mar 18, 2010
385
162
The 0000 steel wool is great stuff. I use it on my chrome wheels to polish them with soapy water. I want to do this since I'm planning on keeping the 4 until my contract runs out. Have you noticed any corrosion from hand prints or anything? Looks good, I like it.
 

mac&cheesey

macrumors 6502
Dec 21, 2008
293
6
OP,

What is in the headphone jack in the last photo of your original post? It looks like a flash but I googled and didn't see anything like that.

Thanks,
m&c
 

SchuettS

macrumors 6502
Dec 4, 2008
329
0
You could probably skip alot of those steps you listed by just using cape cod polish.

If the finish is too pitted start with a product called Nevr Dull
 
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Macmar88

macrumors member
Jul 6, 2010
72
1
Dont know if I have the skill to pull it off as nice as you did so I'll never try but that looks amazing!!!
 

M-5

macrumors 65816
Jan 4, 2008
1,088
87
This is neat. I remember doing the reverse on my iPhone 2G's bezel once it had gotten scratched to turn it from the shiny chrome look to a matte look.
 

X2468

macrumors regular
Mar 21, 2011
173
0
@ OP

Great Job, looks very nice!

I've often wondered what the antenna would look like polished. You've done a beautiful job.
 

Shenaniganz08

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 26, 2010
467
4
You could probably skip alot of those steps you listed by just using cape cod polish.
cool, then you do it that way and post your results


the rest of you guys. Ive had several years of detailing experience, there is no "Single" product that will give you a mirror like finish. You can get "close to mirror like finish" but to remove the final haze you always need a finishing compound

Its the same thing for paint or plastic, you always at minimum 2 products to get a professional final result.
 

SchuettS

macrumors 6502
Dec 4, 2008
329
0
cool, then you do it that way and post your results


the rest of you guys. Ive had several years of detailing experience, there is no "Single" product that will give you a mirror like finish. You can get "close to mirror like finish" but to remove the final haze you always need a finishing compound

Its the same thing for paint or plastic, you always at minimum 2 products to get a professional final result.
Relax

Ive used cape cod polish to take out scratches on panerai watches. It will make a mirror like finish but use whatever you like. Like you, I was just stating my opinion.
 

bigbadnewill

macrumors 6502
Jun 6, 2007
353
0
cool, then you do it that way and post your results


the rest of you guys. Ive had several years of detailing experience, there is no "Single" product that will give you a mirror like finish. You can get "close to mirror like finish" but to remove the final haze you always need a finishing compound

Its the same thing for paint or plastic, you always at minimum 2 products to get a professional final result.
That looks really nice! And i'm seriously considering doing it too. As someone else asked though, what's it like to avoid the compound going in the buttons etc? Did you do it when the phone was all together, or dismantle it first? Also, do you use the same method for the buttons themselves? I assumed they were plastic, so wasn't sure they could be done in the same way.

Thanks again, and great pics too :)
 

Shenaniganz08

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 26, 2010
467
4
Relax

Ive used cape cod polish to take out scratches on panerai watches. It will make a mirror like finish but use whatever you like. Like you, I was just stating my opinion.
like i said if you want to try that and post your result do it

there is a difference between removing scratches from an already mirror like finish

and bringing a dull finish -> almost mirror like finish -> mirror finish

you can't compare detailing a Ferrari that is already in good condition, to detailing a car that is in pretty bad shape. You need more aggressive compounds vs the first car that only needs light corrections


That looks really nice! And i'm seriously considering doing it too. As someone else asked though, what's it like to avoid the compound going in the buttons etc? Did you do it when the phone was all together, or dismantle it first? Also, do you use the same method for the buttons themselves? I assumed they were plastic, so wasn't sure they could be done in the same way.

Thanks again, and great pics too :)


All the wetsanding and polishing was done by hand, so it was easy to control how much water and polish was applied. I imagine using a buffer would be a bad idea since you would get compound in the buttons and holes.

The hardest part was wetsanding with the 2500 and 3000 since you have to fold the paper in weird shapes to get around the buttons
 
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SchuettS

macrumors 6502
Dec 4, 2008
329
0
like i said if you want to try that and post your result do it

there is a difference between removing scratches from an already mirror like finish

and bringing a dull finish -> almost mirror like finish -> mirror finish

you can't compare detailing a Ferrari that is already in good condition, to detailing a car that is in pretty bad shape. You need more aggressive compounds vs the first car that only needs light corrections
Which is why I wrote... use nevr dull if the finish is too rough. There is an easy way and a hard way to do everything. Just because something doesn't take as long or require less steps does not mean you can't get the same results. But anyways your phone turned out nice.. carry on.