[DIY] Polishing iPhone 4 Stainless Steel Band

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Shenaniganz08, Mar 27, 2011.

  1. Shenaniganz08 macrumors 6502

    Jan 26, 2010
    This one is actually quite a simple mod if you already have the right 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

  2. Shenaniganz08 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 26, 2010
    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 !

  3. BHP41 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 21, 2010
    United States of America
    Very nice work! Might give this go once the one year is done.
  4. apmorency macrumors regular

    Jul 5, 2010
    How about a link to the watch band in the photo....
  5. vincenz macrumors 601


    Oct 20, 2008
    Nice to see the follow-up!

    Congrats for using google:

  6. SL4VE macrumors 6502

    Aug 19, 2010
    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
  7. apmorency macrumors regular

    Jul 5, 2010

    Thank you!

    I did use google and found quite a few crappy bands. I didn't find the one in the photo though.
  8. trigonometry macrumors 6502


    Jun 19, 2010
    South Carolina
    I love the look of the iPhone but do you think it will increase or decrease its value?
  9. dontworry Suspended


    Mar 18, 2010
    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.
  10. Pez555 macrumors 68020


    Apr 18, 2010
    really nice job, but personally i prefer how it looks normally!
  11. mac&cheesey macrumors 6502

    Dec 21, 2008

    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.

  12. Apple 26.2 macrumors 6502a

    Apple 26.2

    Jan 1, 2011
    What up, 212?!
  13. Mlrollin91 macrumors G5


    Nov 20, 2008
    Ventura County
    Looks like an IR device for a TV remote.
  14. SchuettS, Mar 27, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2011

    SchuettS macrumors 6502

    Dec 4, 2008
    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
  15. Macmar88 macrumors member

    Jul 6, 2010
    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!!!
  16. boshii macrumors 68040


    Jul 6, 2008
    Atlanta, GA
  17. Pink∆Floyd macrumors 68020


    Nov 21, 2009
    Up There
    Now this is cool!

    Might give it a shot once I get the new iPhone this June/July
  18. M-5 macrumors 65816


    Jan 4, 2008
    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.
  19. X2468 macrumors regular

    Mar 21, 2011
    @ OP

    Great Job, looks very nice!

    I've often wondered what the antenna would look like polished. You've done a beautiful job.
  20. Shenaniganz08 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 26, 2010
    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.
  21. SchuettS macrumors 6502

    Dec 4, 2008

    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.
  22. bigbadnewill macrumors 6502

    Jun 6, 2007
    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 :)
  23. Shenaniganz08, Mar 28, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2011

    Shenaniganz08 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 26, 2010
    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

    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
  24. Shenaniganz08 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 26, 2010
    Better picture, actually really like it


  25. SchuettS macrumors 6502

    Dec 4, 2008
    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.

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