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Metal inlay in painted coumtertop

Matt Calnen

Hello, I am looking at a job where the designer wants a stainless steel inlay in a painted countertop. I have done some metal inlays before, but never a hard metal like stainless steel, and never in a painted surface. I will have several challenges, how do you miter cut the stainless cleanly? How do you account for the thickness of the primer and paint so both surfaces are nice and flush? The top material is my choice to make, I was thinking MDF for its stability and flat surface. Has anyone ever done this, and could you offer any tips? Thanks

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11/9/20       #2: Metal inlay in painted coumtertop ...
Gabe O Member

Cut the stainless long with an angle grinder and cutoff wheel. Then grind the miter with a disk or belt sander to fit. Be careful not to get it too hot it will discolor.
I would rout the inlay after painting.

11/9/20       #3: Metal inlay in painted coumtertop ...
rich c.

Stainless is hard and work hardens even faster. I'd use an abrasive version of a miter box. Not with the carbide metal cutting saw blade either, abrasive. In my opinion you don't have to do that great of job since the MDF painted countertop will only last a couple of years.

11/10/20       #4: Metal inlay in painted coumtertop ...
james e mcgrew  Member


CNC or dado your inlay depth based on Stainless. then paint it

Use Stainless steel laminate cut to size, Think of using deco metals laminates.

I did this bronze (laminate) inlay in a curved walnut desk to credit Specialty Woodworks (lexington SC) built the desk this is thier Job, MY role was the inlay only

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11/10/20       #5: Metal inlay in painted coumtertop ...
Matt Calnen

Thanks James, I never thought of using laminate. It could be one piece then with no miters. Any thoughts on painting around it? Seems like it should be set slightly proud of the surface so the primer build will flush out with it.

Rich, itís for a cabinet with a TV lift in it, so itís not going to get heavy use. Thatís why I was thinking MDF. Do you have any better suggestions for a substrate? Iíll edge the exposed perimeter with wood so it can take a hit better.

11/10/20       #6: Metal inlay in painted coumtertop ...
james e mcgrew  Member


I always cut the male first, then the female using Vectrics Inlay toolpathing, this can be done with regular cad as well

do a test fit on another piece for thickness and fit

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11/12/20       #7: Metal inlay in painted coumtertop ...
Peter M.

James that inlay is pretty sweet. Did you program the to CNC mill the female on the radius like that or is it flat and the curvature is gentle enough to make it work? We have had to mill curvatures like that it can be complicated especially if the surface is not a good consistent curvature. Nice work man!

11/12/20       #8: Metal inlay in painted coumtertop ...
pat s gilbert

Nice work.

Just curious is that a fighting chicken?

11/12/20       #9: Metal inlay in painted coumtertop ...
james e mcgrew  Member


The work was done flat with the walnut Veneer on .25" the adhered to the radius, Yes it was soft enough to make the bend.

Pat that Is a USC Fighting Gamecock, Well When We are Winning LOL

11/15/20       #10: Metal inlay in painted coumtertop ...

That is a beautiful job, nice work!

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