Steel wool is a bundle of thin metal fibers spun into a pad. It can be used to remove paints and varnishes, or for polishing and finishing. The softness of steel wool permits its use on surfaces like glass and marble.

Steel wool comes in many grades of coarseness. Always apply the correct grade of steel wool to the work you have at hand, as detailed in the chart below.

Grade  Number Common Uses
Coarse  3 Paint and varnish removal; removing paint spots from resilient floors.
Medium coarse  2 Removing scratches from brass; removing paint spots from ceramic tile; rubbing floors between finish coats.
Medium  1 Rust removal; cleaning glazed tiles; removing marks from wood
with paint and varnish remover, removing finishes.
Medium fine  0 Brass finishing; cleaning tile; with paint and varnish remover, removing stubborn finishes.
Fine  00 With linseed oil, satinizing high-gloss finishes.
Extra fine  000 Removing paint spots or stains from wood; cleaning polished metals; rubbing between finish coats.
Super fine  0000 Final rubbing of finish; stain removal.

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