FAQ Section

Find answers to your most frequently asked questions about
Thomas' Brush-on Stainless Steel
TM in the below categories . . .

I. What does it really look like?

1) Is it really stainless steel?

Thomas' Liquid Stainless SteelTM is made with 100% stainless steel in an automotive grade, clear resin.  We don't use any colorants, pigments or dyes.  What you see is 100% stainless steel. 

2) How's it made?
It's a new Micrometal technology that combines microscopic particles of stainless steel with a clear, automotive grade resin.  The polymerization allows the stainless steel to flow. 

3) Does it look like stainless steel?
Yes, Thomas' Stainless SteelTM looks like brushed stainless steel because it is brushed stainless steel!  Your brush strokes create a brushed finish in 100% stainless steel. 

Brushed stainless steel is commonly used in chef's kitchens because it prevents fingerprints.   It's a warmer, more satin finish than the 'mirror type stainless steel.  Designers prefer it as it blends with a wider range of kitchen colors. 

The tone of your Thomas' Stainless SteelTM finish will be custom to your kitchen because it draws color from your cabinets, walls, floor and lighting.  Like all stainless, you'll notice it's different at noon than at night, and on cloudy days versus sunny.   Brushed stainless steel is a finish that's truly exclusive to your kitchen. 

4) Can you use it on any colored appliance?
Yes, Thomas' Liquid Stainless SteelTM will transform any color, make, or model of appliance finish into brushed stainless steel.

5) Will it match all factory finished stainless steel appliances?
No, there's a large number of different stainless steel mill finishes and grades supplied to the appliance manufacturers, and as a result their tones are very different.  Consequently, Thomas' matches well with some, and not as well with others.  One thing is for certain, Thomas' Stainless SteelTM matches all stainless mill finishes better than white, almond, brown or gold.

6) Can you use it on appliances that have a "textured" finish?
Yes, 93% of the refrigerators updated with Thomas' Liquid Stainless SteelTM are textured because of the heavy use of texture by the appliance industry over the last twenty-five years.  All the refrigerators re-finished on this web site are textured.  

Thomas' will turn the finish of your white, almond, gold, brown or black refrigerator into stainless steel - it will not change its texture.   Here's what ThomasTM looks like on a typical textured refrigerator from eighteen inches away - and from nine feet away . . .

Close-up of Liquid Stainless SteelTM on a textured fridge               and from far away

Lisa C., from Traphill, NC wrote this about her textured fridge makeover  -

     "...At first, I was going to prime away the texture, but decided against it and I'm so glad I did.  It has an incredibly unique finish and everyone who has seen it is extremely impressed, but not as impressed as I am by this product... 
Lisa C., Traphill, NC 

If you wish to minimize the texture of your fridge, you may apply one or two coats of a water-based primer, such as Zinsser's Bulls Eye 1-2-3. 

Please note, from our experience, the texture will still be visible after priming, but it will be reduced.  If you elect to go this route, apply the primer with our foam roller and brushes using the same technique as your Thomas' Stainless SteelTM finish, ensuring consistency between your finishes.

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II. How durable is it?

1) How durable is it?
Thomas' clear resin system is an automotive grade technology, so it has the durability of your car's finish. 

Like most water-based resin technologies, the cure time for Thomas' Liquid Stainless SteelTM  is approximately two weeks to achieve its full hardness.  So even though you can use your appliances right away, don't aggressively clean them for two weeks.

 Thomas' Stainless SteelTM is an automotive grade coating

2) Can it be scratched?
Yes, just like your car. The difference is you can renew Thomas' Liquid Stainless SteelTM quickly and affordably.

3) Will it stain?
As with your car's finish, it can if strong contaminates are allowed to set for a long period.

4)  How long will it last?
As long as a conventional car finish.

5) Will it show fingerprints?
No, Thomas' Stainless SteelTM will not fingerprint because the clear resin surrounds the stainless steel. - A big advantage over sheet stainless steel.  In fact, here's what one of your neighbor's wrote about painting over her factory stainless steel fridge . . . 

     "We purchased a Sears stainless steel refrigerator six years ago, it was terrible!  Every fingerprint, every droplet of water that was splashed on the front left a HUGE smudge when we tried to spot clean it.  Upkeep was much too time consuming!  When I saw your product on our AOL homepage, I was cautiously optimistic.  Could it really be possible that our constant smeary refrigerator problem was soon to come to an end?

    We are SO satisfied with our finished product.  Many of our friends thought we were a little strange "painting" our stainless steel refrigerator with Liquid Stainless though!.  We are thrilled with the finished product!  I love to try to fingerprint the refrigerator daily - just because I can.

    It was a simple project.  The complete kit arrived so quickly, the instruction DVD was exceptional, and WE ARE THRILLED!  Thank you!  Thank you!  Your company is the greatest!!!!"
Connie M.,  Dubuque, IA

6) Will my refrigerator magnets still stick?
Yes.  Thomas' Stainless SteelTM is manufactured using the 'cold process, so it does not block the magnetivity of your fridge door.  As a result, you can still use refrigerator magnets to hang pictures and notes - something you can't do on a factory stainless steel finish.

Please note, although Thomas' posses magnetivity, it is not sufficient to function as a 'magnetic paint.

 7) Can it handle the heat of a stove, oven, oven hood, range top and fireplace?
Yes, Thomas' Stainless SteelTM will withstand surface temperatures up to 300 F - so it's fine for your -

    - gas and electric range and range top
    - oven door
    - glass oven door
    - wall oven
    - vent hood
    - most fireplaces

Range Tops
Like all stainless steel range tops, Thomas' Stainless SteelTM will 'season or bronze the stainless steel around any burner that accommodates pots or pans that are significantly wider than the burner.  This bronzing typically seasons about one inch of the stainless around the burner.  You can observe seasoning on all stainless steel range tops in chef's kitchens. 


      Range top - before                 Range top - after

Thomas' Stainless SteelTM has been used on fireplace frames.  It can accommodate surface temperatures up to 300F.  However, because of the large number of different fireplace designs, it is impossible to identify a universal surface temperature.  Therefore, we recommend testing Thomas' on a small area first to determine its performance on your specific fireplace frame.

   Fireplace frame - after

8) Can it be used outside?
Yes,  Thomas' is an automotive grade resin so it performs well outside.  Note, Thomas' is not designed for surfaces that will be submerged in water.

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III. What surfaces can you transform with Thomas' Liquid Stainless SteelTM?

1) What surfaces can you use it on?
Thomas' will adhere well to -

 - all surfaces with an existing latex or oil-based coating
 - glass oven doors
 - glass
 - ceramic tile - not on the walls in the shower
 - brass
 - painted or primed - plastic, wood and drywall

Note, adhesion to glossy surfaces such as brass, plastics and chrome is aided by lightly sanding or 'deglossing them first with a very fine grit sand paper or sponge.
When coating bare wood, bare drywall, chrome or laminates, we recommend priming them first with Zinsser's Bulls Eye 1-2-3 water-based primer.  Apply one to two coats of the primer with our foam roller and brushes, using the same technique as your Thomas' Stainless SteelTM finish ensuring consistency between your finishes.    

On glossy surfaces such as plastics, brass or chrome, de-gloss them first with a very fine grit sand paper to promote proper adhesion.

On plastic surfaces, use a good plastic primer such as Rust-oleum's Plastic Primer.  Either use their aerosol spray or their liquid brush-on version.  When using their brush-on primer, again - apply with a foam brush, and brush using the same technique as your Thomas' Stainless SteelTM finish ensuring consistency between your finishes.  Buy an extra foam brush just for the primer because it is an oil-based product.   Be sure to follow Rust-oleum's safety precautions, because their product is oil based.   

When using their aerosol version, use outdoors and again follow Rust-oleum's safety guidelines.    Note:  to determine if your surface it plastic, trying getting a fridge magnet to stick to it.

2) What projects can you use it on?
Thomas' Liquid Stainless SteelTM is used to update -

 - large and small kitchen appliances
 - tile backsplashes - click on to read note
 - wood cabinets - click on to read note
 - cabinet and door hardware
 - light fixtures
 - table tops
 - kitchen pot racks
 - ceilng fans
 - bar stools
 - window treatments
 - kitchen trash cans
 - brass on - click on to read note brass shower door frames -  - towel bar
 - faucets
 - end tables, desks, entertainment centers
 - bed frames
 - railings
 - fireplace door frames
 - auto parts
 - file cabinets
 - washer and dryers
 - outdoor lighting
 - patio furniture

3) What can't you use it on?
You can't use Thomas' Stainless SteelTM on -

 - unprimed plastic, bare wood, bare drywall, chrome and    laminates
 - countertops and laminates
 - shower walls
 - BBQ grills
 - submerged surfaces - such as tubs, sinks and toilets, and tub and sink drain pieces
 - to repair steel
 - on food preparation surfaces

4) Can you use it to repair a scratch in fabricated stainless?
No.  Because of the large number of mill finishes and different grades of stainless steel it is improbable to achieve a suitable match for factory stainless steel scratch repair.  It would be best to use Thomas' Liquid Stainless SteelTM over the entire surface.

5) Can you use it over rust?
The stainless steel in Thomas will not corrode and will provide additional corrosion protection. On surfaces that are already rusted, Liquid Stainless Steel will impede further rust corrosion of the steel, however the rust will eventually come through the surface. The more dense the rust, the faster this will happen.

Sanding the rust off first and sealing it with a primer will give the best protection. However, this method is difficult to achieve an attractive final finish unless you have refinishing experience.

6) Can you use it on your stove top?
Yes, click here to read above note.

7) Can you use it on your tile backslpash?
Yes,  per the above, Thomas' adheres well to tile backsplashes.  Clean your tile well to remove any residue and apply three thin coats of Thomas' Stainless Steel base coat and then two coats of your Thomas' Clear Topcoat.  You do not need to prime your tile first.

Depending on the width of your grout lines, you may wish to test the look of Thomas' Stainless SteelTM on your grout in a small area.  If your grout needs to be sealed, then prime your grout lines and your tile with Zinsser's Bulls Eye 1-2-3 water based primer.   Apply the primer with our roller and foam brushes, and brush using the same technique as your Thomas' to ensure consistency between your finishes.

8) Can you use it on your brass or bronze fixtures?
Yes, you can apply Thomas' to your brass finishes.  It does a beautiful job of updating brass.  To ensure proper adhesion, 'degloss the brass first with a very fine grit sand paper or sanding sponge, and then brush on three thin coats of Thomas' Stainless Steel base and two coat of Thomas' Clear Topcoat.

9) Do you have to prime your wood cabinets?
No, if your existing wood cabinets still have a good finish on them, then Thomas' will adhere fine. 

If their finish is gone, then you will need to prime them.  Use Zinsser's Bulls Eye 1-2-3 water based primer and apply using our roller and foam brushes to ensure consistency between the finishes.

In addition, because Thomas' Stainless Steel has a reflective tone, you may wish to minimize the visibility of your cabinet's wood grain by priming your cabinets anyway with Zinsser's Bulls Eye 1-2-3 water based primer.  Again, apply the primer with a foam brush using the same technique as your Thomas' to ensure consistency between your finishes.   

Watch the 'Cabinet demonstration video on our website or order the free DVD for proper preparation and application technique.   DVD is included with the "Fridge Kit.

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IV. How safe is it?

1) How safe is it?
Thomas Liquid Stainless and its High-Gloss Clear Topcoat are water-based coatings and require the same basic precautions as latex house paint.

2) How much does it smell?
Thomas' Liquid Stainless Steel and its High-Gloss Clear Topcoat are water-based polymers that emit less odor than ordinary latex house paint.

3) Does it contain any lead?
No, Thomas' does not contain any lead.  As a public service, all paint manufacturers have placed notices on their cans to warn consumers if they are removing old house paint to make sure the old house paint does not contain lead. 

4) Why is there a warning from the State of California?
As with most latex type house paints, the State of California has deemed that the ingredients in the resin may cause cancer and birth defects.  Therefore, to be consistent with the standard policy of most paints, Thomas' should not be used to coat your skin or be taken internally, and should be used with adequate ventilation.

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V. How do you apply it?

1) How long does it take?
An average size refrigerator, range and dishwasher can  be transformed with Thomas Liquid Stainless Steel in a weekend.  It is very important to apply per our instructions.  Total time for completion is 7 - 10 hours.

It is not necessary to do all your appliances at one time. You may just start and finish one appliance at a time.   Just ensure you seal your can lids tight, and thoroughly clean your rollers and brushes between projects.

You may also apply your Clear Topcoat at a later date, it does not have to be applied during the same project.  Note:  the Clear Topcoat does provide added protection to your new Liquid Stainless Steel finish.

2) Do you need to disconnect or move your appliances?
No, it is not necessary to disconnect or move any of your large appliances.  Small appliances such as a toaster, blender, mixer or microwave should be unplugged.  You may keep all of your food in your refrigerator and freezer, just slightly crack your fridge doors while the edges dry.

You may refinish your appliances where they sit - or you may elect to slide out your refrigerator for access to any side that you require.

You can cook with your oven-stove and utilize your dishwasher and microwave in twenty-four hours after finishing.  

3) Do you need to prime your appliances first?
No, you do not need to prime your appliances.  Just clean them well with a window cleaner such as Windex to remove any grease, dirt and residue.

4) How well do you have to mix up the Liquid Stainless Steel paint can?
Over time, the micronized stainless steel will have tendency to settle in the can. The first time you use it, you'll need to shake and then stir the can well in order to get all the stainless steel dispersed again.   You will find the settled stainless steel at the bottom of the can may be stirred back into the solution within a few minutes.  Only an intermittent stirring is needed after that.

5) How do you apply the brush-on coating?
On big surfaces such as your refrigerator, you simply roll Thomas' Stainless Steel Base Coat onto one section to get the coating on quickly.  Then while it's still wet, brush back over what you just applied, using long one-way strokes to remove the stipple created by the roller and to impart the brushed finish in your stainless steel.  You may brush back over it a few times to ensure it's smooth.  Your first coat will look very sparse, and that's OK, your second and third coat will fill it in nicely.  You'll see the coating brighten as it dries as the stainless steel particles flatten out and rise to the surface.

Our 11" wide Microfoam brush was engineered specifically to impart a smooth, brushed finish without lap lines.  Your "Fridge Kit includes our "Save-A-Trip Kit, which includes a roller arm, roller covers, roller pan, and 11" and 3" wide Foam Brushes.   Or you may choose to purchase any of our tools separately.


Roll it on and then brush it smooth with our 11" Brush

You'll apply three very thin coats of your Liquid Stainless SteelTM base coat, and then one to two coats of your Thomas' Clear Topcoat.  The topcoat is included with all the Kits.

After first thin coat     After second thin coat

After third thin coat

Note: coating brightens as it dries as the stainless steel particles flatten out and rise to the surface.

The topcoat seals and protects the stainless steel and it builds its gloss.  You may add up to a maximum of three topcoats - a fourth coat will make it cloudy.

Here's another way you can save money with Thomas' Stainless SteelTM.   The majority of new factory stainless steel appliances only have their fronts finished in stainless and their sides and top are painted black.  You may also elect to follow this design direction - and paint your refrigerator sides and top black - in order to get more coverage with Thomas' Liquid Stainless SteelTM.   You may use any good water-based semi-gloss acrylic black for this.

On small appliances, skip the roller and just brush on Thomas' Stainless SteelTM

6) Do you have to use the roller?
The roller speeds things up on large areas, such as your refrigerator, because it delivers an optimal amount of the coating to the surface.

On small areas or projects such as your refrigerator's door edge or on your door knobs, the roller is not necessary and the stainless steel base coat and the clear topcoat can be applied with one of your smaller Micro-Foam brushes.

Thomas' roller cover was selected because it has a short foam nap - ensuring you get a consistent amount of coating on your surface regardless of how it is rolled.

7) Do you have to brush over what you just rolled?
Yes, because if you don't, you'll get a 'stipple finish from the roller instead of a brushed finish.  The 'stipple finish from the roller is darker and less reflective because it's not smooth.

8) Can you use a good latex paint brush instead of the foam brushes?
Yes, you can.  However, the 11" Microfoam brush was designed specifically to impart a smooth brushed finish across a large area without the presence of lap lines between brush strokes.    Typical latex paint brushes have a tendency to create visible brush strokes and lap lines in Thomas' stainless steel.

You can replace the smaller foam brushes with replacements from your local hardware store.

9) Can you apply one thick coat instead of three thin coats of Thomas'?
No, one thick coat of Liquid Stainless Steel will impart an uneven finish in the stainless, creating poor results and insufficient adhesion to your surface.  Multiple thin coats are required.  The first coat will look very sparse and uneven.  That's OK.  Subsequent thin coats will fill it in.  You'll see the coating brightens as it dries.

10) How long do you have to wait between coats of Thomas'?
One hour.

11) Do you have to clean your brushes between coats of Thomas'?
No, just keep then sealed and wet in a plastic bag.

12) What if you brush up against it while Thomas' drying?
Wait until the blemish is dry (an hour or so). Then lightly coat over the blemish with your Liquid Stainless Steel.  Allow it to dry and lightly recoat the blemish again. Now allow it to semi-cure overnight.

The next day use your #150 grit Drip Eraser Pad or 'fine grit sand paper to lightly smooth out the coating over the blemish.   Wipe off any sanded particles. Make sure it's smooth.   Then re-coat over the entire section (not just the blemish) using your foam roller and MicroFoam Brush.

13) What if you notice a drip after Thomas' Stainless had dried?
Lightly sand the dried drip smooth with your #150 grit Drip Eraser Pad or fine grit sand paper.  Wipe off any sanded particles.  Make sure it's smooth.  Then either re-touch just the drip area - or if it's still noticeable, re-coat over the entire section using your foam roller and MicroFoam Brush.

14) How long do you have to wait before you can put on the Clear Topcoat?
Two hours.

15) Do you have to put on the Clear Topcoat?
No.  However, the Clear Topcoat does provide added protection to your new Liquid Stainless Steel finish.  It seals the stainless, prevents fingerprints and it builds the finish's gloss. 

One Topcoat provides a satin gloss finish.  A second Topcoat creates a high gloss finish.  Three Topcoats coats is the maximum gloss.  A fourth Topcoat will make your finish cloudy.  You may also apply our Clear Topcoat at a later date, no time minimum.  It does not have to be applied during the same project.

Note, Thomas' Clear Topcoat is not designed for sealing existing fabricated stainless steel.

16) Do you have to clean your brushes before you put on the Clear Topcoat?
Yes.   Rinse them thoroughly with warm water and dry with paper towels.

 17) Can you spray the 'brush-on coating?
Yes, Thomas Liquid Stainless Steel can be sprayed with professional spray equipment, i.e. conventional, airless, air  assisted airless, air brush, and HVLP systems with the proper tips and nozzles on the gun.   Your tips should be sized to accommodate a 35 micron piece of stainless steel.  Dilute 3% by volume with water.

The brushed finish can be achieved by backbrushing after spraying. 


18) How do you darken the look of my appliance's plastic, touch pad type, control panels?
You can cover them with see-through, static cling type window film available at most home centers and our website.  Be sure to maintain the appropriate control of your appliances.  

Note, if you need to replace your range knobs, home centers and hardware stores sell replacement 'universal knobs.

19) Can you use this on your appliance's handles?

Yes, we recommend it. 

If your handles are plastic, we recommend removing them to the outdoors, if possible, and priming them first with Rust-oleum's Plastic Primer.   Either use their aerosol spray or liquid brush-on version.  When using their liquid primer, again - apply with a foam brush, and brush using the same technique as your Thomas' Stainless SteelTM finish ensuring consistency between your finishes.  Be sure to follow Rust-oleum's safety precautions, because their product is oil based. 

When using their aerosol version, use outdoors and again follow Rust-oleum's safety guidelines. 

If you use their brush on primer, then buy an extra foam brush just for
the primer because it is an oil-based product.   Note:  to determine if your surface is plastic, try getting a fridge magnet to stick to it.

20) How do you clean it up?
Use warm water and soap to clean Thomas' foam brushes and rollers.  Note the rollers have a fiberboard interior so they may not be re-useable multiple times.  Be sure to seal your Liquid Stainless SteelTM and Clear Topcoat Lids tight for your next project and store them inside because they are water-based.

Note - if you need to remove dried Liquid Stainless SteelTM from a surface, then consider a new non-flammable, brush-on gel called 'CitriStrip.  It's available in the Paint Department at Home Depot.   Brush or wipe it on, and then let it sit for one hour - and the coating should rub off with a rag.  I've also used a wood tongue depressor because it's semi soft - to help scrap off stubborn areas.  Don't use anything metal as it may scratch your surface.  Please follow the manufacturers instructions and test it on a small, inconspicuous area first.  Be sure the surface is clean, dry and free of any residue before re-coating.

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VI. How do you care for it?

 Care for Thomas' stainless steel like your car, use mild soap, water and a soft cloth.
Do not use stainless steel cleaners or polishes.  Thomas' StainlessTM will not fingerprint

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VII.  What's your warranty?

If you are not satisfied with Thomas Liquid Stainless Steel for any reason, send unused portion along with your receipt to: 

2216 North Broadway,
St. Louis, MO  63102

GIANI, Inc. will refund you the entire purchase amount, excluding shipping and handling. 

Since we do not have control over surface preparation or application, this Warranty does not include cost of labor for application of coating and excludes any incidental or consequential damages. Some states do not allow the exclusion of incidental or consequential damages, so the limitation or exclusion contained in the above warranty may not apply to you.  This warranty gives you specific legal rights.  You may also have other rights which may vary from state to state.  Thomas' Foam Roller and Foam brushes are designed specifically to achieve the optimal stainless steel finish.  Failure to use these may void the Warranty.

VIII.  How is your 'spray-on version different than the brush-on stainless?

The 'Spray-On Thomas' Stainless SteelTM aerosol version is also made with 100% stainless steel.  Please note that because of the extremely small stainless steel size needed in order for the stainless to spray - it's a more satin - matte finish than the liquid, brush-on version. 

You may build the gloss of the spray-on version with Rust-oleum's aerosol clear topcoat - "Lacquer  - available in most hardware stores and home centers.  A clear topcoat is not required, just optional.

 - or - you may use our water-based Thomas' brush-on, Hi-Gloss Clear Topcoat that's available on our "Product's Page. 

Note:  The Thomas' Stainless SteelTM aerosol version is ideal for small and detailed projects.  It's not designed to coat large appliances such as your refrigerator, range or dishwasher, because it's unwise to spray indoors, and because it's extremely challenging to get a uniform finish on a large area with any type of consumer spray nozzle.

The aerosol version may be used on outdoor surfaces.

Please follow the aerosol's can safety guidelines, because as with all aerosol paints, its vapors
are flammable.