When answering important questions like “ What is a burnishing tool used for?”, going straight to a trusted source is your best bet. In the video “Burnishing,” we learn that this term can be defined as a smooth, solid tool flattening high spots with the proper amount of pressure. From this, we determine that a burnishing tool changes the appearance and finish of a metal product through sliding motions. Given its name, a burnishing tool is usually used for this process.
If you don’t have a burnishing tool handy, you can use another solid, smooth item like a paintbrush handle, or even a capped ballpoint pen in a pinch.
Burnishing doesn’t just apply to metal. You can also use this technique to buff the edges or rough areas on materials such as leather or pottery. When burnishing non-metal surfaces, you may need to take certain precautions to avoid damaging them. For items that are delicate or old, you should ensure that the piece is strong enough to handle burnishing before attempting to smooth it with this technique. Always start with light pressure on test areas before giving the item full-strength treatment and use wax as needed.