An apparatus and method for treating a cathode material provided on a surface of a continuous thin-film substrate and a treated thin-film cathode having increased smoothness are disclosed. A web of untreated cathode material is moved between a feed mechanism and a take-up mechanism, and passed through a treatment station. The web of cathode material typically includes areas having surface defects, such as prominences extending from the surface of the cathode material. The surface of the cathode material is treated with an abrasive material to reduce the height of the prominences so as to increase an 85 degree gloss value of the cathode material surface by at least approximately 10. The web of cathode material may be subjected to a subsequent abrasive treatment at the same or other treatment station. Burnishing or lapping film is employed at a treatment station to process the cathode material. An abrasive roller may alternatively be used to process the web of cathode material. The apparatus and method of the present invention may also be employed to treat the surface of a lithium anode foil so as to cleanse and reduce the roughness of the anode foil surface.