How to Refinish Chrome Wheels

Written by alibaster smith
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Chrome wheels can become pitted or damaged over time due to normal driving. Stone chips, road debris, and even parking too close to the curb can damage even the shiniest of chrome wheels. In northern states, salt is used to de-ice roads. This salt can cause damage to the chrome via pitting or corrosion to the exterior finish. Fortunately, refinishing chrome wheels is possible so that you can restore them to their original finish. In lieu of buying new wheels, you can refinish your existing chrome wheels.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • 1500 grit sandpaper
  • Steel wool pads
  • Scotch Brite pads
  • Brasso metal polish
  • Wheel polish (your choice of colour)
  • Clean buffing rags
  • Water hose

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  1. 1

    Clean the wheel with Brasso wheel polish. Brasso is a polish that will work to gently scuff up the chrome finish. Initially, this will make the chrome appear hazy or dull. However, this cleans the chrome and will eventually make it shine as you continue to work it into the chrome.

  2. 2

    Sand the wheel with 1500 grit sandpaper. This fine grit sandpaper will remove any swirl marks or light scratches in the finish.

  3. 3

    Rub the chrome with steel wool. The steel wool will smooth out all of the scratches created by the sandpaper and bring the wheels back to a smooth finish. Add a small amount of Brasso to the wheels at this time and work it into the aluminium with the steel wool. At this time, the Brasso should not cause the wheels to haze over.

  4. 4

    Apply a liberal amount of Brasso and polish the wheels with a scotch-brite pad. Buff the wheels with a Scotch Brite pad. Instead of hazing over, you should be able to see your reflection in the wheels as the chrome is polished to a mirror shine.

  5. 5

    Wash the wheels with a water hose and dry with a clean cloth.

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