How to repair anodized aluminum scratches

Written by marshal m. rosenthal
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An anodised aluminium metal surface is attractive, but it also calls attention to any scratches that it incurs. However, it is possible to repair a scratch on an anodised aluminium surface, such as an anodised aluminium metal hubcap. The job requires a few supplies from a hardware store, including a power tool that you may be able to rent.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Water
  • Spray bottle
  • Soft cloths
  • Degreaser
  • Orbital sander
  • Work gloves
  • 180-grit wet sandpaper pad
  • 320-grit wet sandpaper pad
  • 600-grit wet sandpaper pad

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Pour tap water into a spray bottle. Spray the scratch on the anodised aluminium metal surface so that it is soaked. Wipe the scratch dry with a soft cloth. Apply degreaser to the edge of the cloth. Wipe the scratch with the cloth using slow, circular motions. Wipe the degreaser from the scratch with a clean edge of the cloth. Spray the scratch with tap water until it is soaked, and then dry it with a dry edge of the cloth.

  2. 2

    Plug the power cord of an orbital sander into an AC socket for power. Put on the work gloves. Affix a 180-grit wet sandpaper pad to the point of the orbital sander. Thoroughly spray the scratch until it is soaked.

  3. 3

    Press the trigger to activate the orbital sander. Place the pad against the scratch and rotate it along the length in slow, circular motions. Go back and forth across the scratch for a minute before removing the sander. Repeat the procedure with the spray of water and the degreaser. Repeat the procedure with the orbital sander.

  4. 4

    Replace the pad on the point of the orbital sander with a 320-grit wet sandpaper pad. Repeat the spraying and degreasing procedure and the procedure with the orbital sander.

  5. 5

    Replace the pad on the point of the orbital sander with a 600-grit wet sandpaper pad. Repeat the spraying and degreasing procedure and the procedure with the orbital sander.

  6. 6

    Inspect the area where the scratch was. If the scratch is still visible, repeat the procedure two more times before inspecting it again. Otherwise, you are done.

Tips and warnings

  • Keep children and pets away from the area where you are repairing the scratch.
  • The surface of the scratch must be kept wet when using the wet sandpaper pad on the orbital sander

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