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Hot Rods polishing aluminum trim?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by JOECOOL, Oct 25, 2018.

    Joined: Jan 13, 2004
    Posts: 2,733


    A friend has some exterior aluminum trim he wants to polish . It seems to have a coating on it . Does anyone know how to strip that without discoloring or damaging the trim ? Thanks
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  2. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 5,365

    Bandit Billy

    If it is anodized aluminum, don't try it. If it clear coated you can remove it with paint stripper. factory trim? What year?
  3. AngleDrive
    Joined: Mar 9, 2006
    Posts: 675

    from Florida

    I just used EZ Off oven cleaner to remove anodizing from a set of aluminum wheels. Should work on trim.
  4. FrankenRodz
    Joined: Dec 20, 2007
    Posts: 886


    It sure does! Comes right off, no problem.
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  5. RMR&C
    Joined: Dec 26, 2009
    Posts: 3,132

    from NW Montana

    I have used Drano crystals/water mix and soaked it. Works fast, so keep an eye on it......
    Did all of the side trim for a 65 Ford PU.
  6. Yep...3rd it...spray it on...don’t leave it on to long..wipe it off..wash it with soap and water...polish away
  7. It's almost certainly anodized, and I wouldn't remove it except as a last resort. Anodizing hardens/seals the surface but can get milky over time. You can buff off the milkyness without totally removing the coating with polishing compound (not metal polish) but it can be time consuming.
    loudbang likes this.
  8. Bugguts
    Joined: Aug 13, 2011
    Posts: 587


    Easy Off oven cleaner and a green scotch brite. Do this in a well ventilated area. Easy Off makes me cough and weez with even a little whif.
    As stated, don’t spray and walk away too long. After a couple applications, all anodizing should be gone and trim will look dark and of course scuffed from scotch brite. I then wet sand with 1000 grit and then 2000. After that, I polish, either with my cheap buffing wheels on my grinder or I use my mini air buffer which works great on small stuff. With the mini buffer, I use regular rubbing compound.
    After a beautiful shine, I sometimes will clean well with grease and wax remove and apply clear coat to lock the shine in.
  9. Jethro
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 1,401


  10. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 5,563


    A better option is to chrome plate the trim. All the exterior trim on my 63 Impala has been chrome plated. Grill, head light bezels, horse shoes, hood, trunk, rear, side, windows, door handles, etc. Not a cheap process but sure beats polishing all that trimeve ry month or two after the anodizing has been removed. IMG_0642.JPG
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2018
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  11. Which is why I don't remove it unless I absolutely have to....
    Joined: Oct 13, 2012
    Posts: 98

    I think I can help. It has been 45 years so memory might be vague. I had a restoration shop then and ran into this problem. A friend had an anodize shop for aluminum cabinet chassis. I had a header off a 1956 corvette that needed to be cleaned up. 56 header was solid aluminum and anodized. I went to his shop with it and there was a few large tanks there. We put it in a tank and hooked electrical current to it and it opened up the pours and you could see it had lots of tine bubbles. When removed it was clean. I took it home and polished it to a mirror. It cannot be touched at this point where it will show (finger prints will even show when finished) . It needs to be re anodized as soon as possible at this point or oxidization will set in quickly. Back to the shop to anodize. Put into another tank to open pours, removed, put into another tank and reversed the electrical current and it closed the pours and coated the piece. Removed and that was it! I can tell you that, as some have said it does dull the shine some. I took a scribe and sure enough it was rock hard. It did looked as factory delivered though. Hope this helps.
    kidcampbell71 likes this.

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