Removing Chrome from Wheels: A Guide to Restoring the Shine(heat treating metal Aries)

  • Time:
  • Click:9
  • source:HAOYU CNC Machining


Chrome wheels are a popular choice for car enthusiasts due to their shiny and eye-catching appearance. However, over time, the chrome plating can become damaged or dull, requiring attention to restore its original luster. In this article, we will explore the process of removing chrome from wheels and provide valuable tips on how to successfully undertake this restoration project.

Why Remove Chrome from Wheels?

There are several reasons why you might consider removing chrome from your wheels. Firstly, if there is extensive damage or corrosion on the chrome surface, it may be necessary to remove it completely and start afresh. Secondly, you may prefer a different finish for your wheels, such as painting or powder coating. Lastly, if the chrome is peeling or bubbling, it is essential to remove it promptly to prevent further deterioration.

Tools and Equipment Required:

Before diving into the step-by-step process, let's review the tools and equipment you'll need for this task:

1. Safety glasses and gloves
2. Protective clothing/apron
3. Dust mask or a respirator (to avoid inhaling harmful particles)
4. Grinder with abrasive discs suitable for metal
5. Sandpaper or sanding wheel with varying grits (80-1200)
6. Rotary tool with wire brush attachments
7. Chemical stripper (appropriate for removing chrome)
8. Plastic scraper or putty knife
9. Clean rags
10. Metal polish or compound
11. Clear coat sealant (if opting for an alternative finish)

Step-by-Step Process:

Now that you have all the necessary tools, let's dive into the step-by-step process of removing chrome from wheels:

Step 1: Preparation

Begin by ensuring you have a well-ventilated workspace. It is crucial to carry out this task in an open area or a properly ventilated garage to avoid exposure to harmful fumes. Additionally, put on your safety glasses, gloves, and protective clothing to minimize any potential injuries.

Step 2: Grinding

Using a grinder with abrasive discs suitable for metal surfaces, carefully grind down the chrome layer from the wheels. Start by removing any loose or peeling sections of chrome until you reach the base metal. Take care not to apply excessive pressure that may damage the underlying material.

Step 3: Sanding

Next, proceed to sand the surface using sandpaper or a sanding wheel with varying grits. Begin with a coarse grit (around 80) to remove any remaining chrome bits and roughen up the metal surface. Gradually progress to finer grits (up to 1200) to achieve a smooth finish.

Step 4: Wire Brushing

For intricate areas or hard-to-reach spots, utilize a rotary tool with wire brush attachments. The wire brush will effectively eliminate any lingering traces of chrome and prepare the wheel for the next restoration steps.

Step 5: Chemical Stripping

Apply a suitable chemical stripper specifically designed for removing chrome to the wheel's surface. Follow the product instructions carefully and allow sufficient time for it to work its magic. Once the chrome starts bubbling or lifting, use a plastic scraper or putty knife to gently remove the loosened layers.

Step 6: Polishing

After successfully stripping off the chrome, give the wheels a thorough cleaning to remove any residue from the chemical stripper. Then, apply a metal polish or compound to restore shine and glossiness to the bare metal surface. Polish each wheel individually, working in small sections until achieving the desired sheen.

Step 7: Clear Coat (Optional)

To protect the newly restored metal surface, consider applying a clear coat sealant. This step is particularly crucial if you plan on leaving the wheels unpainted or without another finish. Apply the clear coat according to the manufacturer's instructions, providing a protective layer against rust and corrosion.


Removing chrome from wheels can be a labor-intensive task, but with the right tools, proper safety precautions, and patience, you can achieve impressive results. Whether you wish to fix damaged chrome, switch finishes, or opt for an alternative look, this guide will assist you along the way. Remember to take your time, follow each step diligently, and prioritize your personal safety throughout the entire process. Good luck with your wheel restoration endeavors! CNC Milling CNC Machining