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Discussion Starter #1
I have a couple of aluminum trim pieces that came from the salvage yard. They are in great shape, except for the fact that they have no shiney luster to them anymore. They look real hazzy. The long pieces of trim are real narrow, so I must be careful or I'll trash the painted areas surrounding the aluminum. Are there any good tips/recommended methods for polishing it up like chrome again? I tried some fine steel wool, but it doesnt work too good. I also tried a small wire wheel, on my dremel, but I think that its too coarse. I cleaned the trim off with some stuff called goof-off. It cleaned the pieces, but does nothing to shine it up. I tried some polish but it doesnt seem to help either. Any ideas?
 

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First, make sure it's not anodized trim. If it is, buffing will only rub more of the surface off. Not what you want. If it's stainless or aluminum trim, get a buffing wheel for your drill or dremel and some buffing compound. It generally comes in three or four compounds. You want to start with the coarse compound first, working out the biggest scratches. Proceed through the other compounds and take your time and be thorough with each compound. The goal is to gradually work down through each level of scratches until the trim is the way you want it. Finish with an extremely fine polishing compound and then a coat of wax. It's very time consuming, especially on trim that has a lot of detail, but if it isn't available re-pop then it's your only choice.
 

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If its aluminum it needs to be polished, dont worry about the anodized surface...just polish right thru it, removing the paint and everything.
After its a nice shiney luster, then take the pieces to have them clear anodized, and repaint the inserts with the color you want!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the info. I'll get some buffing wheels and polish for my dremel and see if I can re-polish the pieces. Just to be clear, I'm actually polishing right through the anodizing with various grits of polishing compounds. So the key is using the compounds and not "sanding" at it dry, with steel wool. I'll give it a shot....Thanks a bunch
 

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Anodized can be removed with a high "alkali" agent ... Oven Cleaner ...

I had some aluminum fittings for my oil cooler ... didn't want the blue and red finish that came on them ... took it off with ease, with a little "Easy Off" oven cleaner.

Just a tip ... If it's needed by you or anyone else
 

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Yep, that ez-off makes a great block degreaser, too. Um, just don't do it in your yard unless you want a big bare spot...
 

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I think God sprayed a giant can of Easy Off all over NM. It sure is bare out here
 

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Here is a tip that worked for me. I was trying to shine up an alum radiatior in the car and I bought a buffing wheel for a drill. After getting really tired of trying to get the drill into wierd places I noticed 1000 grit sand paper works really nice. The paper will leave a dull finish but mother's polish will then shine it up like chrome.
 
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