How To Polish Aluminum Wheels
How do you polish aluminum wheels? We're asked that a lot. It definately is not like polishing your car's paint job.
There are easy techniques for just sprucing up your aluminum wheels.
However, if you want your vehicle to truly 'stand out' in the crowd, then you will want to have your aluminum polishing reflect like polished chrome.
Polishing cast aluminum is a craft that takes years of experience to master. The cast aluminum, if looked at with high magnification, would look like a landscape of ridges and valleys and occassionally a few meteor craters. The craftsman must know how to turn this landscape into a perfect glacier lake reflecting the blue sunshining sky.
Or to put it plain, it cannot just be buffed or sanded carelessly.
Most cast aluminum is coated by dipping in a liquid, thus, anodized. (Learn more about anodizing at the Aluminum Anodizers Council, http://www.anodizing.org .) The anodized coating is best for stopping dirt which would embed in the aluminum casting.
However, it cannot be polished. Therefore, Finishing Touch first uses a process which strips the anodized coating off of your aluminum part. This seal will not be needed once the part has been polished.
Once the bare aluminum is completely released of the anodized coating, then we begin the process of polishing aluminum wheels. The mountains and valleys must all be in perfect uniformity. All imperfections must be carefully removed without distorting the metal's contours.
Our sanding may start at 120 grit and end at 1500 grit. There are angular techniques which must be followed when sanding and buffing metal. If this is not properly maintained, the metal shaping could be damaged or the polished reflection could be far from superior.
The peaks and valleys in the metal reflect light in infinite directions. This gives the metal the dull or matte finish. Polished metal should reflect light directly back to its source or exactly as the contour shape of the metal dictates. This is mirror reflection.
Finishing Touch's goal is that your investment is permanent. Once the metal has been polished the only upkeep left is to wipe it off. Your investment's benefits will continue as long as the metal is treated with respect.
Contact Finishing Touch with your project ideas. We will be happy to look at your part in person or by photograph and give you the restoration estimate.