Removing Chrome from Wheels(anodizing aluminum near me Harley)

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If you are a car enthusiast or just someone who wants to breathe new life into your old wheels, you may be considering removing the chrome coating. Chrome plating can deteriorate over time, leading to a dull and unattractive appearance. By removing the chrome from your wheels, you can either opt for a different finish or restore them to their original glory.

In this article, we will explore various methods of removing chrome from wheels, along with tips on how to execute each method safely and efficiently.

Why Remove Chrome from Wheels?

Before diving into the removal process, it is essential to understand why one would want to remove chrome from their wheels. There could be several reasons behind this decision:

1. Aesthetic Appeal: Over time, chrome plating can become scratched, corroded, or dull due to exposure to harsh weather conditions or road debris. Removing the chrome allows you to refinish the wheels in any manner you prefer, such as painting, powder coating, or polishing.

2. Personalization: Chrome wheels were once highly coveted in the automotive world. However, personal preferences change over time. If you no longer find chrome appealing and wish to differentiate yourself by opting for a unique finish like matte black or gunmetal grey, removing the chrome becomes necessary.

Methods for Removing Chrome from Wheels

Now that we have established the motivation behind removing chrome from wheels let's delve into the practical aspects. Below are some efficient techniques used to remove chrome from wheels:

1. Grinding Wheel Technique:
This technique involvesthe use of a grinding wheel attachment fitted onto an angle grinder. Begin by carefully grinding the surface of the chrome-plated wheels until you expose the base metal beneath. Ensure even pressure distribution while moving the grinder back and forth across the wheel face. Do this until all the chrome has been removed. It is crucial to exercise caution during this process to prevent excessive heat buildup, which might warp or damage the wheel.

2. Sand Blasting:
Sand blasting is another effective method to remove chrome from wheels. However, this technique often necessitates professional assistance due to safety concerns and required equipment. The process involves directing high-pressure media (such as sand or grit) onto the surface of the wheels using specialized machinery. This abrasive action removes the chrome layer effectively. It is essential to wear protective gear, including goggles and a respirator, while performing sand blasting.

3. Chemical Stripping:
Chemical stripping is a popular method for removing chrome from wheels without causing any mechanical damage. There are several commercially available chemical strippers specially formulated for this purpose. Follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully, ensuring all safety precautions are taken. Generally, you will need to apply a thick coat of the stripper on the wheels' surface and leave it for a specific duration prescribed by the product. Afterward, scrape off the softened chrome using a plastic scraper or scouring pad. Rinse the wheels thoroughly with water once completed.

Safety Precautions

When undertaking any of the methods mentioned above, safety should be your top priority. Here are some guidelines to follow:

1. Wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):
Always wear proper PPE, such as safety goggles, gloves, and a respirator when engaging in these processes. This will prevent accidental injury and protect against harmful chemicals or flying debris.

2. Work in a Well-Ventilated Area:
Ensure adequate ventilation while working with chemicals or generating dust particles. Open windows or doors and use fans to circulate fresh air throughout the workspace.

3. Follow Manufacturer's Instructions:
Read and adhere to the manufacturer's instructions provided with any chemical products you utilize during the removal process. Improper usage can lead to accidents or ineffective results.

4. Seek Professional Assistance if Necessary:
If you are unsure about any of the techniques or lack experience in handling heavy machinery, it is advisable to seek help from a professional. They have the expertise and equipment needed to complete the job safely and efficiently.

Post-Chrome Removal Treatment

After successfully removing the chrome layer, your wheels will require some post-treatment before reaching their final finish. The method will vary depending on your desired outcome:

1. Polishing:
If you prefer a polished metal look, use an appropriate polishing compound designed for the base metal of your wheel. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to achieve the desired shine and luster.

2. Painting or Powder Coating:
To change the appearance dramatically, consider painting or powder coating the wheels. Ensure that the surface is clean, free from any oil or dirt, and apply a suitable primer before applying the paint or powder coat. This ensures better adhesion and durability.

3. Clear Coat Application:
For added protection against corrosion and a glossy finish, consider applying a clear coat over the bare metal. Ensure the surface is properly prepared by gently sanding it to create a smooth texture prior to application.

Remember, each treatment option has its pros and cons, so choose according to your preferences and requirements.


Removing chrome from wheels offers countless possibilities for personalization and aesthetic enhancement. Whether you desire a different finish or wish to restore your wheels to their original glory, various methods are available to help you achieve your goal. However, always prioritize safety and seek professional assistance if needed. With careful execution and proper post-chrome removal treatment, your newly transformed wheels will undoubtedly turn heads on the road. CNC Milling CNC Machining