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How to Sand Aluminum Rims

by Robert Russell

Aluminum rims are more easily scratched and damaged than metal rims and so require a little more care and attention. The finish is protected by a top coat that has to be removed before you can sand and polish the rims. Aluminum rims come in a variety of shapes and styles. The level of difficulty involved in sanding your rims depends upon the type of rim. However, the steps for sanding aluminum rims are the same.

1

Wash the rims with water a mild detergent. Scrub off the surface dirt and grime with a stiff bristled brush. Allow the rims to air-dry.

2

Remove the top teflon coating with paint thinner. Apply the paint thinner to the rims with a rag. Allow the thinner to sit on the rims for five minutes. Scrub the rims with an abrasive pad to remove the top coat. Wipe the rims with a rag to remove the last traces of the top coat.

3

Sand the rims with 200-grit sandpaper. Concentrate on the major scuff marks, bumps and stains.

4

Wipe the rim with a clean cloth and denatured alcohol.

5

Wet-sand the rim with increasingly fine sandpaper. (The advantage of wet-sanding is that you avoid dust.) Fill a spray bottle with water and spray the rim as you are sanding it. Start with 400-grit and continue with 600-, 800-, and 1,000-grit sandpaper. Rinse the rim before changing the sandpaper grit. Each finer grit will remove the marks left by the previous sanding.

6

Buff and polish the rims with a metal polish and cloth. Apply the metal polish and allow it to harden. Buff is with a soft cloth until the shine is restored to the rims.

Items you will need

About the Author

Robert Russell began writing online professionally in 2010. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy and is currently working on a book project exploring the relationship between art, entertainment and culture. He is the guitar player for the nationally touring cajun/zydeco band Creole Stomp. Russell travels with his laptop and writes many of his articles on the road between gigs.

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