Removing Chrome From Wheels: A Step-by-Step Guide(how to anodized aluminum Eli)

  • Time:
  • Click:5


Chrome wheels are a popular choice for car enthusiasts due to their shiny, reflective finish. However, over time, the chrome plating may start to peel off or become damaged. In such cases, removing the chrome from the wheels becomes necessary for both aesthetic reasons and to prevent further damage. This article will provide a step-by-step guide on how to effectively remove chrome from wheels.

Why Remove Chrome?

Before delving into the process of removing chrome from wheels, it is important to understand why one might want to undertake this task. While chrome wheels offer a sleek and appealing look, there are certain instances where removing the chrome is beneficial:

1. Damaged Chrome:
If the chrome plating on your wheels is peeling, flaking, or showing signs of extensive damage, removing it can improve the overall appearance of your vehicle.

2. Personalization:
Some individuals prefer other finishes, such as painting or powder coating, rather than the traditional chrome look. Removing the chrome opens up possibilities for personalization.

3. Budget Constraints:
Chrome wheel repair can be quite expensive. Removing the chrome allows you to have a clean surface that can alternatively be refinished using more cost-effective methods.

4. Maintenance:
Chrome requires regular upkeep to preserve its shine, which may not be practical for everyone. By removing the chrome, you can opt for lower-maintenance alternatives.

Now that we understand the motivations behind removing chrome from wheels, let's move on to the steps involved in the process:

Step 1: Preparation
Before diving headlong into removing the chrome, it is crucial to gather all the necessary tools and materials. Here's what you'll need:

1. Safety Equipment:
Wear safety goggles, gloves, and a mask to protect yourself from any potential hazards during the removal process.

2. Sandpaper:
Start with coarse-grit sandpaper (around 80 to 120 grit) and gradually move towards finer grits (up to 400 grit). The right grit depends on factors like the extent of chrome damage and the desired finish.

3. Chemical Stripper:
Use a chemical stripper specifically formulated for removing chrome. Ensure that it is appropriate for use on wheels as well.

4. Plastic Sheets or Tarps:
Cover the surrounding area with plastic sheets or tarps to protect against any accidental spills or splatters.

5. Cleaning Supplies:
Have an assortment of rags, brushes, and cleaning solutions handy to clean the wheels thoroughly after stripping off the chrome.

Step 2: Chrome Removal
Now that you have all your tools prepared, let's proceed to remove the chrome from your wheels:

1. Wheel Removal:
If possible, detach the wheels from your vehicle before starting. This will make the removal process easier and prevent any potential harm to other car parts during the procedure.

2. Application of Chemical Stripper:
Follow the instructions provided with the chemical stripper carefully. Apply it generously to the chrome surface using a brush or sponge. Make sure you cover the entire chrome area uniformly.

3. Allow Time for Reaction:
Each chemical stripper has its own recommended waiting time before it starts dissolving or lifting the chrome layer. Follow the specified duration and avoid rushing this step.

4. Scraping Off Chrome:
Once enough time has passed, use a scraper or putty knife to gently start scraping off the loosened chrome layer. Be cautious not to scratch the underlying metal while doing so.

5. Repeat Steps 2-4 (if necessary):
Depending on the condition of the chrome and how thorough the initial application was, you might need to repeat steps 2-4 until all the chrome has been removed completely.

6. Fine Sanding:
After most of the chrome has been scraped away, switch to a finer-grit sandpaper. Sand the entire wheel surface thoroughly, ensuring that all traces of chrome are removed.

Step 3: Cleaning and Finishing

1. Scrubbing:
Thoroughly clean the wheels with warm water and detergent or a wheel cleaner to remove any residue from the chemical stripper and remaining chrome particles.

2. Drying:
Once cleaned, make sure to dry the wheels completely before moving on to the finishing stage. You can use a microfiber towel or allow them to air dry naturally.

3. Refinishing Options:
Now that the chrome has been successfully removed, you have various options for refinishing your wheels. Some popular alternatives include painting, powder coating, or leaving them in their natural state with a clear coat finish. Research these methods further to determine which option best suits your preferences and budget.

4. Application of New Finish:
Follow the specific instructions for your chosen refinishing method. Ensure a clean and properly prepped surface before applying paint, powder, or a protective clear coat.


Removing chrome from wheels may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools, materials, and patience, it can be accomplished successfully. Whether you're aiming to repair damaged chrome, customize your vehicle's appearance, or work within budget constraints, this step-by-step guide provides you with the necessary information to achieve your goals. Remember to take appropriate safety precautions throughout the process and choose an alternative finish that aligns with your desired aesthetic. Happy refinishing! CNC Milling