Removing Chrome from Wheels: A Step-by-Step Guide(snap fit joints Adela)

  • Time:
  • Click:10
  • source:DAHLER CNC Machining

As time goes by, the chrome plating on wheels can become dull, scratched, or even begin to peel. This deterioration not only affects the overall appearance of your vehicle but also reduces its resale value. In such cases, many car owners consider removing the old chrome coating and giving their wheels a fresh new look. While this process may seem challenging, it is actually quite simple if you follow the right steps. In this article, we will guide you through the process of removing chrome from wheels using the CNC method.

What is CNC?

CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control, which involves the use of computers to control machines, like lathes, mills, and routers. It allows for precise and accurate manufacturing processes by programming specific instructions into the computer system. When it comes to removing chrome from wheels using CNC, this technology enables us to achieve exceptional results with minimal effort.

Materials Needed:
1. Safety goggles
2. Rubber gloves
3. Sandpaper (80 grit, 120 grit, and 220 grit)
4. Paint stripper
5. Non-woven abrasive pad
6. Automotive primer
7. Water hose or pressure washer
8. Clear coat paint (optional)

Step 1: Proper Safety Precautions

Before beginning any project, ensuring your safety is paramount. Therefore, be sure to wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from debris, as well as rubber gloves to shield your hands from chemicals used during the process.

Step 2: Removing the Old Chrome Coating

Start by sanding down the chrome surface to remove the top layer. Begin with an 80-grit sandpaper, using circular motions over the entire wheel. Pay special attention to areas where the chrome has started to peel or flake off.

Next, switch to a 120-grit sandpaper to smoothen out the surface and remove any remnants of the chrome layer. Continue sanding until the surface appears dull and even.

Finally, use a 220-grit sandpaper for finer sanding to prepare the wheel for the next steps. Make sure you cover all areas evenly during this stage.

Step 3: Applying Paint Stripper

Once the wheel is thoroughly sanded down, it's time to apply a paint stripper to remove any stubborn chrome residue. Be sure to choose a high-quality automotive-grade product from a reputable brand.

Apply the paint stripper according to the instructions on the label, ensuring complete coverage over the entire wheel. Let the stripping agent sit for the recommended duration without letting it dry out.

Using a non-woven abrasive pad, gently scrub the wheel in circular motions. This will help in removing the remaining chrome particles loosened by the paint stripper. Repeat this step if necessary until all traces of chrome have been completely removed.

Step 4: Cleaning the Wheel Surface

After successfully removing the chrome coating, rinse the wheel with water using a hose or pressure washer. This will wash away any leftover debris, including the paint stripper and loose chrome particles.

Inspect the wheel carefully for any uneven or unfinished surfaces. If needed, repeat the previous steps until the surface looks clean, smooth, and ready for the next phase.

Step 5: Applying Primer and Final Coating

To protect the bare metal surface from corrosion, apply an automotive primer specifically designed for wheels. The primer helps to create an adhesive base coat that allows subsequent layers of paint to stick firmly.

Follow the manufacturer's instructions regarding the application process, drying time, and number of coats required. Ensure that each coat is applied evenly and covers the entire wheel properly.

If desired, you may choose to add a clear coat paint as a final protective layer. This optional step enhances the durability and glossiness of the painted surface, giving your wheels a brilliant finish.

Maintenance Tips:

After completing the wheel restoration process, it's essential to maintain your newly finished wheels properly. Here are some tips to help extend their lifespan:

1. Regular Cleaning: Clean your wheels regularly using a mild detergent and a soft brush or sponge. This will help remove any dirt, brake dust, or debris that could accumulate over time.

2. Avoid Harsh Chemicals: Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners when cleaning your wheels as they may damage the paintwork or clear coat finish.

3. Protective Coating: Apply a wax or sealant to protect the painted surface from harmful UV rays, oxidation, and environmental contaminants. This step also makes future cleaning easier.


Removing chrome from wheels using the CNC method allows you to transform worn-out wheels into fresh-looking ones without relying on costly replacements. By following this step-by-step guide, you can successfully complete the process and enjoy the satisfaction of rejuvenated wheels. Remember, proper safety precautions and attention to detail are key throughout the entire restoration journey. Whether you choose to undertake the task yourself or seek professional assistance, removing chrome from wheels is an excellent way to enhance the appearance and value of your vehicle. CNC Milling CNC Machining