Everything You Need to Polish Aluminum Rims

Posted: October 27, 2020 By: MattM

A mirror polished set of aluminum wheels will make most any vehicle look better and is a common upgrade you can do at home. We often get asked what supplies are needed to polish aluminum wheels yourself. We decided to put together our must-have list of supplies down below.

  1. PRE Paint Prep– PRE isn’t a polish at all but it is a necessity when polishing metal. PRE is good for cleaning metal before polishing or for removing compound between steps. This is why it is on the top of our list for polishing aluminum wheels.
  2. Aluminum Polishing Kit- If you’ve never done any buffing or polishing of metal it is best to start with a kit to get the basics all in one shot and you can decide which items you like best for doing the job. Our basic aluminum polishing kit comes with different shaped buffing cones and a few buffing wheels to get you going. It also includes the compounds you need to go from smoothing to mirror polishing aluminum. The buff cones help get you into tight corners or crevices and the buffing wheels allow you to smooth and polish the large areas quickly. You can use a drill or variable speed die grinder with this kit.
  3. Buff Rake- Unless you’re investing in 3-4 sets of buffing wheels and cones you may need to reuse them in the different steps of polishing and buffing. It’s for this reason you want to clean the buff wheels between steps to avoid cross contamination of the buff compound and potential dulling issues when working through the steps. Lightly run the buff rake against the buffing wheel/cone as it’s spinning and you’ll see the compound residue come off. Do this in between steps for best results.
  4. Microfiber Rags- Nothing can be more frustrating than wiping down a freshly polished wheel to remove compound and find that you left scratches all over the surface from your old shop rag. This is why we suggest to get a set of quality micro-fiber rags that you use for the different stages of polishing when removing the buffing compound residue.
  5. Polished Aluminum Sealer- There are a few ways to keep your polished wheels looking fresh without the upkeep of repolishing regularly. That is by applying a protectant or sealer. Our Exo Armour is a nearly invisible coating that will seal the metal and leave it shiny for years to come. Another option is to use a spray on clear coat. A popular clear for polished wheels is our Diamond Clear Coat for bare metal.

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