May 15, 2006 update to the Alfa Romeo 2000 GTV project car

Polishing Aluminum Alfa Trim

Lye-based oven cleaner removes anodizing from aluminum without damage.
We used a benchgrinder with a polishing wheel to polish our trim bits, using a polishing compound meant for aluminum.
The resulting finish will need to be kept up with a periodic rubbing and waxing, but will look much better than the unrestored trim.

We spent some time polishing the aluminum trim that surrounds the front and rear windshields. The original polished finish was protected with a clear anodization. Over the past 30 years, this finish has become clouded, milky and less than shiney.

To fix this, we first stripped off the anodizing with a EZ-Off oven cleaner. This lye-based product is a little rough on your hands, but it’ll strip the finish without damaging the aluminum underneath.

Once we were down to bare aluminum, we used sandpaper in the 220-400 grit range to smooth out any scratches and then used a polishing wheel and polishing compound to bring out the aluminum’s shine. The end result looks darn good, although we will need to periodically re-polish the trim to keep it looking bright.

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