Removing Chrome from Wheels: A Step-by-Step Guide(bead blasted Agatha)

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Chrome-plated wheels have long been popular among automobile enthusiasts for their sleek and shiny appearance. However, over time, these chrome finishes can become damaged or worn out. Whether you want to change the look of your wheels or need to remove the chrome for repair purposes, this article will provide a comprehensive guide on safely removing chrome from wheels using CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machining techniques.

Section 1: Understanding Chrome Plating

Chrome plating is a process where a thin layer of chromium is electrochemically bonded onto surfaces, providing an attractive and durable finish. This method enhances the resistance to corrosion and wear, making it highly suitable for wheel applications. However, if you desire a different finish or need repairs, removing chrome becomes necessary.

Section 2: Tools and Safety Precautions

Before diving into the removal process, gather the following tools:
1. CNC machine
2. Sandpaper or sanding discs
3. Safety goggles and gloves
4. Respirator mask or dust mask
5. Protective clothing

It is crucial to prioritize personal safety when handling any project involving chemicals, machineries, or physical interventions. Wear protective gear throughout the process, including eye protection, respiratory masks, and gloves for safe working conditions.

Section 3: The Chrome Removal Process

1. Preparation:
Start by removing the wheels from your vehicle and cleaning them thoroughly. Ensure they are free from dirt, grease, and any other debris that may interfere with the removal process. Once cleaned, dry the wheels completely before proceeding further.

2. Sanding Stage:
Using a CNC machine, begin with grittier sandpaper or abrasive discs (around 80 to 120 grit). Carefully sand the surface in a back-and-forth motion until the chrome layer begins to fade away. Be cautious not to apply excessive pressure, as it may damage the underlying material.

Keep in mind that the goal here is not to remove all of the chrome entirely but rather roughen up the surface for further steps. Repeat this process until you have evenly sanded the entire wheel surface.

3. Refining Stage:
Next, switch to a finer sandpaper or abrasive disc (around 220 to 400 grit) and repeat the sanding process using light pressure. This step focuses on refining the surface by eliminating deeper scratches caused during the previous stage.

4. CNC Machining:
At this stage, introduce a CNC machine into the workflow. The precision and control offered by CNC machining helps expedite the removal process while reducing human error. Program the CNC machine with appropriate cutting parameters and follow manufacturer instructions.

With the aid of the CNC machine, slowly move over each wheel surface repeatedly, ensuring an even and consistent movement throughout. The CNC's cutting tool will progressively remove the remaining layers of chromium until reaching the desired result.

5. Final Touches:
After the CNC machining process, inspect the wheels closely for any areas where remnants of chrome might still be present. Use fine-grit sandpaper or sanding pads manually to gently polish those spots, achieving a smooth and uniform surface free from unwanted residues.

Section 4: Post-Removal Steps

1. Clean the Wheels:
Once the chrome has been removed successfully, wash the wheels again to remove any lingering dust particles produced during the process. This ensures a clean surface before proceeding with subsequent finishing techniques.

2.Optional Surface Finish:
Upon completing the chrome removal, you can choose one of several options for your wheels' final appearance:

a. Powder Coating: Consider applying a powder coating finish for enhanced durability and aesthetic appeal. Consult a professional service provider specializing in powder coating for optimal results.
b. Paint: If you prefer a different color scheme, apply automotive-grade paint following established painting processes.
c. Polishing: For a mirror-like finish, opt for professional wheel polishing services to remove any remaining imperfections and provide a glossy appearance.

Section 5: Safety Disposal of Chrome

Discard removed chrome layers responsibly by following local regulations. Contact specialized recycling centers or consult your nearest waste management facility for guidelines on proper disposal methods.


Removing chrome from wheels can breathe new life into their aesthetics or serve as a necessary step in the repair process. By employing CNC machining techniques, the task becomes more efficient and precise. Remember to prioritize personal safety throughout the procedure, and if unfamiliar with CNC operations, seek guidance from experts. With this comprehensive guide at hand, you'll be well-equipped to embark on the journey of revamping your vehicle's wheels. CNC Milling CNC Machining