The finishing.com Hotline: Serious Education ... plus the most fun you can have in metal finishing. Ted Mooney, Webmaster
How to restore scratched and faded chrome rims++++
I HAVE SOME ICE METAL CHROME 20 INCH RIMS. I'VE HAD THEM FOR ABOUT 6 OR 7 MONTHS BUT I've BEEN IN 2 ACCIDENTS SINCE I HAD EM. THEY HAVE A FEW SCRATCHES ON THEM AND A SORT OF DULL LOOK 2 THEM FROM SOME RIM CLEANER AND SHINER A FRIEND OF MINES TRIED 2 USE. I WAS TOLD IF I GET THEM DIPPED THEY WOULD LOOK LIKE NEW BUT I've NEVER KNOWN HOW 2 GO ABOUT DOING IT. I WOULD APPRECIATE IF You COULD GIVE ME SOME GUIDANCE ON WHAT 2 DO.RONNIE MATHIS
MILITARY - TRENTON, NEW JERSEY, US
Since you're a good military man I'll give you a good answer. Thank you for your service. When chrome plated finishes become scratched or marred there really isn't much you can do with them. Some people use chrome polish to help shine the surface, but if the surface is scratched, it will eventually corrode.
Your best bet is to take them to a custom plating shop in your area. They will strip the chrome from the wheel and hopefully any underlying nickel or copper. Conversely, some shops will only strip the chrome and polish the nickel and reapply another layer of nickel, perhaps acid copper, perhaps copper buff and more nickel and chrome. As you can see, the process can be quite extensive and therefore, rather expensive.
Most people assume we just "dip it in a vat" and the part miraculously emerges with the shiny, reflective surface we all associate with nickel/chrome. Unfortunately, it is much more involved than that, so you should expect that you will pay considerably more than you probably expected. If you mention you're in the military, hopefully the people will cut you a deal.
Hope this helps!Daryl Spindler
Decorative nickel chrome plating - Nashville, TN