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Removing gold plate from aluminum wheels

February 21, 2012

Q. Hi my name's sam. I have four 20 inch car rims that are 24k gold plated. I need to remove the gold to paint the rims. The rims are aluminum and I obviously don't want to mess them up. What chemical solution would you suggest for removing the gold? I have done some reverse plating on other metals but never of aluminum. Any suggestions?


Sam Berry
- Belt, Texas, USA

Hello, Sam. Try HNO3+HCl (1-3) it should passivate the aluminium and dissolve gold layer. Another way - KI+I2+H2O - this is not fast but safe method . You can use brush for it , I2 can leave some dirt on aluminium surface.

Stepan Puzyrnikov
- Velikiy Novgorod, Russia
February 24, 2012

February 24, 2012

Hi Sam
For gold to be effective in the highly corrosive environment next to the road, it has to be thick -- probably 5 microns+) and plated over nickel. I also ask myself why anyone would use this extremely expensive process on the inside of the wheel rim?
If your wheels truly are gold plated, they are worth a not so small fortune! So the best course of action would be to sell them to a gold scrap dealer, buy a new set of wheels and spend the change on a new car.
I suspect, however, that they are actually 24 ct gold coloured anodised aluminium and can simply be cleaned, primed and painted. Stripping would simply reduce the corrosion resistance unless you re-anodise; in which case it is best to prime within 8 hours of anodising and without sealing the anodising.

geoff smith
Geoff Smith
Hampshire, England

March 28, 2012


Industrial Hydrochloric Acid can strip gold or you can use strip gold solution.

Mostly I have seen full wheel rim in yellow are not gold plated ... plater just plate front side by dipping or brush

Spray coatings or PU gold-color coated rims are stripped by acid.


Dipen Pattni
Dipen Pattni
jeweler/goldsmith - Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania

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