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I have been playing with my 61 Impala Bubbletop and doing some detail work. The side moldings are anodized aluminum from the factory . Over time these moldings as well as a lot of GM trim develop an aging tarnishing and the trim looks milky or blotched. Soooo.......I experimented with polishes and different techniques . I have used the chemical stripper in the past to remove the anodizing and then polish the trim . It is a bit involved and I was looking for a quick fix. I tried this and so far after three days it has held up........I took Wesson oil and rubbed the moldings on the 61. I was amazed that the finish looked newer , I had my doubts as to the holdout when the oil was gone . I kept rubbing the finish to remove any excess film and each day I check to see if the finish went back to its old look. So far so good. I'm not a chemist but I'm thinking the oil is a natural corn oil and maybe it has some interaction with the anodizing or maybe it is just a coverup , either way it saved me about 600 bucks in replacing the side moldings. If it doesnt last forever I will give it another dose of household Wesson Oil. Hope this tip helps. :tu
 

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please follow up in a couple months with how long that lasts. Ive been trying to polish anodized trim for years with no luck.
I Sure will keep up on the results. I am pretty sure it is not a permanent fix but time will tell. I am replacing one dented piece so I will put it under a microscope or magnifier to see if it shows any changes .
 

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You should do side by side tests with mayonaise, ranch dressing, pickle juice, and beer. Who knows, maybe one of those will work better. :)
Hmmmm.....lol....well you just never know and the refrigerator has plenty of stuff to try. Probably not a good idea to waste beer though. I have heard that a good grade of molasses and water will remove rust.....word is it takes about two weeks of soaking rusty bolts and they come out like new. I have not tried it as i use a tumbler and media to do the same.
 

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thanks for tip, looking forward to long term report. :anim_25:
 

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Perhaps the effect you're seeing is similar to what some "glaze" products do on paint. Stuff like Meguiar's #7. Which might work too. Interesting.

If you remove the anodize, you can polish the trim, but you'll have to do it very often. Like every few weeks, not months.
 

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Perhaps the effect you're seeing is similar to what some "glaze" products do on paint. Stuff like Meguiar's #7. Which might work too. Interesting.

If you remove the anodize, you can polish the trim, but you'll have to do it very often. Like every few weeks, not months.
Good point Rick. I believe the blotching that we see is happening below the anodized finish between the aluminum and coating . The "Wesson oil " treatment is just that........ a treatment that will probably not holdout as a permanent fix but it will do for a band aid ....... if it lasts a decent amount of time it works for me. It is easy to do and can be done along side of detailing the car. Replacing moldings will be left to an overall paint when one blows the car apart for removal of the trim. I've been checking it daily and the results are positive.
 

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stupid question here. when polishing stainless trim, while still on the car, must you tape the paint along side of it? i mean, how do ya get to the edge? using what? rag, brush, ?
 

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Anodizing is a chemical process that grows a layer of Aluminum Oxide on the surface of the Aluminum. It is normally a 5 step process much like the chrome process. It involves chemicals and electricity. The Aluminum Oxide layer is much harder than the base aluminum and is corrosion resistant. The only way to repair it is to go through the whole process all over again. Anything else is just an appearance top coating that isn't as durable as the original anodizing.
 

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A friend of my has had a lot of anodized aluminum stripped and anodized again. Although I think it's a 3 part process for him.
1st the anodizing shop to be stripped, but they don't do polishing, they normally do new work that had never been anodized before.
2nd pick it up and take it to the polisher
3rd pick it up and take it back to the anodizing shop for clear anodizing.
4th pick it up one last time

For car trim it would be interesting to see the trim done in some of the different anodizing colors to highlight or accent the paint scheme.
 
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