How to polish your wheels
  Thanks to JAWZ for contributing this tech article.

A  few people wanted tips on polishing their rims to a mirror shine. well here you go.
1.) Don’t try shortcuts, using a heavier grit then needed. start out with 150 or 300 grit.


2.) Don’t use a drill pad unless you can absolutely control it. I tried that and left a few light gouges in the aluminum and took forever to get them out. Which brings me to the next one.

3.) ANY and I mean ANY scratches you have in the aluminum surface will show up big time when you go to the polishing stage! ANY and I mean ANY scratches you have in the aluminum surface will show up big time when you go to the polishing stage! (Yes I said it twice it is that important!!!)
I got all the way done, thinking, when I started the polishing stage, it would cut through the scratches. WRONG, it left a very nice shiny surface with an exceptional shiny scratch to go along with it! (Not-Zestay) :( Frown

4.) Take your time sanding!

5.) You don’t have to go through a ton of grit sizes to get the desired look. In other words, you don’t have to go through 150, 200, 300, 340, 400, 600, 640, 100, 1500, 2000 grit before starting the polishing stage. 80 (if needed, but this is really heavy), 150, 340, 600, 2000 and then buffing with a 3m pad works just as well.
NOTE! Before sanding with any grit, take the sandpaper and rub it against another piece of sandpaper for a few strokes. This will pull off the rouge large grit and keep you from having that one scratch that you will now have to go back and sand again.

6.) Take your time sanding!

7.) What you want to do or what you are looking for is to get as smooth a surface as possible. If you look at your wheels, you will notice spiral cut marks from the lathe or CNC machine, they are very slight but there. That is what you want to cut down. You want the surface as bump and groove free as you can get it. If you get that you are ready for the polishing stage.

8.) Two things here.

1- Use separate wheels for each stage of polishing material.

2- Clean your work, buffing wheels and hands between each stage.
I used two buffing compounds.
Black (Emery) Or Brown (tripoli) compound – this is a cutting compound, use with a tight sewn wheel.
White – compound – this is the polishing compound, use the looser wheel and a flap wheel if you can.

9.) Once you have the surface to a nice polish, go over it again with talcum powder, this helps seal the pores of the aluminum.

10) Clean off the surface and go over it with “Mothers incredible billet polish” and a really soft cloth – this stuff really is that good.