Here is a definitive guide on how to polish any aluminum surface to a mirror shine.
- Oven Cleaner
- 200, 400, 600, 1000 and 2000 Grit Wet/Dry Sandpaper
- Polishing Cream
- Clear Coat (Optional)
Clean the dirt off the part to be polished
Spray your part with oven cleaner to strip the corrosion off. (I use Easy Off)
Begin sanding with the 200 grit sandpaper across the grain. Do so until the grain is almost gone. (Make sure to keep the sandpaper wet). There will be a considerable amount of black stuff (oxidized aluminum).
Take the 400 grit and sand in the same direction until the grain is all gone
(still keeping it wet).
Take the 600 grit and sand this time in a swirling pattern until all you see is swirls (still wet).
Repeat step 5 but with the rest of the sand paper, using a higher grit each time.
By now your part will have a very shiny finish and you may be satisfied, but now take your polishing cream and buff your part until it is mirror shiny.
Wax your part just like you would a car.
Step 9 (Optional):
Apply a spray on clear coat to your part to help protect it.
To restore your shine:
Simply start at step 1 & 2 but then skip to step 7.
Watch as people stare at themselves in your shiny parts.