Removing Chrome from Wheels: A Step-by-Step Guide(rapid tooling Owen)

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Chrome wheels have long been a popular choice for auto enthusiasts due to their shiny and luxurious appearance. However, there may come a time when you want to change the look of your wheels or simply remove the chrome coating. In this article, we will guide you through the process of removing chrome from wheels using CNC (Computer Numerical Control) technology.

What is CNC?

CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control, which refers to the automation of machine tools through programmed software commands. It enables precise control over machinery, such as lathes, mills, routers, and grinders, resulting in accurate and repeatable manufacturing processes. When it comes to wheel restoration or modification, CNC plays a crucial role in facilitating the removal of chrome.

The Process of Removing Chrome from Wheels:

1. Wheel Removal:
Before beginning the process, ensure that you have removed the wheels from your vehicle. This can be done using a jack or lift and following appropriate safety precautions.

2. Surface Preparation:
Once the wheels are off, thorough surface preparation is required before initiating the chrome removal process. Begin by cleaning the wheels with a gentle degreaser to eliminate any dirt, dust, or residue. Rinse thoroughly and allow them to dry completely.

3. Protective Measures:
Given the nature of chrome removal, protective measures should be taken to safeguard yourself and the environment. Wear gloves, goggles, and a suitable respiratory mask to protect against potential hazards. Additionally, make sure you work in a well-ventilated area or wear a mask equipped with an air filter if working indoors.

4. CNC Equipment Setup:
Next, set up the CNC equipment, ensuring that all necessary safety protocols are followed. The specific machinery required will depend on the size and characteristics of the wheels being treated. For larger wheels, automated CNC lathes or milling machines are typically utilized.

5. CNC Programming:
Now, it's time to program the CNC machine. This involves generating a precise sequence of commands using computer software that will control the tooling and machining process. The programming should include specifications such as removing the chrome layer evenly and achieving the desired final finish.

6. Chrome Removal Process:
The CNC machine is operated according to the programmed instructions for chrome removal. Depending on the thickness of the chrome coating, the duration and method may vary. Generally, a milling or turning technique is employed to gradually remove the chrome layer, exposing the underlying metal surface.

7. Finishing Touches:
After successfully removing the chrome from the wheels, finishing touches are required to restore or customize their appearance. This could involve sanding, polishing, or even applying paint or a new coating based on personal preferences. These post-chrome removal processes must be conducted with precision and expertise to achieve exceptional results.

8. Reinstallation:
Once satisfied with the final look, reinstall the refurbished wheels onto your vehicle. Ensure that all lug nuts/bolts are torqued properly to prevent any issues while driving.


Removing chrome from wheels can be seen as a challenging task, but with the aid of advanced automation technologies like CNC, the process has become more efficient and precise. By following the step-by-step guide outlined above, you can successfully transform your wheels into a style that better suits your taste or differentiates your vehicle from others on the road.

Remember to prioritize safety throughout every stage of the chrome removal process. Proper equipment setup, protective measures, and adherence to CNC programming techniques will contribute to a successful outcome, ensuring your wheels are restored or customized to perfection.

Whether you choose to undertake this process yourself or seek professional assistance, make informed decisions and enjoy the rewarding experience of transforming your wheels. CNC Milling