Things You'll Need
0000 fine steel wool
00000 fine steel wool
Clear spray lacquer
100 percent cotton cloths
Use a light touch when sanding. It is much easier to sand a little more if needed than it is to put chrome back on.
Chrome pits easily and relatively quickly if it is exposed to air. Many chrome items come with a clear coating designed to protect them from the oxidizing effects of the oxygen in our air, but many time these coatings are very thin and only last a short time. The result is pitting, in everything from toasters to the rims on your car. There is only one way to get rid of pitting in chrome--you must sand it out. This works only if the pits are superficial however; deep pits may be beyond repair, especially if they have turned into holes.
Wash the item using warm water and dish soap. Rinse and pat dry with cotton cloth. Inspect the pitting. If pitting or scratches cannot be felt when you scrape your fingernail across them, then start with 0000 fine steel wool. Rub lightly in a circular pattern until scratches disappear. Wipe with a damp cloth and pat dry. Wet a piece of 00000 fine steel wool and rub again in a circular pattern until your item shines like new. Wipe with damp cloth and pat dry. If scratches or pitting can be felt when you scrape your fingernail across them, continue to the next step. Otherwise, refer to step 6 as your next step.
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Start sanding with 400-grit paper. Sand in a circular pattern until the bulk of the pitting is removed. Wipe with damp cloth and pat dry.
Sand with 800-grit paper. Again, sand using a circular motion and do not use much pressure. Sand until virtually all scratches and pits have disappeared. Wipe with a damp cloth and pat dry.
Rub lightly with 1,000-grit paper using a circular motion. Rub until all signs of pitting have disappeared. Wipe with damp cloth and then pat until dry. Rub lightly and briskly with 0000 fine steel wool until tiny scratches left by the 1,000-grit paper have disappeared.
Dip a piece of 00000 fine steel wool into water and then rub briskly in a circular pattern. Rub until your items shines like new! Wipe gently with a damp cloth and pat dry.
Put on your eye protection and breathing mask. Move your item to a well-ventilated area. Spray a light coat of clear lacquer into your item. Allow to dry thoroughly as per directions on the spray can. Rub very lightly with wet 00000 fine steel wool and pat dry. Spray a second light coat of lacquer. Allow to dry.
Larry Parr has been a full-time professional freelance writer for more than 30 years. For 25 years he wrote cartoons for television, everything from "Smurfs" to "Spider-Man." Today Parr train dogs and write articles on a variety of topics for websites worldwide.