Classic & Vintage - Dulling Aluminum
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09-11-06, 12:16 PM
Does anyone have any tips on dulling aluminum that doesn't involve paint. I am restoring a bike and most of the part are that sort of dull aluminium finish from age (which I kinda like), but I had to get a new seatpost. And it really stands out. Nice and bright. Any ideas?
09-11-06, 12:23 PM
not anything I'd do myself, but short of blasting it (best, most even finish) or scuffing the shine with scratchy pads or fine steelwool...I'd try chemicals. Either a strong acid (white vinegar?) but better yet a strong base (lye would be strongest, but most dangerous) so maybe back off from that a little and try dipping it in a solution of washing soda/water. Just a guess, but I'd bet that could get it looking "artificially aged" pretty quick.
Oven cleaner with a strong caustic soda content|(10%) might do the trick. I just de-anodized a black stem with it. It was quite dull before I polished it.
09-11-06, 01:50 PM
I agree with Ziemas. I have used household lye (caustic soda) from the grocery store to prepare aluminum for painting. It leaves a matte finish. Oven cleaner also contains lye and you probably have it at home already. Be sure to degrease the part thoroughly to get a uniform finish.
... and use appropriate safety precautions. Rubber gloves, protective eyeware etc.
Blue Magic Metal Polish on all your other aluminum (and chrome) parts. :D
Be sure to degrease the part thoroughly to get a uniform finish.
I haven't tried it myself yet, but from what I have read, a strong alkaline solution(lye) makes a good degreasing agent.
09-11-06, 05:23 PM
I would still want to start out with a clean part. Even if the lye will remove grease, it will start working on the clean surface first and perhaps leave marks where any greasy fingerprints existed. Also, start with a fairly dilute solution to see how it progresses. To dilute strong acids or bases, always add them to the water, not vice versa, or they will spit back at you.
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