Window trim polishing?
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    1. #1
      Junior Member
      Join Date
      Apr 2005

      Window trim polishing?

      Hi there,
      Since they were replaced about 15 years ago, my window trims (1971 car) have degraded and become all milky-white/bluish and I wanted to get them in better shape. New ones aren't super expensive but they are so hard to get in place that I would like to save the ones in place. They are stainless steel I believe, so not quite sure what I should use to polish them?

      Any ideas?

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    3. #2
      Junior Member
      Join Date
      Nov 2018
      new cumberland,pa.
      stainless steel responds great to polishing. Your technique can run the gamut of polishing wheels and associated polishing compounds to doing what I do and use a product like Flitz . You can use an orbital/ foam pad or polishing/ buffing wheels mounted in cordless drills, to just using your hands and polishing cloths.....
      you shouldn't need anything real aggressive.......

    4. #3
      Junior Member Matteo's Avatar
      Join Date
      Aug 2007
      Tucson, AZ
      If you're willing and able to remove the vent window altogether, you could obtain perfection with a bench polisher. Use a very light compound, it won't take much to restore them. Great time to replace the seals too.

    5. #4
      Join Date
      May 2013
      Saskatchewan, Canada
      Milky-white / bluish seems odd. The window trim on my '71 142 E is stainless and after 40 years it was pretty scuffed up; however, it was just dull not milky-white / bluish. As a first step I would try one of the multitude of automotive metal cleaners / polishes (that are commonly available). Brasso metal polish (from the grocery store) will work on stainless steel; but, fairly mild. I don't know whether it is better or worse than the 'automotive' cleaners; but, it is definitely cheaper. Polishing requires the use of abrasives. The automotive / Brasso / Flitz products are primarily cleaners with exceedingly mild polish / abrasive compounds. They will remove most oxide coatings on the metal. Severe oxidation and scuffing may require polishing with mechanical abrasives.

      Try the metal cleaners first to get the oxide coating off. If you have very fine scratches and want to go further, the next step is mechanical polishing which uses abrasives. I suggest that you use masking tape on the paint around the trim to avoid damage to the paint. As jlh3rd states, you can use polishing compounds with mechanical polishers. If the stainless is fairly dull consider starting with 0000 steel wool pads (the finest grade). 0000 steel wool is fine enough to remove light scratches / very heavy tarnish and should leave you with the equivalent of a shiny satin finish on the stainless. To go the final step you will need to use a polishing compound. You may want to start with something that is more aggressive. Mequiars 105 is their ultra cut paint correction compound meant for use with an orbital buffer on paint; but, I have used it to polish up lots of other stuff. You can also get jewelers rouge in various grades to polish the metal

      When people are doing a restoration on trim where the parts have been removed from the car, rouge and a bench mounted buffing wheel are usually the go-to solution for a high quality final finish.
      A 142 of course. What do you expect? I'm the 142 guy. / 1971 142 E 102 color

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