Sunday, October 28, 2012

Refurbishing Corvette Window Trim

Lester recently asked about how I was refurbishing the trim pieces.  As you can see, my trim pieces are discolored, dull and rusty.  Fortunately, the trim is stainless steel, not chrome.  It will clean up nicely.

I picked a corner piece as a representative sample.  It is painted, pitted, rusty, dull and scratched.

Because of the pitted areas I had to start with 800 grit sandpaper.  I dry sanded this piece until all of the blemishes were gone.  This piece still has a very minor pit but I am not going to be concerned.

Next I use 1000 grit sandpaper to remove the scratches left by the 800 grit paper.

That was followed by a hard cloth buffing wheel with coarse rouge.  Rouge is like a stick of hard plastic.  You briefly hold it against the spinning wheel then polish the item.  Coarse grit rouge is black and I only had to use it for a couple minutes.

Here's our piece just after I used the black rouge.  The piece is a little dull but the scratches are gone.

I finish with a soft cloth wheel on the buffer and green rouge.  Green is for stainless steel. 

Here's a side by side comparison.  I cleaned the under side with a rag and Goof-Off, a great all purpose solvent/cleaner.  Now all I have to do is spend a couple hours doing the rest of the pieces.   

The windows are installed and so are all the trim pieces.  The trim isn't flawless but it is shiny and looks great to me.  I am very pleased with the results.  Double lick on the following pictures and check it out.

Lester, thanks for the great question.

Next will be the side exhaust.


  1. And I thought you had been loafing for a couple of weeks.

  2. Jim,

    It is not wrench turning, nuckle breaking work, but it is getting the car closer to the finish line. Working with the trim right next to our new paint job does make one break a sweat though. It is nerve racking and I am glad the rear windows are done.