Pretty up your own parts.  A how-to in the most basic of steps.

or click HERE to see the deal on polishing aluminum wheels

 

An assumption is about to be made.  This assumption is that you are of reasonable mechanical skills.  None of the instructions I give or the discussions you see below are intended to teach you common sense or the techniques it takes to learn to plate your own pieces.  It's sad that I must include this disclaimer but I'm not responsible if you screw something up.  Neither is your 7th grade History teacher and your local grocer is probably innocent as well.

We're now going to be forced to listen to a dissertation on fancying up your door handles.  Note that ALL of the Triumph handles are made from potmetal (or white metal).  Those of you who wandered in and are working on some VERY antiquated automobile or parts will find information here as well.

Some of the older door handles  are  made of stainless steel.  If they are fairly light in weight and will not draw a magnet then they are stainless.  These will typically be hollow. If this is the case then you can polish them with the proper tools such as buffing wheels and the right compounds. Some light sanding may be required if there are deep scratches.  Check Caswell Plating for the supplies you'll need to do all your own polishing.   The wheels and compounds are inexpensive and will work on most reasonably sized bench grinders.  Caswell has bench polishing motors that are very reasonably priced as well.  If you click on the link above or from the front page you will be taken right to their site.  

If the handles are heavy and won't draw a magnet then they are most likely made of white metal (or pot metal).  The two terms are used interchangeably.  If they are chromed and have pits in them then they are certainly made of pot metal and the only way to restore them is to strip the old chrome off (best done by a professional) and have them replated.  Chroming pot metal is not the same as plating other metals.  It requires attention to the pitting which takes a lot of work and detailing.  The pits that you see in such materials are caused by corrosion 'bubbling' up through the chrome.  The corrosion in the pot metal must be removed by drilling down into the metal to remove all traces of the corrosion.  The material then needs to have these holes filled with a high temperature type solder.  The pot metal then needs to be properly prepared and then  plated with a nickel compound prior to chroming.  You can do this work yourself by adhering to the instructions that come from the folks at Caswell Plating.  They provide everything you need to do the work yourself in several methods.  Electro plating which is long and involved and takes quite an investment in time, space, and learning.  Electroless plating is easy to do.  It works well and can be done on the kitchen stove with a minimum of mess, fuss and has a very short learning curve.  I use electroless plating from Caswell exclusively and am VERY pleased with the results I get. 

Caswell Plating has a book you can order from them that goes into great detail about the various forms of plating you can do at home.  I recommend you order one from them.  Education is a good thing.  Yes, Caswell Plating is one of the sponsors of my website so I AM associated with the company.

There were some handles made during the Second World War that were unplated and unpolished.  These were usually painted in either black or olive drab (if the car was used by the military).

I am neither a chemist or a chrome plating wizard.  I'm a guy who likes to do things for himself when he can.  Look into doing your own plating.  It's enjoyable and inexpensive.  Besides, you'll be able to say YOU did it.

If you have further questions I will answer them via email as time allows.

Jim