Getting the brushed aluminum look is simple really. Its like polishing minus the last 4 steps. Not being a fan of chrome and mirrored finishes, I like the look of machined surfaces and labored handmade pieces. I think it fits this bike perfectly.
The rim had been annodized gold. I sandblasted most of the gold off. Shortly after i found out you can use oven cleaner for 5 minutes and cut it right off. BEWARE, if you leave it on too long it will eat your aluminum like the Cookie Monster let loose on a girl scout bake sale. I ran out of sand (I know, I know, I live in a desert haha) so there is some remnant of gold left.
I used a blue scour pad to cut off the rest of the gold. These things are coarse and cut very deep. I wouldnt recommend this for going to a fine polish. It leaves directional marks. Fortunately, thats what I was going for. Be sure to get every nook and cranny.
Next step was the green scotch brite pad. Not quite as course but will still leave directional marks. I went around the rim with this about 4 times. each time it looks better and better. I never cut in enough the first time to remove the pits from sandblasting though. They can be seen up closely. It gives it a bit of a dull look. I like it and am going to go with it. I did all of this by hand. Power or air tools would have made the job A LOT faster. But, I like where it ended up regardless.
Final outcome. I might go over it with a 600 grit wet/dry paper to get the shine a little closer to the rear wheel. Either the pits make it hazy or the alloys are slightly different.
Rear wheel shined up nicely other than the pits that I was mostly able to get out. There wouldnt be any rim left if I kept going.