Painting over chrome is much more difficult than it sounds.
It is a very common belief that chrome is used as a protectant because it can withstand corrosion even after coming in contact with oxygen in the air.
The truth, however, is far from it. Instead, what happens is that as soon as chrome comes in contact with oxygen, it oxidizes to chromium oxide. When you paint over chrome, you’re actually painting over this rust and thus, preserving it.
This layer prevents it from falling off and provides us with a long-lasting glassy look. If your paint does start to look old and rusty, here are a few ways of how to paint over chrome.
After all, who wouldn’t want their car bumpers and other metal products to shine?
Wash the chrome plates with soap and water and allow it to dry completely.
In the next step, you will have to sand the surface using grit paper particularly those areas that have scars and pits.
Be particularly careful about the pits. If a pit is left as it is it might come back later and ruin your paint over chrome. If the use of grit paper is not providing you with the desired results, you can also use a grinder.
Make sure that you avoid any kind of scratching. The use of safety goggles is a must.
Then by using liquid steel or a glazing compound, fill the low spot areas.
After the compound has become dry, use sandpaper to level the surface.
Initially, use one with a heavy grit and then use a lighter one to ensure it is completely smooth.
With the help of a clean cloth, dust the entire surface to make sure that no sand is left behind.
You wouldn’t want to paint over chrome with a layer of dust in between. Then, wipe the surface by using either a lacquer thinner or a waxing agent.
In the next step, the self-etching primer has to be sprayed onto the surface.
Two gentle coats shall be more than enough. Make sure you give ample time to dry between two successful coats.
This is a very important step as it will provide you with a surface on which the regular paint can attach.
Once the self-etching primer has dried out, spray 2 to 3 layers of the high-quality primer onto it.
However, make sure that you are giving it sufficient time to dry.
The next step is to inspect it both visually and by running your hand over it. Use putty to fill in any dents or uneven surfaces if they exist.
This might be even better if you use a cloth glove over since that will give you a better feel.
To get the perfect finish, sand down using first a lighter grit paper and then by a heavier one.
Be very careful with this step as any flaw will become highly apparent and obvious once the paint has been applied. This is your last chance to ensure you have a smooth surface.
Use the lacquer thinner and wax remover once again to remove any debris left behind.
This is because any dust or oil left behind will cause serious problems later on. However, using it in excess may damage the primer. Applying it again will be more than enough.
Now comes the most important step; applying the paint. Apply 23 coats of paint over it but make sure that the paint doesn’t run as that will give it a very bad look.
To prevent heavy spots and the stains from developing on the surface, keep the nozzle about 10 inches from the surface rather than holding it directly over it. In case you have any ruins; you won’t be able to do much about it except to wait for the next day.
You’ll have to leave it to dry, sand it completely, and paint over chrome again.
Once the paint over chrome had dried, spray the clear coat finish onto it. Make sure the lighting is good for this since this will not give it color rather it will just give it shine over the sprayed area. You might even have to change your angle to view your work.
Wait for a couple of days and then apply the rubbing compound onto it which will not only give it a nice finish and remove any flaws that might have existed but will also give it a shine. Apply with the help of a wax applicator and the buff out either by hand or by using the machine. You may also use your favorite wax to finish it off.
Following these easy steps, you can easily paint over chrome and give it a nice shiny look that will be admired by everyone.