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Want to paint chrome

Old 05-28-20, 06:02 PM
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markwesti
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Want to paint chrome

I just bought a chrome fork the other day and I might want to put some color on it and of course have some chrome accents . Krylon rattle can is my choice , there are two types I'm considering . First is the one they call Shorts Cuts , it is an enamel . Next is one they call Fusion , they say it has adhering quality's , but what type it is , enamel or ? I don't know . My main concern is prep , sand I think would be a good choice or maybe better , 3M Scotch Bright . Of course do nothing would be nice but I think wishful thinking . All thoughts are appreciated .
Thanks , Mark .
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Old 05-28-20, 06:52 PM
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Chrome makes a poor surface to add paint to. Given that you will be best to create some "tooth" to the chrome for the primer to engage with. The time honored way is to sand the chrome. taking care to keep any left exposed chrome un sanded. Do you have a practice piece you can play with before committing to your good fork?

I assume you know of the trade off with common low cost rattle can paint formulas compared to the more expensive options. Andy
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Old 05-28-20, 08:19 PM
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If you are going to sand the chrome you need to wear dust mask and protective goggles. Inhaling chrome dust will damage your lungs, you'll need to go to the hospital, but the damage will be permanent; getting the dust in your eyes will irritate them like crazy, a good eye wash will be needed and maybe a trip to the doctor, your eyes will be irritated and red for days and will require constant moisturizing drops.
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Old 05-28-20, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
Chrome makes a poor surface to add paint to. Given that you will be best to create some "tooth" to the chrome for the primer to engage with. The time honored way is to sand the chrome. taking care to keep any left exposed chrome un sanded. Do you have a practice piece you can play with before committing to your good fork?

I assume you know of the trade off with common low cost rattle can paint formulas compared to the more expensive options. Andy
A practice piece ? Unfortunately no that would be nice though . I'm thinking very careful sanding with 800 . I would like to leave pants and the top of the crown . As for paint what would you suggest ?
Thanks , Mark .
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Old 05-28-20, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by greatscott View Post
If you are going to sand the chrome you need to wear dust mask and protective goggles. Inhaling chrome dust will damage your lungs, you'll need to go to the hospital, but the damage will be permanent; getting the dust in your eyes will irritate them like crazy, a good eye wash will be needed and maybe a trip to the doctor, your eyes will be irritated and red for days and will require constant moisturizing drops.
Thanks for the heads up Scott , honestly that did not occur to me . Will do .
Mark .
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Old 05-28-20, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by markwesti View Post
A practice piece ? Unfortunately no that would be nice though . I'm thinking very careful sanding with 800 . I would like to leave pants and the top of the crown . As for paint what would you suggest ?
Thanks , Mark .
This is one case that really fine grit emery cloth is not the best choice. 80 to 120 grit (whether emery cloth or blasting media) is the usual used by most painters I have used over the years, for initial prep before primer. 320/400 grit wet/dry after primer is hard and before color coats is pretty common.

For paint durability the two part (pigment and hardener) auto industry paints have a good rep. For ease of application the Spray.Bike stuff has good reviews. My next frame will be brushed on alkyd enamel. Andy
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Old 05-29-20, 09:10 AM
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In my experience the 80 to 120 emery worked better on larger jobs and you can clean up in really rough areas/gouges with finer 240 if needed just be sure it is dull everywhere. I have had much better life when using a two part primer having gotten good results with SprayMax 3680033, 2K Epoxy Rust-Cure Primer and would look at two part paints as recommended above rather then rattle can after all this work. I played with design with rattle can straight on the chrome which will stick long enough to see if you like it but within a few months I started getting flaking and it was sad within a year.
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Old 05-29-20, 12:06 PM
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...if you don't want to spend the money for a 2 part urethane paint like Spraymax (which is 20 bucks a can plus change, and will be too much paint for just a fork, and will be useless once mixed and it sits for 48 hours in the can that way), your best bet after the roughing step is to prime with a self etching primer (wear a mask when you spray this stuff, like all spray paints, but slightly more damaging if inhaled). Then spray a second coat (and a third if you need it) of your color enamel of choice. Try to stay within the re-coat window as described on the can.
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Old 05-30-20, 07:01 AM
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Wet sand to eliminate the dust issue. There are new sandpapers, red in color that are available in fairly coarse grits and can be used wet. 800 is too fine.
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Old 05-30-20, 11:07 AM
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There are trick automotive clear coat finishes which are specially formulated to be sprayed over chrome. Unfortunately they are expensive.

https://alsacorp.com/product/clear-4-chrome/
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