Spray on chrome 101
First, before we begin please do your research as to which product and company you work with before purchasing your chemicals and equipment because all materials, equipment, systems and companies ARE NOT created equally.
Why Use Spray On Chrome?
Spray on chrome is a cleaner, faster, less expensive and far more environmentally friendly substitute and replacement for traditional hard/decorative chrome.
The advantages of a spray on chrome kit to the consumer and applicator compared to traditional hard chrome are:
1. Less expensive:
Approximately 60% of the cost of hard chrome.
2. Faster turn around time:
The average turn around time for traditional chrome is 60 days or longer
3. No pitting, rusting or oxidation:
Unlike traditional chrome, spray on chrome is a layer of pure silver which is essentially hermedically sealed between two or more layers of urethane protective coating.
4. Fast and inexpensive spot repair:
If the spray on chrome is scratched or damaged, repair is quick and painless using urethane and silver to repair only the damaged area instead of resurfacing the entire part.
5. Unlike traditional chroming that is limited to only metal, spray on chrome can be used on virtually any substrate and works equally well on metal, fiberglass, plastic, wood, composites, vinyl, ceramic, porcelain, carbon fiber, concrete and much more.
There are a few key points that truly need to be addressed about the spray on chrome process that have never been done publicly before.
#1. Chroming with spray on chrome/hydro chrome is not a difficult process but it most certainly requires the user to have the ability to paint and the proper facility and clean environment adequate for spraying/Applying paint.
#2. Spray on chrome is a 100% identical match to real chrome in every appearance aspect from color, clarity, reflection and brilliance and blue hue when properly applied with the right chemicals.
#3. Spray on chrome will not look yellow if the chemicals are of high quality and the application process is done properly.
The entire process from start to finish
#1. Proper preparation is required on ALL parts regardless of the surface.
In this step by step application guide, we will begin with the preparation steps that will guarantee perfect adhesion between the part itself and the first layer of urethane. We will provide an example for metal. Similar preparation will apply to all other surface substrate types.
1. Sand or sandblast the part bringing the surface to approximately a 320 grit profile.
2. Use a conventional fast dry metal filler to fill any imperfections such as pitted, deeply scratched or damaged areas of the part.
3. Prime the surface using a metal primer
4. Sand with 320 grit and finish with 800 grit
5. Clearcoat the part and wait for you clearcoat urethane to fully cure 24 hours air dry or 1 hour forced dry.
6. Examine your part for imperfections in the urethane such as orange peel, drips, runs, fisheye, etc.
6A. If imperfections are visible, wet sand the effected area with 800 grit and re-clear the effected area and wait for a full cure.
Starting with a fully cured glass finish urethane clear coat
1. Apply a mixture of dish soap and distilled water to the entire part to ensure a grease and oil free surface area to chome.
2. Apply activator agent over the entire part looking for water beads or areas that will not remain wet. You should not see any beads, any fisheye in the sheet of water/wetting agent mixture here at this stage. The mixture should completely sheet over the surface evenly.
3. Apply activator directly over the surface.The activator is essentially a micro acid etching process that softens the urethane and opens the poor of the urethane on a nano scale allowing the silver in step 5 to deposit.
4. Rinse the part very thoroughly for at least 60 seconds using ONLY distilled water ensuring a fully clean and prepped part with nothing but distilled water remaining on the surface.
5. Apply silver solution to the suface until a brilliant chrome finish is achieved. This finish will be extremely reflective and have all the brilliance, shine and intensity of real chrome.
6. Rinse off the surface thoroughly with only de-ionized water.
7. Blow off all remaining water with an air chuck and place the part in a clean dry area for 6 hours or overnight for best results.
8. Clear coat and let cure. Done.
Choosing a spray on chrome brand
When choosing the brand of spray on chrome, you should evaluate several factors before making your decision.
1. Does the product work well?
2. Does the company have good tech support?
3. Does the company offer designated areas or will they sell to anyone?
4. If you didn’t know how to paint, would they still sell it to you? (This is the best way to find out if they are serious)
5. Does the company offer marketing support? A good company can help deliver work.
6. Does the company manufacture the product or are they buying it from over seas?
7. Are the company’s used products and equipment for sale on websites like eBay? This should be a helpful indicator as to whether or not the product is good. People usually don’t sell something if it’s making them money.
Spray chrome is an amazing process, it’s easy to apply for anyone with a backround in painting and the proper facility to apply it.
Spray on chrome is the ideal method for repairing conventional chrome as well as converting virtually any surface to a beautiful chrome finish.
Having good chemical, proper equipment and good tech support makes all the difference in the world.