How To Paint Chrome

Understanding how to paint chrome can seem like a daunting task. Chrome is a difficult surface to paint because it’s so glossy, and paint has a hard time sticking to it. The easiest way to have long-lasting painted chrome is to prep the area the right way. You can do this by sanding and using the proper materials to ensure a lasting finish.

To paint chrome, you will need:

  • Sandpaper, 220 grit
  • Automotive spray paint primer
  • Automotive spray paint
  • Chrome cleaner
  1. Clean the chrome using a heavy duty chrome cleaner. This is a very important step, so don’t skimp on cleaning. If there is heavy rust, you might need to sand it off. Apply the cleaner to a scrubbing pad and get all areas cleaned the best you can.
  2. Sand the chrome before painting. This is probably the most important step. A good sanding will make the painted chrome last much longer. Take your sandpaper and get into all the cracks. Touch the area with your fingers to make sure the area feels sanded.
  3. Prime the chrome for painting. You will need an automotive spray paint primer for this step. Buy the best you can afford.  Spray the primer about twelve inches away and make sure all areas are covered. Ideally, the piece you are painting should be in a garage where wind won’t be a problem. Allow this coat to dry and then repeat.
  4. Re-sand the area. Re-sanding the area will help the new paint look really smooth. This time you won’t need to sand as diligently. Go over every area and remove any imperfections created by the primer.
  5. Paint the chrome. The chrome should be all ready for painting now. Use your automotive paint to repaint the chrome. Spray the paint about twelve inches away from the surface and try to keep a really steady hand. Make sure you don’t get closer in some spots and farther away in others, because your paint will come out looking messy. Allow the paint to dry overnight before putting the chrome back onto your car or other surface. Repeat the painting if the paint seems too thin.
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