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Can you paint over chrome wheels?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Dooley, Feb 28, 2005.

  1. Dooley
    Joined: May 29, 2002
    Posts: 2,890

    from Buffalo NY

    What prep would be needed to paint over a set of Chrome smoothies.

    Kinda thinking about running them body color with just the chrome cap.

    Would they need to be blasted?

    Any specific paint?
  2. Dooley, you will have to blast all the chrome off, then prime and paint them. You can't even rough up chrome and get paint to stick permanently.

  3. Automotive Stud
    Joined: Sep 26, 2004
    Posts: 4,236

    Automotive Stud

    You'll probably at least have to scuff them, if not remove the chrome completly. When I realized the wheels on my '47 were chrome under the black paint I sprayed them down with superclean and steel wool took the paint right off. :) Then I saw they were painted because the chrome peeled on the rim :(
  4. CharlieLed
    Joined: Feb 21, 2003
    Posts: 2,463


    One of the powder coating shops here in town routinely sandblasts the pieces prior to powder coating. Seems like it would be a natural thing to do...take the wheels to the powder coater and let them prep them and coat them with a durable "non-chrome" finish...

  5. Slag Kustom
    Joined: May 10, 2004
    Posts: 4,312

    Slag Kustom

    alot of times it is cheaper to get new un chromed ones then go to all the work to have them blasted to get rid of the bad chrome.

    I have sanded parts with 100 grit on a da then acid etch primer and had good luck.
  6. Kustm52
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 1,981


    Sand blast them and spray with zinc chromate primer....and it might stick for a while.

  7. A few years back when the fad was to paint everything body color,,,I used a product called XIM bonding primer#400,,,comes in clear and white,,,

    I painted chrome and aluminum with it and sprayed the paint on top of the primer,,,,,,the last time I saw the car at Knoxville it still looked like it was holding great!

    All I did was clean the chrome and scuff it a little,,,prime and paint!

    XIM is a primer you can get at most independent paint stores that sell house paint,,,maybe even some of the big home improvement stores. HRP
  8. Django
    Joined: Nov 15, 2002
    Posts: 10,197

    from Chicago

    When I went to repaint the wheels on the 46 I got from Sawzall, I noticed they were painted chrome. I rescuffed them, painted them and never had a problem with them. The blasting and zinc primer would probably work and last awhile. I wouldn't expect it to last forever though.
  9. HRP - XIM brings back memories. I was working in the body shop of a Chevy dealership, back when I was 19 and the parts guys sister had a '60 Chevy Bel-Air mordor, this was about 1970-1.

    I washed it and masked it up and shot it with XIM then Plum Crazy acrylic enamel. Didn't sand it or anything. I worked there for 2 years after that and it looked just as good as the day I painted it.

    Of course that was 34 years ago, wonder what it looks like now.................wonder what SHE looks like now???????????????

    XIM was good stuff. Can it still be had?

  10. Plumbing primer sticks to chrome real well. Just brush it on and let it dry, then paint over it.
  11. DrJ
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 9,418


  12. repoman
    Joined: Jan 2, 2005
    Posts: 1,276


    It depends on how you want it to look. Do you want it to last a few years? Strip it. If you just want to to spray-bomb some crusty chrome, go for it.

    Whenever I do this I use a scotchbrite pad. Get a nice cross-hatch, it'll stick, at least for a summer.
  13. 4rod
    Joined: Feb 4, 2008
    Posts: 806


    I blasted mine and used an etching primer...hopefully this will hold for awhile
  14. Mopar34
    Joined: Aug 8, 2006
    Posts: 1,028


    I have never tried it on wheels but if scuffed well you should be able to. Not as well as if the chrome was removed. I scuffed my m/c front fender and painted it to match the rest of the bike. That was in 1976 and the paint is still good. Few chips on the edges but pretty much solid.
  15. marks914
    Joined: Feb 20, 2009
    Posts: 330

    Alliance Vendor

    I have had some success in sandplasting them, painting with self-etching primer and then paint. I don't know how long it lasts because I usually do that just before I put the for sale sign under the wiper. (no I did not dis-mount them)
    Sorry if I did that to anyone here!
  16. Overbiter
    Joined: Mar 25, 2008
    Posts: 60


    Well I know hydrochloric acid works really well. However Its a bit of a toughy to come by.
  17. ...I just litely scuffed a pair of chrome wheels, primed and painted em, held up real well,...and if it don't, you ain't out much either.
  18. Chrome is best removed by the same process it is put on - electrolysis.

    Any chrome shop can do it.
  19. Kustm52
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 1,981


    Wow, another 5 year old post back from the dead...
  20. SlowandLow63
    Joined: Sep 18, 2004
    Posts: 5,958

    from Central NJ

    Depends on the quality of the chrome. I've treated the cheap Chinese chrome like bare metal and had good success, but I would be weary on something of better quality.
  21. David Chandler
    Joined: Jan 27, 2007
    Posts: 1,101

    David Chandler

    I painted over the chrome transmission pan on my truck when I put it on in 2000. I scuffed it up a bit, and used rustoleum on it. It's still there. But I doubt if the chrome would have lasted one winter's worth of salt around here.
  22. Dooley
    Joined: May 29, 2002
    Posts: 2,890

    from Buffalo NY

    I hate to add that I sold those wheels and bought chrome steelies...
  23. Retro Jim
    Joined: May 27, 2007
    Posts: 3,859

    Retro Jim

    If you don't like the chrome , then why not get them powder coated .
    They will look real good and will hold up a lot better that paint !
    Just my 2 cents !

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