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Hot Rods Chrome Painting??

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by moparjack44, Jul 28, 2021.

  1. moparjack44
    Joined: Nov 8, 2005
    Posts: 500


    Has anyone tried or seen any Spectra Chrome painting on car parts? I need to chrome my 48 DeSoto grill. and plating prices are over my pay scale.
    Deuces and Big mike 1968 like this.
  2. Nothing looks like chrome but chrome... Every 'faux' chrome I've ever seen looks far better in pics than it does in person, and the better it looks the less durable it is.
  3. 34Phil
    Joined: Sep 12, 2016
    Posts: 311


  4. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 4,436

    dana barlow
    from Miami Fla.
    1. Y-blocks

    There is new paints now that look OK for a short time. But cost is high for them,so your blowing close to 1/2 what chrome cost anyway.
    I'm low buck,always have been,so I cheat by ether polishing an clear over,or use Chrome tape< now some pretty good chrome tape is around. Used for kick panels ect.
    That stuff put on smooth can look just like chrome an last a far amount of time aswell. My shocks and tie rods are chrome { taped },and never in the last 10 years has anyone even ask"Are they just taped?" Total pass as chrome. I think a grill could be done this way. Just ideas for you !
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2021

  5. joel
    Joined: Oct 10, 2009
    Posts: 1,963


    When I get back home I'll post some pics of my garnish moldings.
    Deuces and Big mike 1968 like this.
  6. L. Eckart
    Joined: Jul 8, 2005
    Posts: 448

    L. Eckart

    I had some small parts spray chromed by a professional shop and it only lasted about a year before some pealing began at the edges. Cost 5 yrs ago was $100/sq ft so not cheap. I think the key is a controlled environment. I wont do it again. Chrome plating is pricey but lasts a long time if cared for. Just my $.02
    Big mike 1968 and moparjack44 like this.
  7. moparjack44
    Joined: Nov 8, 2005
    Posts: 500


    Sounds like me. I rather have real chrome, but the estimate from Advance Plating is $6000-$10000.00. Hell, I just can't see it, or afford it. If you Google it, you can see how big the grill is, 48 DeSoto.
    dana barlow likes this.
  8. I would suggest using search, this has been covered several times, same range of responses each time.
    In short, too tender and doesn't last. (doesn't stay like when it's fresh)
    Tman likes this.
  9. dreracecar
    Joined: Aug 27, 2009
    Posts: 3,189

    from so-cal

  10. It's probably die-cast which runs the price way up...

    I have experimented with some of these faux 'chromes', and the very best looks like polished aluminum that needs that last step to get a mirror finish. But these scratch if you look at it wrong without a clearcoat and after clearcoating it's even duller-looking. This is true for both paint and powdercoat. One HAMBer tried the paint on his interior garnish moldings and it didn't survive installation.

    The stainless-steel 'chrome' tape is as close as you'll get with any durability but it doesn't apply on compound curves worth a damn, and it's not that cheap.

    If the chrome is totally FUBAR, you're probably out of luck. But you might try some serious elbow grease with chrome polish and a small buffing wheel to get it as good as you can then use paint selectively to hide the worst areas.
    Big mike 1968 likes this.
  11. 5window
    Joined: Jan 29, 2005
    Posts: 8,300


    Advanced produces nice looking stuff,but have you gotten other estimates? Paul's and Librandi's are East Coast platers who produce some nice looking work. They and others advertise in Hemming's.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2021
  12. primed34
    Joined: Feb 3, 2007
    Posts: 1,195


    Advanced isn't the only good chrome shop around. Do some shopping. There is also some good looking chrome coating available now.
    Big mike 1968 likes this.
  13. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 6,977

    from Oregon

    Went through the same concerns when I was contemplating chroming my grille on my '39 Chevy coupe. I am a tightwad, so to start with a good grille was crazy expensive. Around $1500-$2000, which I wasn't going to spend. I found 3 damaged grille halves, and used one of them to cut bars out of, and tig weld into the other two to make up one good grille.
    I looked at some Duplicolor chrome paint a friend had used on some suspension parts, and I tried it on some suspension parts too, but it wasn't durable at all. And any oil that got one it turned the paint to goo, and it was ruined. Had to repaint the suspension parts, so eliminated that idea.
    In the end I went with Duplicolor mag wheel paint, and chose a graphite metallic that isn't even close to chrome. I figured why try to make it look chrome, when everyone will see it's painted. So just chose a color I liked and painted it. I kinda like the contrast of the dark graphite color myself.

  14. CME1
    Joined: Aug 10, 2010
    Posts: 195


    I tried some spray can chrome on an F1 pickup grille. It looked good for a very short time. It then turned to look like aluminium. It still looked O.K. but it wasn't chrome!
  15. moparjack44
    Joined: Nov 8, 2005
    Posts: 500


    Do you have contact info on Librandis and Pauls
  16. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 15,254


    They're not common, so they're not going to come available often, but I'd hound eBay for a while and see if you couldn't buy some good-enough used ones before I'd spend the money to have them painted. I'd rather have OK used chrome than painted stuff. I'm sure there are some applications where the Alsa/Spectra stuff would work well (maybe interior bits?) but a grille is going to take a pounding and need constant cleaning.
  17. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 7,275


    Nickel plate it.
  18. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 6,998


    Who is the HAMBr overseas that does chrome? He had a long running thread for awhile. It might be a cost effective solution for something like this?
  19. Don't expect a big price reduction with them. Die-cast is the worst to restore/rechrome because almost every corrosion pit in the surface has to be cleaned out to good metal, then filled with solder before plating. After soldering the part has to be sanded back to the original contours. Failure to do this will result in any pits not fully addressed 'popping' back out during the plating process, leaving a 'blister' in it's place which looks worse than the pit. There's a ton of hand work involved which is what makes it so expensive.

    I wish I could be more encouraging, but restoring large die-cast bits, particularly intricate parts like your DeSoto grill is a labor-intensive process that's never been cheap. Steel parts are a walk in the park in comparison.
    olscrounger and Tman like this.
  20. texasred
    Joined: Dec 3, 2008
    Posts: 1,113

    from Houston

    Don't know if it is BS or not, have heard of a plating shop in Mexico outside of El Paso that does good work cheaper than anyone in the states maybe some guys from that area will chime in
  21. 56MercMan
    Joined: May 22, 2008
    Posts: 114


    I have not had it done personally but I know a lot of people around here head south for their plating needs. When it comes time for me I may try it myself. I have a friend who lived down in Mexico for many years raising his family. I will bring him with me so I am not the out of town extremely white guy and will hopefully get a local price by having him handle it... Ha
    Roothawg likes this.
  22. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 7,890

    from Nicasio Ca

    Looks good. My Bantam grill is part of the body, no chroming that. It's just body color, another option.

    Only picture I got at the moment.

    dana barlow, BigRRR and Desoto291Hemi like this.
  23. chris bozic
    Joined: Oct 31, 2010
    Posts: 21

    chris bozic
    from Pittsburgh just north of Pittsburgh. I dropped off a windshield frame and hood ornament last week for chroming. Kind of expensive but I expected that and they do very good work from what I have seen and heard. 8 weeks delivery right now.
  24. moparjack44
    Joined: Nov 8, 2005
    Posts: 500


    Trust me, have been seriously considering paint, but the grill on a 48 DeSoto is 90% of the front of the car.
  25. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 9,737

    jimmy six

    Personally I don’t like painted grilles and bumpers especially on a high dollar 50-60’s car but I understand your dollar concern. I like the idea of some of the duplicolor wheel paints and have used them and that may be for your grille if you chrome the front and rear bumpers only. If there’s pitting sand, fill, and prime do it will look good smooth and shiney. Good luck.
  26. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,604

    Rusty O'Toole

    You can do your own chrome plating at home. Most of the cost is polishing, a lot of hand work. One alternative would be to work with the chrome shop, give them the parts already prepped and polished if they give you a discount, this should save half or more.
    For small items you can get the equipment and supplies fro Caswell to do plating at home.
    hotrodjack33 and Cosmo49 like this.
  27. moparjack44
    Joined: Nov 8, 2005
    Posts: 500


    I don't have high dollar 50 or 60s car. I have a driveable 48 Hot Rod. Painted roll pan rear, painted front bumper, that is why I want to chrome plate my grill.
    Anyone heard of or know anyone that has used Wayne's Parts & Chrome Plating in Fredericksburg VA. He talks a good game. Only 3 hour ride, so I am taking my grill to him next week and take a look around and get an estimate.
    jimmy six likes this.
  28. 5window
    Joined: Jan 29, 2005
    Posts: 8,300


  29. Los_Control
    Joined: Oct 7, 2016
    Posts: 753

    from TX

    In my avatar you can see there is some chrome lights on the top of the cab.
    I have tried to use chrome paint on some plastic hubcaps.
    Different types of chrome paint just failed in different piles of poo.

    I actually painted my cab lights and hub caps with a quality silver paint. Looks more authentic to chrome then the phony chrome paint. And will last longer.
  30. moparjack44
    Joined: Nov 8, 2005
    Posts: 500


    Made a decision. Found someone about 3 hours North of me. Went there to check out there work, looked great. Left my grill, about 12 week turn around. Nice guy, showed me around, answered all my stupid questions, price not cheap, but in line. Waynes Chroming, Fredericksburg VA. 1 540 371-1596.
    Will let everyone know as soon as it gets back, and send pictures.
    Squablow likes this.

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