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Technical Painting bumpers

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by birdman1, Feb 27, 2020.

  1. I did it years ago, by etch primer first, primer, then topcote. It hung on well for many years.
  2. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 6,859


    Have them nickle plated. Much cheaper than chrome.
    osut362 likes this.
  3. oldiron 440
    Joined: Dec 12, 2018
    Posts: 1,508

    oldiron 440

    I have an off topic Plymouth drag car that has fiberglass bumpers, I'm planning on doing a chrome vinyl wrap on them. They probably won't be perfect but I'm tired of the paint.
    ffr1222k likes this.
  4. Clik
    Joined: Jul 1, 2009
    Posts: 1,842


    Have you seen alsa EZ Chrome?
    DIYGUY and Ned Ludd like this.
  5. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 5,018

    from Oregon

  6. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 5,018

    from Oregon

    I like it :)
    33Doll likes this.
  7. clem
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,926


    I guess that the comment about lack of finance and him not being a fan of painted bumpers, suggests to others on here that he may be open to other options that he’s not aware of. - ( I think that’s why they call it ‘reading between the lines ‘).
    After all that’s why a lot of people come to this site as they lack the experience and expertise that others like yourself have.
    We don’t always know all the options, and others with similar questions may also benefit from the given answers.
    After all, are we not here to help each other ?

    (and fwiw, I noticed that you were also quite vocal on giving comments not relevant to the original question).

    Perhaps if the OP had posted a few photos he may also have got better responses.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2020
  8. Spectra Chrome? So I knew of a shop that was “spraying Chrome” and honestly it didn’t look bad..very similar to what I’m seeing didn’t have the depth and clarity of real chrome...but it shined up pretty good...I would almost call it Chinese chrome. It was a interesting process...they spray the part black, denib it and sand it to 3000 grade and than spray a “silvering material” over that, spray it with de ionized water, and blow it off, tack it, and than used an automotive urethane clear coat over it. I had some pot metal parts done and they were totally acceptable..bumpers...rear might be ok...fronts will look good, but the longevity is questionable, due to rock chips...small parts go for it..I will say though it wasn’t exactly cheap..I’d say it was about 30% less than chrome when I looked into it..
    Joined: Sep 8, 2015
    Posts: 888

    from West, TX

    I am impressed by the easy chrome. Kind of pricey though.
  10. Tri-power37
    Joined: Feb 10, 2019
    Posts: 510


    The Alsa mirrachrome that I previously mentioned using looked a lot like the product that was being brushed on the motorcycle gas tank in the video on this thread. I remember it had to be applied over a near perfect black surface (cured and unprepped). Just like the video.
    Being a painter by trade - spraying topcoat over a unprepped surface is a cardinal sin but that was the directions.
    It looked exactly like chrome and it went on super thin. The only problem is to have any durability so it has to be cleared - and that’s when it looses some of its chrome lustre.
    But the pictures of it on my Cadillac are recent and it’s over 20 years old - it definitely isn’t as nice as chrome but it’s much cheaper and easily applied.
  11. Skookum! Those Cadillacs look especially good with the coupe body. Slightly sinister. :eek:
  12. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,673

    jimmy six

    That’s painted.... with what?
    DIYGUY likes this.
  13. JackdaRabbit
    Joined: Jul 15, 2008
    Posts: 493

    from WNC

    There's some chrome-like powder coat these days that Im considering for an OT project's bumpers. Maybe more polished aluminum than true chrome look but Im OK with that for this project.
  14. The Shift Wizard
    Joined: Jan 10, 2017
    Posts: 2,001

    The Shift Wizard

    I painted a bumper once back in the '70s. the original chrome was in good shape but I sent it out to have the chrome removed back to bare steel. It wasn't a wide, flat, '50s, Detroit type bumper, though. It had a more pointy, Dagmar profile and only 3" wide. The car was one of those Japanise sporty coupes that were starting to invade our shores in those times. This was back when Pontiac began to offer the Firebird and GTO bumpers in matching body color and you could just tell that was going to be the next big deal.
    Anyway, back on point. I was painting the car in a metallic lacquer and I mixed a small quantity with my own witches' brew for the bumpers. I had recently coated a garage floor with one of those color chip kits and I had some of the clear, plastic topcoat left over. I wanted bumper paint that wouldn't stone chip, so being young and dumb and full of c*m, I shot the mix on the bumpers and crossed my fingers. The next day the 'paint' was dry but soft. I could press my fingerprints into it and watch it slowly smooth back out. I had one more ace in the hole to try before I stripped the bumpers back down to start over. At my workplace, we had some infrared heat chambers. I left the bumpers in there overnight and the next day the coating was tough as ceramic and shiny smooth. It was pure dumb luck that my secret formula, "flex agent" worked out.
    I'm older and much smarter now, which is why nothing I do will work out the first time anymore. :eek: :confused: :p
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2020
    clem, williebill and Moondog13 like this.
  15. How bad pitted are they? lets see em.

    Sand blast em or scuff the hell out of 'em with rough paper. Wipe 'em with vinegar and hit 'em with (zinc chromate) self etching primer. then paint.

    We used to just rub aluminum paint (chrome paint LOL) in the pits. That is why I said lets see 'em.
  16. 41 GMC K-18
    Joined: Jun 27, 2019
    Posts: 1,101

    41 GMC K-18

    This is an interesting thread no doubt. Sometimes a painted bumper is appealing to the eye and sometimes it isn't. Its entirely up to the owner and the owners pocket book! Saw this car at FAMOSO a few years back.
    blue buick nose painted bumper.jpg
    scotty t, Tri-power37 and TA DAD like this.
  17. abe lugo
    Joined: Nov 8, 2002
    Posts: 2,236

    abe lugo

    If you want chrome bumpers. slowly save up and get them chromed or find some usable cores that can be cleaned up. There are lot of good suggestions, some of them require you to put some elbow grease into the equation.

    I would recommend joining the T-Bird club and see if there is anyone that can help out.
    A quick search on ebay shows a core for 175 and rechromed for 375 for the rear. You probabaly get better deals through member of a club.

    I ended up biting the bullet and paying up for my '41 Cadillac Bumpers to be rechromed. You should call around to see what the range is in your area. I got a quote through emails with photos and it seems to be working out.

    You should also post some pics, this thread sucks without pics.

    I tried to send you a PM but here goes, maybe this guy can help?

    Another thing to think about is that those T-Birds top out at about 27K all day, so if you spend too much on chrome, well I guess just enjoy an nice looking bumper.

    I would say it may be time to look at customizing it.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2020
  18. X2 i wonder how much powder coating is vs chrome. Don't let the perfect become the enemy of the good. Main question is : will you be driving the car this summer? Bumpers be damned!
  19. The Shift Wizard
    Joined: Jan 10, 2017
    Posts: 2,001

    The Shift Wizard

    Just one more opinion for the pile. :p
    Color matching bumpers to the body seems to be more appealing when the paint color in question is metallic. I think it's the way the light reflects into the eyes and checks off most of the boxes more similarly to chrome.
    Non-metallic paint has a little tougher job pulling that off. Seems like? ......maybe? :confused:
  20. chopolds
    Joined: Oct 22, 2001
    Posts: 5,778

    from howell, nj
    1. Kustom Painters

    Check with Tri City plating, in TN. They only do bumpers, and are very reasonably priced. And T Bird ones are pretty small.
  21. That’s what I was thinking...not like a Caddy, Buick, or Olds...
  22. pigIRON63
    Joined: Nov 25, 2019
    Posts: 79


    Yes Tri Cities does great work, reasonable prices. I've talked to a few folks who drive right past other shops to take their stuff to Tri Cities. I live about two miles away from there. It's an acre of chrome bumpers right in the middle of my town. No joke!

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