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Hot Rods Painting chrome??

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Greg Rogers, May 25, 2022.

  1. Greg Rogers
    Joined: Oct 11, 2016
    Posts: 677

    Greg Rogers

    I have a 56 F100 I am painting. Old grille looked Ok when truck looked old- dare I say patina??? Anyway now it will really look like shit with new paint. These truck came with either a painted (sort of a ivory color) or chrome grill. Mine was chrome but now it mostly rusty looking. Anyone had good luck painting over chrome? How did you do it? Thanks Greg. IMG_3446.JPG

    Attached Files:

  2. Your best bet is having whats left of the chrome stripped otherwise you will have trouble getting paint to stick. I have tried sand blasting chrome plated parts and still had paint flake off easily.
    hrm2k likes this.
  3. There is a product called XIM primer, it comes in clear & white and it is a bonding primer made for ferrous and non-ferrous materials, this stuff does a excellent job and your finish will not peel. HRP

    download (1).jpeg
    Last edited: May 25, 2022
  4. cabong
    Joined: Nov 29, 2005
    Posts: 816


    A good friend, who is a production car painter by trade, has a side business doing "paint chrome"..... Before you laugh and snort, let me say this.... The product he puts out looks better than chrome. It is lighter in shade, without the "blue look".... It is much, much, less costly that chrome...
    hrm2k likes this.

  5. Sand the hell out of it. Then put some epoxy primer on it, just a coat will do. Next day scuff it, and if it has imperfections you want to fill, do that, and put some urethane primer over it, water sand it with anything from 320-500 depending on what paint you're gonna use, and shoot that thing! I've sanded quite a few of them with 180-220, put 2 coats of bulldog adhesion promoter on them, and then primed them. After a couple of years the bugs will beat the paint off, but that's just part of it. Still cheaper that getting it rechromed
    unfinished and 427 sleeper like this.
  6. overspray
    Joined: Jan 14, 2003
    Posts: 1,419


    Self etching primer will stick (and etch into the chrome and rust). You can put 2K urethane over the etch if you need some fill (wet on wet-usually after 30 minutes up to 72 hours--check the tech sheet for the product.).

    I do want to try the simulated chrome paint.
    indyjps and Ralphies54 like this.
  7. 55blacktie
    Joined: Aug 21, 2020
    Posts: 789


    I had chrome Traction Master under-ride traction bars powder-coat 20% gloss black. The bars turned out very well, but the brackets aren't as nice. However, paint is intact. If you have a chrome shop within a reasonable driving distance, I would get a quote for having the chrome removed. I would then have the grill powder-coated.

    Considering you just had your truck painted (assuming Earl Scheib, Maaco, or Miracle didn't paint it), do it right. If the condition of the grill is questionable, find a better one (you'll be glad you did).
  8. Greg Rogers
    Joined: Oct 11, 2016
    Posts: 677

    Greg Rogers

    Thank guys, I'm gonna try it I guess. I want to fill the old V-8 emblem holes. (Not a V-8 anymore) Can I mig weld them closed? I mean on the chrome?
  9. Yes you can
  10. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 53,352


    The truck would look so much better if you just spent the bucks and time and got the grill rechromed....
  11. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 27,330

    Staff Member

  12. mustangsix
    Joined: Mar 7, 2005
    Posts: 1,347


    We've been playing with vinyl wrap material on some of the MG's in the shop. The chrome wrap might be a good alternative. The trick is to make sure the surface is smooth and clean.

    Powder coating is another option.
  13. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 10,290

    Bandit Billy

    MAACO seems to have perfected a paint process that adheres to chrome, and tires, and glass, and exhaust pipes...
  14. F-head
    Joined: Oct 20, 2007
    Posts: 1,045


    Someone would be glad to have that beautiful old chrome grill
    Mabee you could trade with someone who has a painted one
    46international likes this.
  15. Flathead Dave
    Joined: Mar 21, 2014
    Posts: 3,876

    Flathead Dave
    from So. Cal.

    That's why it's called, "OH.OH. Better Call MAACO"
    Bandit Billy likes this.
  16. Earl Schieb perfected it WAY before Maaco did! He even figured out how to paint insects.
    Bandit Billy, Ralphies54 and reagen like this.
  17. Greg Rogers
    Joined: Oct 11, 2016
    Posts: 677

    Greg Rogers

    This grille is much worse than it looks in these digital pics, no one would want to use it as is, unless someone wanted the dreaded rat or patina look.. Anyway this is a budget build $500-600 for repop grille is out of the question. These trucks came with either off white painted or chrome grilles. I failed to mention in the opening post that I am thinking of painting it off white. I am going to try it. If it doesn't work I'll just keep looking for a better used grille. It's going back together this year and next year I plan to get it completely painted. I have been taking it apart every winter for the last 3-4 years, then driving during the summer.
  18. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 3,322


    It can't cost that much to just have it sandblasted before painting it. The only thing I know for sure is that everytime I try a short cut it takes me longer and I pay for it later on. Do it it once. Maybe just find another grille thats painted and resell yours.
  19. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 5,349


    DA / hand sand, and epoxy.

    If you want powder coat, make sure you talk to coater first, any body filler needs to compatible for heat, or you need to metal finish any repairs.

    If you want silver or "shiny-ish" rest of chrome on the truck - all could be painted or powderd for consistent look.

    Or, do the grill white / black / body color
  20. Ralphies54
    Joined: Dec 18, 2009
    Posts: 770


    Check out my avatar, Etch primer and paint after sanding with 220. Zero problems, and it looked exactly like yours when I started.
    indyjps likes this.
  21. Fortunateson
    Joined: Apr 30, 2012
    Posts: 4,992


    I’d try reverse electrolysis first to get all the rust off first and then go from there.
  22. Gearhead Graphics
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 3,891

    Gearhead Graphics
    from Denver Co

    I've done many motorcycle parts for customers and not heard a bad word yet. DA the hell out of it with 220, get all the visible rust gone. etch prime, epoxy prime, sand and paint.

    But really, It'd look best with fresh chrome
  23. Greg Rogers
    Joined: Oct 11, 2016
    Posts: 677

    Greg Rogers

    Thanks guys, I DA'ed it and welded up the V8 emblem holes. Primed it and going to sand the primer and see how good it adhered. If good I and going to get a can of spray bomb off white and paint it. I haven't been to a swap meet in SO long, but I may find a better grille in the future. For now I'm gonna put it on.
  24. Greg Rogers
    Joined: Oct 11, 2016
    Posts: 677

    Greg Rogers

    Well I da'd it and roughed it up. Just used regular old Rust oleum primer and the white paint. It's a cobble job but looks OK we'll see how long it will last, as I said I'll keep looking for a better one at swap meets,etc. IMG_3451.JPG IMG_3451.JPG IMG_3454.JPG
    vtx1800, old chevy, rbrewer and 2 others like this.

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