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Bright "Chrome" spray paint.

Old 08-12-19, 10:45 PM
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Bright "Chrome" spray paint.

High folks,

I recently acquired a vintage English touring frame with a weathered finished. It has chrome or nickel plated socks all around. The seat and chain stays polished up to a decent finish, but the fork blades are not salvageable. Since this is going to be a regular rider, I’m wondering if the “Bright Chrome” spray paint would work on the forks.


Thanks in advance.


Van
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Old 08-12-19, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Senior Ryder 00 View Post
High folks,

I recently acquired a vintage English touring frame with a weathered finished. It has chrome or nickel plated socks all around. The seat and chain stays polished up to a decent finish, but the fork blades are not salvageable. Since this is going to be a regular rider, I’m wondering if the “Bright Chrome” spray paint would work on the forks.


Thanks in advance.


Van
The grail of spray painting... Have tried multiple brands "in store" never good enough to buy a can.
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Old 08-12-19, 10:51 PM
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I think I bought some chrome or brass paint a while ago to spray some interior house duct registers. It has been a while, but I think it worked reasonably well. But, that isn't necessarily the same as chrome tips on a bike which will get weather, and wear.
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Old 08-13-19, 09:04 AM
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Although there are many 'chrome' spray paints out there, non will give you the same effect.

Believe me, the whole painting and powder coating industry is working hard to find some solution... Since Chromating (the real process) is heavy on environment and they start to be very strict on these. I know because we had to close our chroming department in the factory because of it… (I work as a designer in furniture)

So everyone would like to see a 'paint' version... at this point you will only be disappointed.

Probably you will spray with very high gloss, but after drying and short time it will turn into more like a silver / aluminium look than chrome.



sorry, but better to say it like this than to be disappointed because of 'bad' paintjob
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Old 08-13-19, 09:33 AM
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I never found a spray that looked right. It ends up looking poorly painted. If it's really as bad as you say just sand, primer and paint. Fortunately the forks can be painted a contrasting color if a good match can't be made.
All that said, chrome can often look rusty but be saved with copious amounts of rubbing with a rubbing compound or WD40 and very fine steel wool.
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Old 08-13-19, 10:03 AM
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Like everyone else has said above. That 'CHROME' paint is very deceiving. The cap sure does not match the result.
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Old 08-13-19, 10:48 AM
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i recently came across a chrome paint on youtube. they were demo'ing a brush on application with a motorcycle fuel tank. and, actually it looked really good. it began with an "A". i'll have to run a quick search and post back
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Old 08-13-19, 11:03 AM
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alsa is the brand....


i don't think it's cheap like a rattle can paint, but likely cheaper than chrome and more enviro friendly
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Old 08-13-19, 11:21 AM
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-----

Member @non-fixie has commented about how some low countries cycle manufacturers do a simulated chrome finish on taper tubes as an economy measure.

He may wish to comment here. Has some example images...


-----
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Old 08-13-19, 12:12 PM
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Sample images. Yes sir! Immediately sir!

In Belgium it was not uncommon to use silver paint instead of chrome. For cost reasons, I presume. Definitely in the case of this Flandria-built Jan Janssen Prestige. Flandria was the first to supply former world champion and TdF winner Jan Janssen with bikes to brand for his new bike business in the seventies after ending his cycling career. For obvious reasons: Flandria had been Janssen's sponsor and the bikes were quite affordable. However, the bikes did not meet the expected quality levels, and Janssen ended the contract with Flandria rather quickly. It's easy to see why:



Not much "prestige" here ....



Silver paint was also often used by sellers of second-hand bikes in Belgium to "jazz up the chrome" a bit. Not very successfully, mind you:



However - and this is where it gets interesting - some efforts were quite successful. IMO at least. I bought this Toortelboom frame a while back, and only when I got home I discovered that the "socks" were painted and not chromed. While that may also be an indication of my perceptive abilities, I was quite impressed. And still am.





My take on this is that, if it is done well, it is definitely an improvement. FWIW.

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Old 08-13-19, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by thook View Post
alsa is the brand....

i don't think it's cheap like a rattle can paint, but likely cheaper than chrome and more enviro friendly
$140 for 2 ounces!
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Old 08-13-19, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by clubman View Post
$140 for 2 ounces!
whoa! it's been a few months since i'd researched chrome paint for a tange fork i have and i didn't recall it being that much. it's very possible i was lumping my memory with other brands on cost. dang! i don't think chroming for something as small as a fork is even that much.

oh well. it's an option, i guess...lol
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Old 08-13-19, 01:59 PM
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double sharts!! yeah, i just did a little googling on chroming services pricing. atleast one place is $80 for a bicycle fork. that's not too bad, i suppose. obviously cheaper than the alsa paint.

pretty sure there's a chroming business in my area. i'll have to check their pricing. i really want to redo my tange fork as i'd had canti bosses brazed on by a local frame builder. he'd taken the fork to have it dechromed before doing the deed.

lessee....$25 for the fork, $75 for the bosses, another $80 maybe to have it rechromed. shoot me now...haha. may need to lower my standards and settle for the best chrome paint i can afford. **** stix brand is supposed to be pretty good < than alsa.

has anyone here tried the **** stix? the months ago i researched, i recall that...if done a certain...brought satisfactory/though not perfect results
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Old 08-13-19, 05:38 PM
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has anyone tried silver or whatever passes for chrome paint with a gloss clear topcoat applied? like several coats of clear gloss?
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Old 08-13-19, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by cocoabeachcrab View Post
has anyone tried silver or whatever passes for chrome paint with a gloss clear topcoat applied? like several coats of clear gloss?
I've tried a couple different "chrome" paints and have attempted to cover them with clear of various types. The chrome goes on as a bright pewter color (not too bad looking, but nowhere near a polished chrome look) and and gets duller the more you try to finish or handle it.

Meh, grey is grey. A nice glossy clear over metallic silver looks better. Don't waste your time or $ on any spray product that pretends to be chrome.
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Old 08-13-19, 10:13 PM
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Hi all,

Thanks for the feedback. I think I'll just paint everything except the rear stays the same color and then add highlights in colors from the head badge. Then put on repo decals and clearcoat the frame and forks. Normally I powder coat my regular riders, don't want to cover up the rear stays on this one.

Cheers,

Van
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Old 08-14-19, 04:16 AM
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That "CHROME" spray paint, where the CAP on the rattle can looks like it might be chrome like WILL NOT DELIVER ANYTHING LIKE A CHROME APPEARANCE!! You will get a finish which looks like the bottom of a Coca-Cola can. You get a bright aluminum looking finish. It can be a nice color for certain applications but it will not look anything like Chrome, but what you do get is the best that you can hope for from paint. You won't get anything closer to a chrome look if you clear over it. All you will get with an application of clear over it would be just exactly what you'd get by an application of clear over the bottom of a Coca-Cola can. You'll get a more shiney, bright aluminum finish and that is about all you'll get.
NONE OF THE EXPENSIVE "chrome" RATTLE CAN paints are any better than the $5 rattle can (spray paint can) that Wal-Mart sells.
You just cannot get anything that looks like true chrome from a paint!
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Old 08-14-19, 04:52 AM
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Getting parts re-chromed can be expensive.
The process of Chrome Plating is a very toxic process (the chemicals and what has to be done...). Most states and municipalities have toughened their laws such that is extremely difficult for a Chrome Plating business to remain an ongoing concern. Essentially no area wants such a business operation that likely will have posible contamination to the soil and groundwater at the business' plant site. The huge acid dip vats that are needed to prepare the parts before the plating process are extremely messy and highly toxic. The plating process is not exactly a clean proceedure either. To get good quality chrome plating, it takes several processes.
It is becoming more difficult to find good Chrome Plating businesses, just ask anyone with an old car from the 1940's to the early 1970's or folks wanting to re-chrome vintage MacGregor Tourney and Wilson Staff Dynapower irons. Google: Nu-Chrome of Fall River, MA, USA, a once upon a time , a large repected Chrome Plating business that did huge business among auto restorers and everyone else through the end of the 20th Century. They are long gone now. Most former Plating businesses faced legal challenges as municipalities realized that decades of operation usually also had the byproduct of creating a superfund site that would require a mammoth amount of a clean-up attempt. My guess is much of the chrome plating that you see on industry stuff today is done outside of the USA in countries where there are no enviromental regulations.
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Old 08-14-19, 05:19 AM
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I'm also thinking that the chroming process will bugger up the paint so you are looking at a full resto anyway. What I have done before is to start buffing what chrome is there until all rust is gone and the surface is smooth. Its a long process, but it will pay off if you are diligent. Sit on the couch, cover your lap with a cheap Harbor Fright moving blanket, and get to work. Start with 600 grit and work your way up to 2000. After that, the buffing wheel, or buy one for a hand drill. It will eventually shine like chrome, but you'll have to protect it by either keeping is waxed with Renaissance Wax, or bowling alley wax, or simply spray some glossy clear acrylic over it. Tedious. Time-consuming. Doable.

ETA: I also wanted to say that Caswell offers DIY nickel plating kits that will provide a reasonably chrome-like shine. Not cheap though, and you'll have to deal with the chemicals on your own.
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Old 08-14-19, 05:38 AM
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or maybe you could go really janky -- with a smooth, cleaned surface, apply panels of plastic film "foil" tape, which seems to have enough stretchiness to handle some compound curves. Fun idea, right? Looks like chrome but then again how long would it stay in place?
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Old 08-14-19, 07:08 AM
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I wonder if you could hydro-dip chrome?
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Old 08-14-19, 08:14 AM
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Anyone ever try "Almost Chrome" paint? Eastwood's other stuff is usually pretty good. I have no idea myself.

ALMOST CHROME
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Old 08-14-19, 08:32 AM
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doesn't get good reviews....
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Old 08-14-19, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by NoControl View Post
I'm also thinking that the chroming process will bugger up the paint so you are looking at a full resto anyway. What I have done before is to start buffing what chrome is there until all rust is gone and the surface is smooth. Its a long process, but it will pay off if you are diligent. Sit on the couch, cover your lap with a cheap Harbor Fright moving blanket, and get to work. Start with 600 grit and work your way up to 2000. After that, the buffing wheel, or buy one for a hand drill. It will eventually shine like chrome, but you'll have to protect it by either keeping is waxed with Renaissance Wax, or bowling alley wax, or simply spray some glossy clear acrylic over it. Tedious. Time-consuming. Doable.

ETA: I also wanted to say that Caswell offers DIY nickel plating kits that will provide a reasonably chrome-like shine. Not cheap though, and you'll have to deal with the chemicals on your own.
If the chrome is pitted through down to steel, causing rust, how does buffing create a smooth surface? Pits are still there. Diligence has nothing to do with it, unless you remove the chrome layer. Then you have bare steel. Photos of process (please), or...
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Old 08-14-19, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Last ride 76 View Post
If the chrome is pitted through down to steel, causing rust, how does buffing create a smooth surface? Pits are still there. Diligence has nothing to do with it, unless you remove the chrome layer. Then you have bare steel. Photos of process (please), or...
You will be removing the chrome layer and polishing the steel to a mirror finish.
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