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Chrome Paint Pen -- I think this may work!

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Chrome Paint Pen -- I think this may work!

Old 03-21-23, 11:01 AM
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Chrome Paint Pen -- I think this may work!

I've seen this topic pop up a few times on this forum. I can't remember anyone actually being happy with the results, but I decided to try it anyway. I've got a bike with a blemish in the chrome on the fork crown. An attempt to polish it out left a smooth, but ugly spot. The bike needs repainting, and I've been debating whether to leave the ugly fork crown bare (as a tribute to the bike's history), paint it over, or have it re-chromed. There's something to be said for each of these approaches. Having it re-chromed is what I really wanted, but I'm going to try a home paint job on this bike for now, so I thought, why not try a home chrome repair too? So, I shelled out $11 for a generic chrome paint pen from Amazon.

Here's the before pic, showing the damaged area.



My first attempt with the paint pen was to just slap a bunch on there and see how it went. I did this last night, and I went to bed thinking I'd have to clean it off and start over.



But when I woke up this morning, I found that the paint had smoothed itself quite a bit in the drying process. Here it is with no additional work whatsoever since the above picture.



In person, it looks even better than that. I don't see the tiny dots that are all over the crown in this picture. Notice that the brake also shows a few such spots in the picture. In fact, looking down at it from a normal standing position, I think it looks just as good as the other side. I'll give it a few days to cure and then maybe try to polish it a bit. I may even start over to get rid of that edge where I didn't cover the crown entirely. But right now I'm very happy with the results. It's no substitute for new chrome, but as a cheap fix this doesn't look half bad.

I've got another bike with flaking chrome on the chainstays. Expect an update on that some time this summer.
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Old 03-21-23, 11:05 AM
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That looks amazing. Thanks for sharing, I think I'm going to have to give that a try!
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Old 03-21-23, 11:16 AM
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Damn! That actually works.

I guess my only question beyond wondering how in the hell it does work is: what's the longevity forecast?

DD
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Old 03-21-23, 11:18 AM
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Looks great! Can you share the link to this pen?
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Old 03-21-23, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee
Looks great! Can you share the link to this pen?
This is the one I got: https://www.amazon.com/ZEYAR-surface.../dp/B0B212M89Z

And I was wrong, it wasn't $11, it was $8.19.
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Old 03-21-23, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Drillium Dude
Damn! That actually works.

I guess my only question beyond wondering how in the hell it does work is: what's the longevity forecast?

DD
The seller says, "The ink is specially designed and durable, it works great on bicycle or car." I mean, it's designed AND durable, how can you argue with that?

We'll see, I guess.
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Old 03-21-23, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by RobertUI
That looks amazing. Thanks for sharing, I think I'm going to have to give that a try!


Honestly, I would have bet against it, but it was cheap enough to buy just to satisfy my curiosity. Somewhere in the reviews I read that you need to be starting with a very smooth surface to get results that look like chrome. I was starting with a very smooth surface, so I took that as encouraging.

As a point of comparison, a couple of years ago I tried Rust-Oleum's chrome spray paint on the rails of an old saddle, which weren't so smooth. It looks OK, but nothing like chrome.



That's kind of what I was expecting with the chrome paint pen. It's nice to be surprised sometimes.
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Old 03-21-23, 11:42 AM
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And how many pens would it take to do an entire bike? I'm thinking that [MENTION=133054]AdventureManCO[/MENTION] might want to consider this option for his Huffy project.
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Old 03-21-23, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K
This is the one I got: https://www.amazon.com/ZEYAR-surface.../dp/B0B212M89Z

And I was wrong, it wasn't $11, it was $8.19.
I'd imagine, at the very least, there are bikes out there with troubled chrome in some less-visible areas (thinking back of the BB shell where the chain stays attach) where this might be a good fix.
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Old 03-21-23, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner
And how many pens would it take to do an entire bike? I'm thinking that [MENTION=133054]AdventureManCO[/MENTION] might want to consider this option for his Huffy project.
Show me the Campagnolo chrome pen and we’ll get to work.



IP - very good results, thank you for sharing!
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Old 03-21-23, 12:40 PM
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I would guess you have little air bubbles throughout the volume of the newly-applied paint. These come to the surface over time as the paint dries.

Sometimes, if you hit the freshly-applied paint with a little heat from a heat gun or blow drier, the bubbles come to the surface immediately and then pop, allowing the paint to self-level while it is still wet.
The warm paint also flows and levels more evenly.
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Old 03-21-23, 12:44 PM
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thanks for sharing this. I've wondered whether those pens were worth a try. Now I'm going to.
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Old 03-21-23, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by AdventureManCO
Show me the Campagnolo chrome pen and we’ll get to work.
I'm sure we'll be told the Japanese pens work better.
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Old 03-21-23, 12:59 PM
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Interesting option and THANKS for the PSA, Andy_K !
I will have to give this a try, maybe I'll have some testimonials to share, too. We'll see...

EDIT: reading the Q&A FAQs the seller says the ink is "made in Italy" tho the marker's tips are Japan, not any info (MSDS) as to what the composition of the ink is except it's both "water based" but also "waterproof", my guess is possibly acrylic. Seller says alcohol will take it out of fabrics.
I wonder how a top-coat of gloss clear affects the shine (and if that improves the durability).

Last edited by unworthy1; 03-21-23 at 01:09 PM.
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Old 03-21-23, 01:24 PM
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Ordered!

Even if it only passes the 10 foot test and needs reapplication once a year it sounds like a great product.
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Old 03-21-23, 01:32 PM
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Ordered.
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Old 03-21-23, 01:57 PM
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Pen looks bent
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Old 03-21-23, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by tiger1964
I'm sure we'll be told the Japanese pens work better.
Funny you mention this...at work we've got Milwaukee permanent work markers, but ive got this one on my desk in a cup, and it is called a 'Marvy Uchida', I think #520 black fabric marker. I have no idea where it came from or how old it is (it must be pretty old because I could just barely make out the name) but it is hands down the best marker I have ever used, just ultra high quality and a really great feel. It doesn't stay permanent on hard surfaces, but it writes with similar effect on paper.

I never take it anywhere because I'm too afraid to lose it. I want to get more and more of them for our office.

So yes, the Japanese pens do work better, way better!
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Old 03-21-23, 05:36 PM
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i can tell you first hand that this one is fantastic.. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
it's a 5 footer for sure! maybe even 3 feet if you are over 65! 6 inches after half a bottle of fish eye pino grigio... i have spoken.
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Old 03-21-23, 05:41 PM
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Looks like my chrome challenged Ciocc is set to go!
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Old 03-21-23, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Bad Lag
I would guess you have little air bubbles throughout the volume of the newly-applied paint. These come to the surface over time as the paint dries.

Sometimes, if you hit the freshly-applied paint with a little heat from a heat gun or blow drier, the bubbles come to the surface immediately and then pop, allowing the paint to self-level while it is still wet.
The warm paint also flows and levels more evenly.
That's an interesting theory. I did this in my garage, and it was pretty cold, colder than I would normally think is acceptable for painting. If I end up restarting this, I'll try your heat gun idea.
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Old 03-21-23, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by unworthy1
Seller says alcohol will take it out of fabrics.
In fact, I can now tell you that alcohol will take it off of metal very efficiently too.

I got impatient and decided to see if it was still pliable enough that I could press the edges out of it. That made it dull, so I rubbed it down with Maguires. That made it worse, so I decided to clean it up and give it another coat. I used rubbing alcohol as prep, and "poof" bare chrome, blemish and all.
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Old 03-21-23, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie
Even if it only passes the 10 foot test and needs reapplication once a year it sounds like a great product.
This is exactly where I'm coming from. I've got a frame that I plan to paint with a rattle can. The "fix" just needs to be as good as the results I expect to get from my rattle can paint. I've been getting better at that, so that's a higher bar than it may sound, but it doesn't need to be perfect.

When I'm ready to spend hundreds of dollars on a professional paint job, I'll reassess and this probably won't be good enough. Until then, it looks like it will keep me happy.
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Old 03-21-23, 06:43 PM
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Chrome Paint Pen

Ordered!
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Old 03-21-23, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K
Until then, it looks like it will keep me happy.
Man, if you’re satisfied it’s definitely too good for any of my baggy bikes.

I think I used something like this many moons ago and I recall the nub getting jacked up after a few uses. Keep us posted Andy_K
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