Can You Spray Paint Over Chrome | All You Need To Know

Who doesn’t like a sleek and metallic finish on automobiles, household items, or commercial buildings? This is possible with spray paint, which has grown in popularity over the years, but only if you use the best chrome spray paint

Chrome is a wonderful way to bring simplicity to your home and add a gorgeous look. Although real chrome plating can be expensive, chrome spray paint is a cheaper alternative that doesn’t compromise the quality. 

However, to achieve a sleek and gorgeous chrome look, you should follow a stepwise process, as errors in any step might not deliver the desired results. In this guide, we have discussed them in detail for your convenience, along with the safety measures to follow and the surfaces on which you can use chrome spray paint. 

What Are The Steps To Paint Over Chrome

What are the steps to paint over chrome

While spray paint can deliver a seamless appearance to any chrome surface, its application might differ depending on the item and material type. You should invest most of your time researching the best chrome spray painting practices before starting with the application process. Also, you should prepare the surface before painting to maximize the results. 

A. Clean The Surface

The foundation for any sleek paint job is a clean and smooth base. So, evidently, the first step of painting any surface would be thoroughly cleaning it by removing all debris, grime, and dust. 

Use any warm and clean cloth to gently scrub away the dust on the chrome. A microfiber cloth will be the best for this job since it’s a blend of polyester and nylon, incredibly soft, and removes all the accumulated filth. 

If there isn’t any microfiber cloth available, washing the surface with soapy water does the trick. But you might also need an abrasive cleaner to remove tough stains, debris, and dirt. You can even try using a toothbrush to scrub dirt stuck in crevices and nooks or just wipe the chrome with mineral spirits. 

B. Sand The Surface

Sanding the surface before painting is important for the paint to stick to it. Pick up your go-to equipment, be it a handheld sander, palm sander, or handheld orbitals, and get ready to sand the chrome. 

Palm sanders or handheld orbitals don’t require much time or effort when sanding large surfaces. But when using sandpapers, start with a 160-grit product and sand every corner of the surface. Then, use a finer 320-grit sandpaper to remove the scratches left by the 160-grit sandpaper. 

C. Remove Gouges And Cracks

It’s essential to remove gouges and cracks from the surface before you apply a primer coat. Use metal putty or a liquid metal filler specially designed for application on base metal or a similar surface. 

Make sure you adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions to apply the putty or filler. These fillers usually come in a tube that you can squeeze over the damaged area before spreading it out with a putty knife or your finger. 

Use a mallet or hammer in case there are bends or dents on the surface. For that, keep the object upside down on a hard surface and hammer it gently to flatten it. 

After filling the cracks and fixing the dents, you might need to sand the surface again. Repeat the sanding process, starting with the heavy grit sandpaper before switching to the finer one. Then, spray the surface with water and leave it uncovered to dry. 

D. Apply A Primer

Applying a primer is an important step when painting any surface to guarantee its longevity. Priming a surface creates a base for the automotive paint to stick to it and eliminates any roughness or coarseness, ensuring a smooth finish. 

But make sure the primer you purchase suits the surface. For instance, an automotive metal primer or rust-inhibiting primer works fine if it’s a metal surface, while there are other primers for professional spraying equipment and canned spray paints. 

You can get a suitable primer online or consult an expert. However, if you wish to stick with the traditional ones, such as paint tubs, we’d recommend getting a flat and large paint brush for primer application. 

Another thing to consider is to apply even coats of primer onto the surface and apply a second coat once the initial layer has dried up. Applying two to three coats of primer creates a strong bond between the paint and the surface, making it last longer. 

You will also find self-etching primers whereby a single clear coat does as good a job as a traditional metal primer. 

E. Apply A Dark Base Coat

People don’t realize that to get a smoother, cleaner, and reflective chrome finish, you need to apply a dark base coat before spray painting. 

A jet black coat is recommended, which can be applied using either a brush or spray can. Whatever method you choose, make sure to apply even, and light coats on the surface since using too much base coat will make the surface extremely dark. 

Unlike primers, only a single coat is necessary but apply the dark base coat a day before spray painting. 

F. Paint The Chrome Surface

The next step of the process would be to spray paint on the chrome surface. Now that your surface is fully prepped and primed, this should be straightforward. 

To get an even and smooth finish, hold your can sprayer at least 10 inches away from the surface and make a circular motion. Also, move it continuously to ensure that you don’t apply too much paint over a single area. 

You should only need a single layer when using chrome paint or latex metal paint, but there’s no harm in applying another layer over it. But make sure that the first layer is dried up thoroughly before you move on to spraying the second layer. 

G. Apply A Sealer

The last step involves applying a sealer over the chrome paint after it has dried completely. It is an optional step that prevents your spray paint from chipping or peeling. 

You can use a brush or a spray gun to apply a sealer, while they also come in different finishes, so select one that suits the surface. Once you are done applying a sealant, let the surface dry before polishing it with a polishing cloth. 

How To Protect Yourself When Spray Painting

How to protect yourself when spray painting

A. Spray In A Ventilated Area

Make sure to spray paint only in a well-ventilated area with several windows, or it would be great if you could just paint outdoors. Using spray paint in a less ventilated area might pose numerous safety and health-related risks. 

Apart from the risk of inhaling toxic chemicals, there are incredibly high chances of starting a fire, which can cause serious injuries and even death. This is because any fumes that come in contact with an electrical discharge can ignite massive fires. 

Also, spray painting in a poorly ventilated area doesn’t deliver the desired results. It’s difficult to remove dust, dirt, or grime due to the lack of ventilation, and they can stick to the spray paint. 

B. Cover Up

While spray painting, you must wear long sleeves and trousers. Although it might restrict your movement slightly, it’s not worth risking the paint coming in contact with your skin. 

Chromium, one of the ingredients in spray paints, can cause skin reactions, like redness, irritation, or even swelling. Furthermore, paint stains on your clothes are nearly impossible to remove, so always wear old clothes on the job. 

C. Wear Rubber Gloves

Work gloves should be worn every time you spray paint for the reasons mentioned above. But, not all types of gloves work particularly well, especially plastic gloves, which can’t handle the corrosiveness of chrome paint. 

Rubber gloves are ideal but when you don’t have rubber gloves, opt for those made from PVC or neoprene. 

D. Wear A Face Mask

Spray masks are the most popular gears for spray painting. You can’t allow spray paints to come in contact with sensitive body parts, like the face, which is essential if you have asthma or severe nasal allergies. 

A dust mask covers your nose and mouth and ensures no harmful chemicals or dust enters your nose or affects the lungs. But make sure you only purchase certified masks from online retailers. 

What Items Can Be Chrome Painted?

Chrome spray paints are versatile and not just limited to automobiles since you can use them on various surfaces. Be it adding a vintage look to your furniture or a gorgeous look to the plastic items in your house, it’s better than purchasing a new product. 

A. Plastic

When your plastic items look dated, dull, or unappealing, it’s better to paint them with fresh colors for a smooth finish to make them look new. And chrome paint is an excellent way to protect your prized possessions. 

Painting plastic doesn’t take much of your time and delivers exceptional results. But compared to other surfaces, plastics are considered a tricky material to paint since traditional paints tend to pool, drip, blotch, and peel off easily once dried. 

However, chrome paints are specially engineered to deliver a smoother finish, stick better, and don’t peel off, making them a better option than conventional paint. Choose specialized products, such as Rust-Oleum Specialty Plastic Primer Spray or Krylon Fusion, to chrome paint on plastic

B. Automobiles

Many drivers spray paint their entire vehicle, while others spray paint only smaller sections to add a modern touch. One of the best ways is to spray automotive paint to add fresh color and renew old alloys. 

It serves as a cover if there are scrapes or scratches on the alloys, and you don’t have to go and purchase new components. Many people also want to give their chrome bumper a sleek look, so is it possible to paint them? 

Well, you can paint chrome bumpers, but metal paints won’t work. You need specially manufactured chrome paint for bumpers or just plastic spray paints to get the best possible outcomes. 

C. Household Appliances

The aesthetics of your room can be increased just by painting appliances with chrome paint and making them look as good as new. You can paint them fully or partially, especially appliances like kettles, ovens, toasters, and radiators that have a chrome finish. 

D. Light Fixtures

Another thing you can update that has been sitting around for years and collecting dust is the light fixtures in your house. If you still like how your light fixtures look, though they have become outdated or have lost their glitz, spray paint them with a chrome coating. 

You can follow the steps outlined above for painting over chrome on your light fixtures, but hand orbitals or palm sanders might not be suitable for preparing the surface. You need to use traditional sandpapers for this purpose and always wear protective equipment while painting. 

E. Furniture

You always want to update the interior as per the latest trends, but changing the furniture every couple of years might not be viable. So, just take a can of spray paint and give your outdated, rustic chrome furniture a new look. 

Metallic chrome handle on white wooden interior door. Modern door handle. Selective focus. Spray paint over chrome final words.

Spray Paint Over Chrome Final Words

The possibilities of experimenting with spray paint are many, as it’s a cost-effective and ideal alternative to add a modern touch to your valuable items. 

And regardless of what you’re painting, make sure to take the necessary safety measures, as inhaling paint fumes can endanger your life. Also, you need the right tools and techniques to chrome paint on your own. 

Remember that directly spray painting over chrome is a bad idea because the paint will not adhere well to the surface, lacking a clean and reflective chrome look. So, before applying any chrome paint, clean and sand the surface and make sure there are no bubbles inside the spray can. 

It’s time to wrap up this guide. Take care and goodbye! 

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