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So my old gal, 99 aero 1100, needs a facelift, bad. Ive had her for several years, got her when I was 16 or 17. Really has been my main ride since then. Over the years I've cleaned and polished and touched up my fair bit. But there's only so much cleaning and polishing will do. These salted roads in Ohio have taken its toll while I'm stationed up here. So I've decided, since I'm not a fan of chrome anyways, to paint over the chrome in a lot of spots.

I know prep is key to any paint job and ill give the good bonding surface as best I know, but are there any key tips I should keep in mind while attemptong to paint over chrome?

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Scuff the surface with really low grit sandpaper or a green pad and use a few coats of self etching primer.
Ive heard about self etching but have never used it. Does it come in a rattle can?

Through some of my research on it, a lot say to use an epoxy primer. Any added benefits to either?

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I have painted chrome a few times and prep is absolutely the key. No smooth surface can be there or it will chip off. Self etching primer works well and does come in rattle can. Do some research of your area if there is a powder coater around you I would try to take that route


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I have painted chrome a few times and prep is absolutely the key. No smooth surface can be there or it will chip off. Self etching primer works well and does come in rattle can. Do some research of your area if there is a powder coater around you I would try to take that route


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I wish I could powder coat all of the chrome but it's not an option. Certain parts I can't let then bake sooooo paint is my option

Thanks for the tips guys!

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Sand blasting is an option but some parts have to be protected/taped to prevent it getting in the wrong places.
 

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Ive painted lots of chrome, real and electro plated plastic. Sand with 80 grit, clean well and spray with an etching primer. Its really no different than painting any other metal chrome is just very hard so most people dont sand it well enough.
 

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Ive painted lots of chrome, real and electro plated plastic. Sand with 80 grit, clean well and spray with an etching primer. Its really no different than painting any other metal chrome is just very hard so most people dont sand it well enough.
Thanks for that tip! Im pretty comfortable painting most materials, and ill keep that in mind.

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Sand blasting is an option but some parts have to be protected/taped to prevent it getting in the wrong places.
I do have a harbor freight sand blaster, and I'm planning on using that for a couple pieces, its SUCH a mess though.

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You could always just paint over it with Plastidip, and you just have to make sure the surface is clean, no special prep work, no sanding, scuffing, or otherwise marring the chrome. I did it to my dash, which was blinding me around the corner from my house every day. The one thing you need to be aware of is that it's not permanently stuck to it, and can be peeled off if you don't like the way it looks. This means, though, that places where bolts go in, or anything hitting and moving it, can peel the paint, like around the bolts when you go to tighten them, unless you use tape around those spots just enough for the bolts, and peel it off before the paint completely dries. And, it comes in some different colors, but not many. It would be an easy and cheap way to "black out" a bike without permanently changing the look of the bike, so it could be sold with the chrome later.
 

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You mention polish...
That HAS TO come off before any sanding is started!
Wash with a good paint thinner or mineral spirits, I use 3M products...
THEN
I`d use a wet/dry 240 grit (or finer) for chromed plastic, which a lot of our bikes have nowaday...
I use 400 grit wet/dry for real chrome on metal surfaces...
I like wet sanding for best results ;)

BUT Be SURE to get that polish off, lest it`ll "Fish Eye" like Crazy,
D
 

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Discussion Starter #12
You mention polish...
That HAS TO come off before any sanding is started!
Wash with a good paint thinner or mineral spirits, I use 3M products...
THEN
I`d use a wet/dry 240 grit (or finer) for chromed plastic, which a lot of our bikes have nowaday...
I use 400 grit wet/dry for real chrome on metal surfaces...
I like wet sanding for best results ;)

BUT Be SURE to get that polish off, lest it`ll "Fish Eye" like Crazy,
D
Yes! Absolutely. I have already scrubbed with lowngrit steel wool. Its so pitted and bad. I did a light sanding with 240 to knock off the high edges. Acetone is in order when I go into town this afternoon. I dont want to have to do this again in a year or two.

Which brings me to my next question. What paints have y'all found that when cured is hard? I hate to paint from a rattle can but I dont have a sprayer anymore, nor do I have the space to spray two part paints where in living and theres no auto hobby shop on my nearby base

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I have always had good luck with the rattle can paint that says oil and gas resistant it seems to hold up much better, can find big cans of it at Walmart


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I have always had good luck with the rattle can paint that says oil and gas resistant it seems to hold up much better, can find big cans of it at Walmart


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Thanks, ill take a look. Hopefully tractor supply has something decent. They usually have a good size wall of paints to choose from. I learned the hard way, laquer is NOT durable nor resistant to anything.

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Good etch primers are hard for an average consumer to get due to the toxicity of the product. Wear a good carbon filter mask when spraying. It can be found in spray cans but is expensive. This can runs about $35 cdn. However a little goes a long way. This is not primer. it is an acid that acts as a bonding agent for primer to adhere to. Spray one light coat on prepped metal, allow to dry and then spray 3 coats of primer over top. Sand and then paint. Your painted chrome will last just as long as other any painted metal on your bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Did not find any self etching primer today in my search. I do have some sulfuric acid on hand. Wondering, would that do well to etch or remove the chrome in leui of the etching primer?

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short answer: no. it will clean it well though. etch primer contains phosphoric acid.

Why no? It shouldn't make a difference in the type of acid you are using, in fact, a stronger acid should do a better job roughing up the chrome. The idea is to get rid of the smoothness so the paint will stick to the metal.



Phosphoric acid is fairly weak, sulfuric acid is a stronger acid. Seems like you could use muriatic acid as well since it's easily available.


I'm going to be painting some worn out chrome sometime in the near future my plan at the moment is to sand prime and paint. The pieces I need to be painted are just pot metal with a very thin layer of chrome. My other option is to buy new pieces but I don't really want to spend the money on that.
 

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Why no? It shouldn't make a difference in the type of acid you are using, in fact, a stronger acid should do a better job roughing up the chrome. The idea is to get rid of the smoothness so the paint will stick to the metal.



Phosphoric acid is fairly weak, sulfuric acid is a stronger acid. Seems like you could use muriatic acid as well since it's easily available.


I'm going to be painting some worn out chrome sometime in the near future my plan at the moment is to sand prime and paint. The pieces I need to be painted are just pot metal with a very thin layer of chrome. My other option is to buy new pieces but I don't really want to spend the money on that.
I learned this the hard way but stay away from pot metal with ANY type of acid. It is far too porous and will continually corrode.

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I can show you how a high temp paint job came out on my pipes.



Had an extra set of after market pipes that were rusted and pitted.



I used 120 grit sand paper on an orbital sander and some hand sanding.



I used this paint with the matching primer. https://www.lowes.com/pd/Krylon-High-Performance-Automotive-High-Heat-Flat-Black-Spray-Paint-Actual-Net-Contents-12-oz/1000248383


You need to heat the paint to cure it. Idled for 15 minutes, cool down, heat again at idle cool again then go for a long ride to finish it off. The paint was not very hard until after I came back from a ride and it had cooled down. Problem I had was my boot wore a little hole in the paint. It won't now but it did when I first rode it. I don't know how long this paint will hold up but it seems to working fine for now.
 

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