Chrome Powder coat... how good is it?

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  1. GassMann

    GassMann Member

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    Hey all,

    I am to the final stages of rebuilding my 66 Dodge Charger. The rear taillight bezel chrome is not great.

    upload_2022-1-22_14-40-22.png
    I am thinking about trying to rechrome DIY style but I am also looking at Chrome powder coating. Being the in the rear, the chrome trim does not see road wear, just weather wear so maybe powder coat would be OK.

    Eastwood sells a Chrome powder coat material so I am looking for any opinions on Chrome Powder coating.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. kiwigtx

    kiwigtx Henchman #4 Staff Member FBBO Gold Member

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    • AR67GTX

      AR67GTX Well-Known Member

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      I saw them use some spray chrome on an episode of Wheeler Dealer recently. Basically a urethane paint I believe. Looked really convincing for chrome - but on the front of a car it would get chipped up just like regular paint. Might work well on tail light frames though.
       
    • moparvinson

      moparvinson Well-Known Member

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      I have seen some chrome wrap that looks pretty good. Shouldn't cost a lot to do some trim? No idea how long it lasts though?

      Screenshot_20220122-160536.png
       
    • peabodyracin

      peabodyracin FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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      I ran a powder coating plant for almost 20 years. I retired 5 years ago, so this info may be a bit dated. We did a lot of point of sale display stuff and as you might expect, people were constantly looking for a cheaper, more environmental friendly alternative to chrome plating.

      Chrome powder is a mixed bag: certainly cheaper than plating, but tended to be a 2 coat process. The chrome look powder itself is not very durable. UV and physically handling the piece can affect the appearance. The best looking one coat chrome powder we'd found looked great until you tried to clean it, which was a very common occurrence with store fixtures. Windex would even discolor it some.

      The vast majority of the ones we tried required a clear top coat to provide protection. The clear coat can be finicky and in some cases deters from the original chrome look the base product provided. If the top coat doesn't turn out you're forced to completely strip the part before re doing it.

      That said, there are some specialty powder mfrs out there who're continually coming up with new offerings. The forum's resident powder wizard will likely have more current info for you.
       
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      • dodgeboy440

        dodgeboy440 BOHNALITE CHRYSLER HEMI PROTOTYPE 1951 FBBO Gold Member

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        CUDACHICK2DARESCUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
         
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        • PurpleBeeper

          PurpleBeeper Well-Known Member

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          peabody is correct for chrome powder coating, exactly ever word is correct as he said
           
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          • bearman

            bearman FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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            I have done some chrome wraps looks great but doesn't hold up. But then I'm using it on commercial equipment that doesn't get alot of love like it should.
             
          • GassMann

            GassMann Member

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            So if I were to prep (sand to say 400 grit) the chrome molding on the back, then powder coat, do you think it should hold up as it is in the rear, not up front where rocks and dirt can chip it?
             
          • Scott Engelhardt

            Scott Engelhardt FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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            • 1 Wild R/T

              1 Wild R/T FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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              :lol:

               
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              • peabodyracin

                peabodyracin FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                I suspect you'll have a couple things working against you with this: the metal would have to be much smoother than 400 grit sanding. The powder has quite a bit of flow agent in it to help create the smooth/shiny surface. This is pretty much the same for any high gloss powder. You'll end up with rough sort of shiny looking trim. A specialized media blast might level things out enough to help the final appearance. We used crushed glass/plastic media with good results, but that still won't fix depressions from the corrosion.

                You may be able to hide some of the surface irregularities with a powder primer, but with a prime coat, chrome coat and possible clear top coat you'll have a pretty thick coating which may start to affect the sharpness of trim lines and edges.

                If you don't clear top coat the trim and wash your car, which I'm sure you do, the detergent will likely affect the appearance.

                If you don't clear coat and the car sees much sunlight, the finish will deteriorate reasonably quickly.

                Stop by your local powder coating shop and talk with them. Most, but not all shops welcome walk ins. Try and find a shop that caters to the hobbyist. We used to advertise in local club/association newsletters/publications.

                If you don't mind shipping the parts, the above mentioned resident forum powder wizard can help you sort through your options.
                 
              • chtampa

                chtampa FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                Chrome is one of those things you just have to bite the bullet and do. It hurts, but it is a detail that will make the car stand out.
                 
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                • twecomm

                  twecomm FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                  Hmm.. Not that it matters, but that does not look like taillight bezel from a 66 Charger.
                   
                • 440 4 speed

                  440 4 speed Well-Known Member

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                  I think it is just the angle, looks like mine.
                   
                • Grabbergreendream

                  Grabbergreendream Well-Known Member

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                • slepr1

                  slepr1 Well-Known Member

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                  • RemCharger

                    RemCharger Well-Known Member

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                    And then they'll match the rest of the taillight surround too.
                     
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                    • dart4forte

                      dart4forte Well-Known Member

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                      Finish line in Spokane does good work
                       
                    • slepr1

                      slepr1 Well-Known Member

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