Author Topic: Chrome or Spray Chrome  (Read 874 times)

Offline ByronF

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  • Name: Byron Faretis
Chrome or Spray Chrome
« on: January 29, 2018, 08:52:14 PM »
I am considering re-chroming the bumpers on my 72 Eldorado. I made a few enquiries of local Chrome shops and the pricing was absolutely crazy. While doing some research I came across a process called Spray Chrome which I gather is a paint process. I talked to a few local guys who used this process on their hot rods and they swear by it and claim you can't tell the difference. A few even claim to have won trophies with their vehicles using this process. I gather from them that the cost of spray Chrome is about half of conventional chroming. That is appealing because I can then afford to do both bumpers at one time and not break the bank in the process.

So my question is, does anyone have any experience with this spray chrome? Is it any good, does it look like real chrome, does it last, are there any downsides to this process.

Appreciate any information that can be provided.
ByronF

Offline chrisntam

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Re: Chrome or Spray Chrome
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2018, 09:07:12 PM »
I can't answer your question about the spray chrome, but am curious about the cost of rechroming the bumpers that you were given.

I'm about to get the rear bumper done on my '70, taking it to the guy tomorrow in the morning to look at and get a quote.  I'm expecting $1000.  I'll report back once I find out.

I was only off by $700.

Update:
$1700 to rechrome the back bumper.  They use about a 5 step process (I can't remember them all) including copper.  I looked at other stuff they did, it looked pretty good.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2018, 08:29:13 PM by chrisntam »
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Offline 35-709

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Re: Chrome or Spray Chrome
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2018, 09:09:12 PM »
I have seen it a couple of years ago but there's no chrome like real chrome.
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Offline Jeepers Creepers

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Re: Chrome or Spray Chrome
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2018, 09:09:31 PM »
There is a mob here in Oz that do it.... I think its called Wizard Chrome.

There can be an issue, as a lot of these processes use a clear coat that has been going a tad yellow if it see's a lot of sunlight.
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Offline The Tassie Devil(le)

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Re: Chrome or Spray Chrome
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2018, 09:30:04 PM »
I saw the results of a person using an expensive spray chrome paint, and the results were nothing like chrome.   It was a disaster, and the instructions were followed to the letter.

As for chrome plating a 1972 Eldorado front and rear bars, mine cost AU$4,800.00 (all 10 pieces) with an additional AU$550.00 for the continental kit.   And I had to do all the minor imperfection shaping.

Bruce. >:D
« Last Edit: January 29, 2018, 10:49:09 PM by The Tassie Devil(le) »
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Offline Mike Josephic CLC #3877

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Re: Chrome or Spray Chrome
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2018, 10:20:43 PM »
Any spray chrome I've ever seen you can tell from 10
feet away --and that's when it's new.  Don't waste your
time and $$.  Get them rechromed.

I had mine done on my '73 along with the end pieces. 
Even 20 years ago it was around $3K.  That was front,
rear and the 4 end pieces.

However, done right it will last a lifetime.  Find a few good
chrome shops, get several quotes, and pay the price.  You
won't regret it.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2018, 10:25:30 PM by Mike Josephic CLC #3877 »
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Offline fishnjim

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Re: Chrome or Spray Chrome
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2018, 09:40:46 AM »
Let me see, I acquired a huge car with huge bumpers and I'm worried about the cost to rechrome?   I've heard that somewhere else...
Like everything else, shop around.
Try the parts guys/yards.   You might find one in good or better shape than yours.   The cost of rechrome is labor to heal the surface.  So the worse it's pitted or scarred or more detail, the more it costs to repair.   I have no idea if there's any NOS in this year.
Try the national guys, you may have to turn yours in for a refurb or pay more freight.   They go to meets usually.   Depends on what you want and shape rest of car is in how much $$ to throw down the rat hole.   Will that good one stick out and you'll have to do the others?

"Spray chrome" is more than just one flavor.   They make other metallics.   It's rather expensive as paints go and has a good chance of being messed up if you don't know what you're doing or have the equipment.   They quoted me many hundred $$ for a project, which wasn't bumpers.   Equipment cost thousands.   You still have to heal the scars before you paint(labor $, if you don't DIY).   Then you're left with what amounts to a painted bumper.   Looks can be deceiving though.

Offline TJ Hopland

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Re: Chrome or Spray Chrome
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2018, 11:25:13 AM »
Isn't there a chrome like thing that works like a power coat?   Its the same way they can 'plate' plastics.  Still a lot of money in the prep I bet.    Besides that I think a major part of the cost of the real thing is the extra EPA and insurance required with all the chemicals.   I would imagine getting good quality raw materials isn't cheap either.    I doubt those people are screwing around with recycling random scraps like hobbits do. 
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Offline Chas

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Re: Chrome or Spray Chrome
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2018, 11:48:28 AM »
Was at my Powder Coater last Friday. While poking around his shop, I noticed what at first looked like some chrome plated pieces hangimg on the racks. Got within ten feet of these items and could see that they were coated, not chromed. The finish had sort of a "milky" quality to it.
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Offline ByronF

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Re: Chrome or Spray Chrome
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2018, 01:08:07 PM »
Thanks for all the input guys, much appreciated. In answer to one of the questions raised I was  quoted CDN  $1500 to $2200 PER Bumper to re-chrome based on the three shops that are within a reasonable distance of me. This is a vehicle that I inherited and while I don't mind spending some money on it, it also needs a lot of other work so saving a few bucks helps with the costs of the other major items - such as rear main seal and pan gasket, repairing the A/C, the auto level system and cv joint, not to mention non functioning power trunk release, a window motor, non functioning door locks and no dash lights. A few things to keep me amused.

On the positive side it has great paint, a new convertible top, new brakes, new ps pump, and a new dual exhaust system  and the radio works great. I have had the wheel rims sand blasted and painted and plan on installing new 235/75R - 15 whitewall radials this spring

Based on my research it is apparent that for spray chrome the prep work has to be meticulous as the chrome paint magnifies the imperfections and it seems the shops that do this process are not all that keen on doing the prep work. Will never understand that as the look of their process will be impacted by the base work and one would expect that they would want the best job out there to promote their product, so one would assume that they would be keen or even insist that they do the prep work. I must be missing something?

I have looked at the powder coat process but have to agree that it is not really chrome like. A few of the local guys that have the spray chrome have offered to let me come and look at their vehicles so I will probably do that before making any final decision.

Online Eric DeVirgilis CLC# 8621

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Re: Chrome or Spray Chrome
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2018, 01:23:30 PM »
Bumper cores will need to be prepped properly regardless of final application method chosen. That is where most of the cost will be. If this is a car you are intending to own for the foreseeable future, my opinion is that a half-assed chome job won't look so cheap when you'll be redoing all over again in a couple years.

"The stingy man spends the most" - Click & Clack the Tappet Brothers. :)
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Offline Chas

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Re: Chrome or Spray Chrome
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2018, 01:58:33 PM »
Byron......here's another option for ya. A few years back I got my hands on a low mileage 1964 Buick Electra Coupe. The car was basically clean....my idea was to detail it on the cheap and quickly flip it for a profit. Found this company out in California called Bumper Boyz (www.bumperboyz.com). They do what I call "production" chrome plating of bumpers. Would you want to put their stuff on a 97 point trailer queen? Obviously no! How about bolting their bumpers to a driver or a nice clean car? Sure! You can ship them your bumpers for chroming, or, exchange them for a pair that they already plated. Believe me, they have about EVERY GM car bumper in stock. Nice thing is, every Spring, Summer, and Fall, these fella's travel all over the U.S. setting up shop at ALL the major swap meets/shows. You can call ahead and pick up/exchange your bumpers at a predetermined spot, thus saving on the shipping. Give them a call to get a price. That way, at least you'll have a baseline for costs.
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Re: Chrome or Spray Chrome
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2018, 02:17:46 PM »
I am good with a spray gun, am experienced with doing powder coating, and shudder at the cost of chrome plating bumpers.  But really, chrome plating the bumpers is the only way to go.  If the car is a "driver" shop around for the lowest price you can find.  Either that or leave them as is.
Art Gardner


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Offline 35-709

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Re: Chrome or Spray Chrome
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2018, 06:00:37 PM »
If you go with Bumper Boyz have them do YOUR pieces, don't exchange.  Some of the cores they use to rechrome have been seriously mangled in accidents and do not fit well and their metal prep work may leave something to be desired.  If you are going to sell the car soon BB might be an option, if you are going to keep it, do it right with a reputable chrome shop.  There is NO substitute for quality work.
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1973 Cadillac Caribou - Sold
1950 Jaguar Mark V Saloon resto-mod

Offline chrisntam

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Re: Chrome or Spray Chrome
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2018, 08:33:56 PM »
Update:

$1700 to rechrome the back bumper.  They use about a 5 step process (I can't remember them all) including copper.  I looked at other stuff they did, it looked pretty good.

It's this place:

http://aandwproductions.com/chrome/index.php

Like a giddy school girl, I said, "YES!"
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Dallas, Texas

Offline cadillacmike68

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Re: Chrome or Spray Chrome
« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2018, 01:44:44 AM »
Isn't there a chrome like thing that works like a power coat?   Its the same way they can 'plate' plastics.  Still a lot of money in the prep I bet.    Besides that I think a major part of the cost of the real thing is the extra EPA and insurance required with all the chemicals.   I would imagine getting good quality raw materials isn't cheap either.    I doubt those people are screwing around with recycling random scraps like hobbits do. 

I think it's called PVD. It uses aluminum. The Cadillac dealer sells wheel with this process. Real shiny but I'm not sure how tough it really is.

As far as spray chrome: "You can't get chrome out of a can".
Regards,
"Cadillac" Mike
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Offline 76eldo

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Re: Chrome or Spray Chrome
« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2018, 07:40:31 AM »
I had my 70 rear bumper rechromed and it cost me $750.  Your Eldo bumpers should cost between $700 and $1000 each.  Keep shopping.
I have heard from people that had bumpers done by the "Boyz" and they were not happy with the chrome.

Brian
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Online Eric DeVirgilis CLC# 8621

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Re: Chrome or Spray Chrome
« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2018, 08:02:18 AM »
I would not recommend BB.
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Offline Acmemopars

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Re: Chrome or Spray Chrome
« Reply #18 on: February 01, 2018, 11:23:18 AM »
I'm not promoting spray-on chrome, but you should know that he's probably not talking about chrome coming out of a paint can.  That comment that chrome doesn't come from a can is 100% correct - full stop.

However, the process below "appears" to be real metal (maybe I'm wrong) or at least something very close.  This guy appears to be using several chemicals being sprayed on a metal gas tank using a pressurized pump sprayer.  An activator, a rinse and a metal spray, etc..

This process look a lot like the process of chroming and nothing is magic and coming out of a paint spray can.

At the very least, it's an interesting alternative and looks like real metal - not paint.

There are hundreds of videos on youtube showing the process.


Example 1:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9-wFTUhpT4

Example 2:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMhpnj5mj6o

Just some feedback.

Thanks
Mike Nelson
Denison, Tx

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Offline Dan LeBlanc

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Re: Chrome or Spray Chrome
« Reply #19 on: February 01, 2018, 11:49:05 AM »
From the guy who made the second video posted when asked how it turned out:

"Not great.  I tried 3 different times and each time it didn't look right following their directions to a T. I ended up painting it silver and taking my losses."
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