How to spray paint chrome

Painting over chrome requires special materials and careful application of the paint so as to not trap any air bubbles if you intend on achieving an even finish that doesn’t create swirls.

When painting over the stainless steel or other metals with a smooth surface, it is important to use high-quality paints such as those made by Rust-Oleum.

spraying the chrome surface with spray paint

Because they have a self-leveling additive that produces a smoother result with less imperfections.

Don’t worry folks because I have written this post for you so that you can work on your project without creating any mess.

In this post I have explained the method to spray paint chrome surfaces. This guide will be for sure helpful for newbies in this field who are confused.

Setting up workplace

It’s good practice to make a proper work space especially when using potentially hazardous chemicals in the garage or garden shed.

Ventilation is very important since paints and primers often give off fumes and odors that can be harmful if you breathe them in too close up for too long.

So, to avoid getting sick as a tradeoff of your hard work, make sure you keep this in mind and always wear appropriate face masks or respirators to protect yourself from fumes, dust and vapor exposure before working with these products.

Wear protective gear

Wear coveralls when using contact-chromium, or any time you might get splattered accidentally. Also consider a full suit of clothes and an apron over the top to protect your skin from the stuff. Ordinary pants and sleeves just won’t do.

When working with chemicals, it’s always important to protect your skin. Be sure that your hands and arms are completely covered at all times.

It could be helpful to use a face mask as well, but gloves must be worn on the hands so you can still manipulate materials freely when handling them.

wear protective gear for spray painting chrome surface

The goggles will also protect your eyes if any small particles fly up while you’re sanding. You’ll be glad you wore them before becoming overwhelmed by a powerful urge to rub your eye, which could lead to something much more serious or irritating!

Try not to go safer than goggles when working with chemicals because nothing beats them in protecting your ocular area.

The best way to avoid respiratory issues and internal tissue irritation is to use a respirator. It should be selected according to the OSHA standards. It is preferable that you use a filtered respirator like the N95, which is often found in hospitals.

Prepare the surface

The chrome must be thoroughly cleaned before undergoing any sort of polishing procedure. Any particles, oils, or contaminants on the surface would negatively impact the finished product.

Using a proper cloth will help maintain sterility and prevent you from giving yourself an infection in the long run.

Use a body hammer to smooth out unwanted dents and bends. This step must be done before applying any paint because if you try to fix the damage after the fact, it can leave marks or ruin your prep work.

Before you get started, make sure to clear any obstacles that might block access to the inside of the part.

Place a firm surface against the opposite side of the dent and strike it with a body hammer until you’ve smoothed out all of the affected area.

Preparing the surface for spray paint

Don’t go without the drop cloth! Cover any surfaces with a bit of red paint. Don’t worry, because the red paint can easily be cleaned off using only water and soap. The drop cloth will give you a nice smooth base on which to lay your painty strokes.

Before your start painting, though, feel free to clear the floor of any of the stuff that might trip you up and cause you to lose control of the sprayer hose and end up covered in paint – such as cardboard boxes, stacks of old magazines or even one orphaned sock!

Sand the surface

Sanding a chrome exterior may be strenuous on you. One has to be careful. Start with a grit less than 160 (don’t work faster, just work smarter). Afterwards use sandpaper with 320 grit to remove the tiny particles and give it a smoother finish.

When it comes to removing layers of shiny paint from metal surfaces, sanding is the best way to do it. In many cases, sand blasting is not an option because of time or money.

When it comes down to removing chrome paint without damaging the finish underneath, you’re better off going with fine-grit sandpaper instead.

Sanding takes longer than blasting but what you get in a clean finish makes up for the difference in time.

When cleaning chrome pieces, do not rush through the process. Spraying down all surfaces with wax and grease remover as well as using an atomizer bottle will make it easier to completely coat all parts.

Rather than using one rag or towel, it is best to use clean, bleached rags in order to properly wipe down every surface.

sanding the surface for spray paint process of chrome

Priming the surface

Tip your primer can to one side and slowly pour out a drizzle of the white epoxy along the outside of your bucket. Use a wooden stick that comes with your paint as a mixer and stir thoroughly until you have a well-mixed solution.

Next, take an old pair of pantyhose or an old window screen and use it to sift out any lumps or particles from the primer.

Doing this ensures that you get a smooth coat onto surfaces with no clogs. Make sure you’re using Aqueous Urethane Basecoat Epoxy in your spray gun because they are waterproof, corrosion-resistant, and will provide the best level of adhesion for metal and industrial painting projects.

Hang your pieces or place them on a metal frame to paint. Hanging or positioning painted pieces closer to your paint source gives you closer access for detail-oriented areas, as well as a 360º range of motion.

If you don’t have access to a metal frame, simply take care not to muss the piece with drop cloths and isopropyl alcohol when spraying the piece to avoid several coats of re-painting it.

Using your spray gun, evenly coat your metal parts with primer. Allow these to dry, and add a second coat of primer.

If you’re using bottled spray paint instead of a spray gun, make sure to apply the primer as evenly as possible around each individual part.

To make things simple, you want to put any leftover primer back into the same container that you normally squeeze it from.

You can keep containers sealed as long as they are not exposed to high temperatures or open flames.

Refrain from holding it in your hand for too long! High temperatures or open flame will increase the chances of it igniting and we want to avoid any accidents after all!

You can store primers at room temperature away from direct sunlight, but to make sure it stays fresh for a longer period, place the bottle of primer inside a refrigerator.

Clean the spray gun

Before you decide to use a different substance with your airbrush, make sure that you properly clean the spray gun itself.

You can start by removing the compressed air source from the device and also add an alternate air regulator. When done correctly, this process should take about 15 minutes of your time.

Mix the paint

Mix and strain paint any time you intend to use it with a spray gun. Paddle mixers are so helpful for not only stirring paint but also efficiently whipping air into the product, making it easier to apply.

To avoid clogging up your spray gun, make sure to use a wooden paddle that the store will normally be happy to sell or rent out to you at a low or free cost.

It’s always wise to ask whether one is available because sometimes they might have run out of them entirely and end up charging as much as seven dollars for just one.

As for filtering out foreign particles, if you don’t have any sandpaper handy but happen to be getting some spray paint, then you can use a scratch window screen instead!

Apply paint

Apply a coat of automotive paint. A few tips that are instrumental to the application process: keep a distance of about 6 inches between the spray gun and the surface.

Use an elongated side-to-side movement while painting; if it’s not moving, do not pull the trigger! It will make for uneven, blotchy applications; allow the paint to dry completely (about 20 mins per coat).

Apply clear coat

You may have heard this before but automotive paint is the best product to paint chrome. If you want your car to shine and stand out among others, use a chrome polish.

It will produce a luminous and attractive sheen. You can order the product online or purchase it from your local hardware store though it should be noted that hardware stores often charge higher prices.

A week after applying automotive clear-coat paint, you can buff the chrome exterior of your car to give it a glossy shine.


That depends on the paint, but usually yes it does. If you are going to decorate chrome molybdenum steel, you should use enamel paint instead of lacquer or clear coat. This is because, enamel paint leave less oily residue which don’t stick to chrome. Then you need to use high-temperature paint that can withstand extreme temperature. That’s why spray paint sticks to chrome molybdenum steel.

I use a good quality blue/black metallic spray paint on chrome parts. The paint is textured and thick enough to hide the chrome base metal. The car wash guard also hides the paint. If you take good care of your bike, this will last a long time. I like to spray over a coat of clear coat to protect the paint. It is a bit hard to find a can of the metallic blue-black, but you should be able to find it in a good auto paint supply store.

Chrome is a special material that needs to be treated differently when painting it. It is difficult to do because the chrome material makes it a bit more susceptible to peeling, but at the same time brings a glossy and shiny look to the surface. We don’t advise you to spray paint chrome without sanding it. To do a good job, you need to make it look as smooth as possible. This is a delicate job and we don’t know if you will be capable of doing it. If you don’t have the knowledge to do a good job, you are better off using the services of a professional.

Chrome spray paint is a quick, easy, and reasonably-priced way of covering your car, bike, or motorcycle with a durable, shiny chrome finish. It’s also easier to apply than traditional chrome spray paint! In short, yes, chrome spray paint will look closer to chrome than just about anything else you’ve tried so far. Have you ever heard of chrome vinyl wrap before? If not, it is probably what you have been looking for. It could be a bit of an investment since vinyl chrome wrap starts at about $150 for a set, but it lasts much longer than conventional chrome spray paint and will never fade, peel, scratch, or chip. It can change the look of your car as often as you choose, allowing you to turn your daily driver in a show car every weekend.

The lifespan of the product depends on the exposure to the elements. The can says it lasts 2-3 years, but the life expectancy will vary depending on environmental conditions. You need to keep the surface dry and clean.

One of the easiest and most economical ways to seal chrome spray paint is with a glossy clear coat. In fact, many people choose to clear coat things like their car rims, because it helps them to maintain their shine and color, as well as protect their investment. When you want to seal chrome spray paint, you want to use a high-quality clear coat. It is recommended that you use 2 to 4 top coats of the clear coat, depending upon the type and quality of the spray paint.

Verdict on How to spray paint chrome

Here it is, a complete guide with step by step method to spray paint chrome surfaces without any clutter and confusion in amateur minds. If you have any issue then do let me know down here in comment section.

A smooth paint job is one that’s worth admiring from afar. Follow these steps, and you’re on your way to making your project stand out in a crowd.

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