The chrome on a vehicle is an aesthetic touch that makes a vehicle have the appearance you prefer. Chrome can make a vehicle look more aggressive or make a vehicle have a classy touch. Maintaining chrome properly is something our readers ask about frequently.
We talked to some auto body experts and some restoration buffs about taking care of chrome, and how to correct any problems you might have with vehicle chrome. They all told us that spray painting and touching up chrome is something that is required after a period of time.
The best chrome spray paint was hard for us to choose so we asked the same experts what paints they use the most often in their work.
The 6 Best Chrome Spray Paint Reviews
1. SHINE ARMOR Fortify Quick Coat
This is a one product that does the work of three products. It saves you time and money and it breathes life back into tired chrome. It provides you with a waterless wash so you have no water marks and then it coats the chrome and provides you with the glimmering shine of healthy looking chrome.
It is a gentle product that will not damage the finish on your vehicle. It does not streak or smear so it gives you the best look with the least amount of work.
It can cut through grease, grime and dirt better than most other car wash products. It is recommended for use on cars, trucks, watercraft, motorcycles, RVs, ATVs and more.
2. Krylon Short Cuts Chrome Spray Paint
This chrome paint provides an elegant and smooth finish. You can create the flawless look you desire using a simple aerosol spray paint product.
It dries very quickly so your projects will be completed in shorter amounts of time. Clean up is a breeze because it comes in an aerosol can and has its own dispenser so you do not need an external paint sprayer.
It is a trusted brand that is manufactured in the United States. It is so gentle that it can be applied to craft foam without causing any damages to the delicate materials. It can be used on a variety of materials including wood, plastic and metal with equally great results.
3. Dupli-Color Shadow Chrome Coating Kit
To protect your chrome you need a paint that hardens to create a barrier. This product comes with the base coat you need to use to create the perfect color and the clear coat you need to use to create the protective barrier.
Once the clear coat has been applied this product is able to resist damages like nips and chips that occur from normal vehicle use and weather exposure. It is also heat resistant and can be used on your wheels, rims, trim and any other vehicle accessory.
The prep tip that comes with the products will allow you to make the surface ready for the paint so the paint will adhere properly. The main key is to have a completely clean surface that is prepared properly before you spray the paint.
4. Rust-Oleum Metallic Chrome
When you want a shiny metallic finish for your projects involving wood, metal or masonry surfaces then this is the paint you want. This is interior grade paint and will not do well on items that receive constant exposure to rain, high humidity, extreme heat levels, freezing temperatures or intense and prolonged sun exposure.
It dries to a tough and attractive finish that is not prone to fading or becoming dull over time. It will dry to the touch so you can handle or move the painted item in as little as sixty minutes. You have to wait until it has dried completely before you add another coat of paint. Each subsequent coat will increase the depth of color. Don't forgot to check our best automotive spray paint reviews.
5. Krylon Metallic Chrome Spray Paint
This is a metallic paint that is manufactured in the United States. By using this chrome paint you can increase the beauty of your vehicle as well as increase the value of the vehicle. When the chrome looks good buyers are willing to pay more money.
Once it is applied your chrome will have a lustrous finish that is a close resemblance to actual chrome plating. It dries smooth and has a high gloss appearance. This product is acid free.
The paint dries very quickly, (in 15 minutes or less) so you can apply a second coat in a shot amount of time. Each coat increases the depth of color and the shine the finished product creates. You can get coverage for about 25 square feet from each can.
6. Ultimate Mirror Chrome Aerosol Paint
This paint truly provides you with the ultimate mirror chrome that you desire on rims, wheels, and vehicle trim. It dries to provide you with a high-quality finish that is durable and reliable. It is recommended as remote control paint.
This product can be brushed on so you can get the perfect look for your finished pieces. Brushing does seem to reduce the ultimate shine of the finished product.
You can achieve a higher chrome appearance if you use a backer paint or primer before you use the chrome paint. You can protect your paint and make it look better for a longer period of time if you apply a clear coat protectant layer once the chrome paint has completely dried.
What Is Chrome Paint?
Chrome paint is a front surface silver. That means that the silver appearance is actually placed on the top surface of the item rather than being seen through a sheet of glass like you were looking at a reflection in a looking glass or mirror.
Spray Chrome colors your item silver but it is not actually silver paint. Spray chrome causes a chemical reaction on the surface area that creates the silver appearance.
Chrome paint is a pigmented paint that is designed to mimic the appearance of actual chrome plating. Paint does not create a chemical reaction that causes the silver coloration it actually covers the item with a layer of paint.
Chrome paint can be used on interior and exterior projects. When used you normally have to apply a primer of jet black before you apply the chrome paint to achieve the shiny chrome appearance.
Why you Should Use Chrome Spray Paints?
There are several benefits you receive by using chrome spray paints. The biggest benefit is probably the fact that this paint is a lot cheaper than having a chrome section replaced or new chrome plating installed. The spray paint can save you a lot of money.
How to Apply Chrome Spray Paint?
Chrome paint allows you to make an item that is chrome plated look like new again. Chrome paint is not the same as chrome plating it only resembles the plating in appearance.
To use chrome paint you must prepare the item correctly and follow all of the manufacturer’s suggestions on primers and clear coatings.
Get the Right Stuff
To start your chrome painting project off you will need to buy the proper primer. The primer that you select should be specifically designed to use on the type of metal you are applying it to. Car metal and the metal that is used on patio furniture are different types of metal. The manufacture will have a list of materials and surfaces the paint can be used on.
If you have any doubts about what primer you will need on a vehicle you can talk to someone at the paint supply store or to an automotive restoration shop and ask for advice.
Clean the Surface
You have to clean the surface you want to paint. You cannot create a smooth and sleek paint job if you do not remove all dust and contaminants from the surface area.
Once the dust is removed, and the visible dirt has been washed away it is time to clean the metal using vinegar or a substance that will remove oils and residues that can interfere with paint adherence.
Once the metal is clean you do not want to touch it with your bare hands. The oils from your skin can be transferred to the metal and it will stop the paint from adhering properly and might even leave places that resemble your fingerprints in the dried paint.
It is suggested that you use a spray paint method to apply the primer. Spraying the paint on instead of brushing the paint on will give you a smoother finish.
Apply the primer is thin coats that are even. This will allow it to dry quicker and will stop things like runs from occurring.
Apply Your Base Coat
The base coat under chrome is a jet black. You are not likely to need to apply more than one of the jet black coats. This basecoat must dry completely before you can proceed so you need to allow the item to sit undisturbed for up to 24 hours before you can proceed.
Apply the Chrome Paint
You will want to spray the chrome on so you can get the best look. It is recommended that you hold the can at a distance of ten inches away from the surface you are painting. You want to keep the can moving at all times so you get an even coat. Apply in thin even coats for best results.
Keep applying layers of chrome paint until you achieve the look you want.
What to Consider When Buying Chrome Spray Paint?
Before you buy chrome paint there are a few considerations that will allow you to get the product that will work best for you.
You want to read the labels of the paint that you are considering to make sure it is recommended for use on the materials you want to paint. Some chrome paints are actually made for interior use only so you want to read the labels of the products and see what the manufacturer recommends.
Square footage of Coverage
You do not want to get your project partially completed and discover that you did not purchase enough of the paint product. The container the paint is in should reveal the square footage the paint will cover.
Remember that the square footage of coverage is an estimate based on you using thin coats and proper installation methods.
Length of Drying Time
The amount of time that the paint needs to dry before you can touch the object or before you can reapply differs with every paint type and brand. Dry to the touch usually means that you can touch the item without the paint transferring to your skin and dry completely means you can touch the item and you will not leave a fingerprint or indentation in the new paint.
An item must dry completely before you can add another layer of paint. Manufactures often say their paint dries in less than 15 minutes, but when you read further you discover that is dry to the touch time not complete dry time.
You need to be certain that you understand what you need to do before you apply the paint. Some paints require primers or back paints in order for them to have the greatest shine or proper coloration.
Some paints must be covered with a clear coat or finishing product to help the paint be durable.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Chrome paint work on rims?
The majority of chrome paints can be applied to wheels and rims. Read your label carefully and you will find recommended uses so you can be certain that the paint you have purchased will work on wheels and rims.
How do you touch up chrome plating?
Start by getting the chrome piece completely and thoroughly clean of any dirt and debris. Then use something like white vinegar to remove oils and water stains that might be marring your chrome. Apply a high quality chrome polish using a soft cloth. You can remove rust by rubbing the chrome with steel wool. If need be you can use a chrome paint to imitate the look of chrome plating in places that might be scratched.
How do I restore chrome on my car?
To restore the chrome you will need to clean the item thoroughly removing all dirt, grime, and things that can interfere with the adherence of the paint. Then you will need to apply high quality chrome paint and wait for that paint to dry completely. You may need several coats. Once the look you desire has been achieved you will need to apply a clear coat to protect the newly painted item.
Our Top Pick
Our top pick for people who are looking for paint products manufactured in the United States is Krylon K01010A07 Premium Metallic Original Chrome 8 Ounce. The paint goes on smoothly, dries quickly, and provides the ultimate shine to your piece.
For individuals who are looking for small cans of paint to do small project pieces with our top pick is the Krylon KSCS032 Short Cuts Aerosol Spray Paint, 3-Ounce, Chrome. The can is small and easy to maneuver while the paint inside is high-quality and productive.
For people wanting a start to finish kit our top pick is Dupli-Color Shadow Chrome Black-Out Coating Kit.