chrome finishing with rattle cans

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Hazmat

Well-Known Member
So I bought some metallic spray paint, Krylon premium silver sterling Dupli-color chrome. when I use either of these with a clear coat it kills the silver/ chrome effect. They come out looking milky. I tried the Krylon with the Krylon Clearcoat and the dupli-color with the duplicolor clear coat so it's not because I'm mixing lacquer and enamel or something like that. Basically what I want to know is if there is something I'm doing wrong, or if I just can't use a clear coat and still have the chrome look. Also if I'm using just the chrome paint without a clear coat, how long will it last? will it hold up to a few conventions? If I sell a piece (65D resin> primer> chrome paint) will I get customers who are disappointed because their armor or helmet is marked up after one day?
 

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Duncanator

Sr Member
Chrome from a can is not ever going to look like chrome. Krylon's can give you decent results though. Just don't spray it on too thick. You want to use a lighter coat than you'll think. It doesn't take much. Then don't touch it for several days. The surface of the paint skins over fairly quickly, but it takes a long time for the underlying paint to thoroughly dry.
 

batguy

Sr Member
Yes, enamel dries from the top down. The surface will feel dry to the touch a couple of days before it's fully dry.

I have not tried it with chrome paints, but any clearcoat probably needs a good buffing to look fully smooth. Maybe even some very fine-grit color sanding before that.
 

gothic

Sr Member
had same results with spray chrome paint but by accident i was cleaning some overspray with a cotton cloth and found i had polished the existing not chrome looking finish to a pretty decent chrome finish, i then clear coated that. dunno if it works on all paint types
 

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lovelyandy

Well-Known Member
alclad chrome is pretty decent but my airbrush + compressor are super cheap (and nasty) so not really up to the task. came out a little splotchy, but for spray paint it gives an amazing mirror finish.

you just gotta make sure your black undercoat is polished to within an inch of its life.
 

Murdoch

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Chrome from a can is not ever going to look like chrome. Krylon's can give you decent results though. Just don't spray it on too thick. You want to use a lighter coat than you'll think. It doesn't take much. Then don't touch it for several days. The surface of the paint skins over fairly quickly, but it takes a long time for the underlying paint to thoroughly dry.
I agree brother, as a guy who has been a chrome electroplater for the last 10years there are no substitutes ...GM
 

madmikeee

Sr Member
The only way I have ever gotten chrome paint to work relatively effectively is to do the following

1) Surface prep, Make sure that surface is as smooth as glass as possible. Prime and sand using 1500 Grit and up
2) Paint using GLOSS black, again make sure that surface is as smooth as possible
3) LIGHTLY coat using your "chrome" spray can until you get the results you want. You can go too far so be light handed! You want to fog it on not hose it down.
4) DON'T CLEAR IT! I have yet to see a clear that will not cause it to get a little milky.

I have done this to plastic and metal parts, the results are really not too shabby but nothing is going to replace true chrome.
 
You could try using a silvering solution like these guys.

Edit:
Because they don't specify, you spray a solution of Stannous Chloride on the piece, then you spray a solution of Silver Nitrate and Ammonia on it while also spraying a solution of Hydrazine Sulfate from a separate sprayer. DO NOT let the Silver Nitrate/Ammonia mixture dry, as it creates a toxic and explosive compound.
 
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Hazmat

Well-Known Member
Great. This really helped. I think I'm just not going to design stuff that with a chrome finish from now on. The problem was that I took pictures of a pieces with the chrome paint. I didn't put a clear coat before I sold it because I wanted to be able to go back and touch up any scuffs. When I did sell it I hit it with another layer of paint and clear coat and it ended up looking like cloudy grey garbage. Adn then I tried again, and again. And again haha.
 

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JOATRASH FX

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Alclad makes a clear coat that will not dull metallics. It needs to be airbrushed on though.
 

Pro Mod

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I used a gold version of one of these paints and it was around 10 days before it was dry enough to handle. Even then I would never describe it as durable finish.
The silvering solution process is great but requires finishing with 2-pack lacquer - not something you really want to be spraying at home!
 

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