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Any tips on refinishing the chrome on dash parts?


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Just throwing this question out there to see if any has a better idea to refinish dash parts and specifically the chrome.

Re-chroming is out of the question, but I do know of chrome-like finishes that come close. There is a company close to me that does this sort of work, but I just need to get my a** down there and talk to them about cost and possibility. Chrome "paints" are pretty useless as far as I can see. Talked about this before in another thread.

Moving forward, let's say there is a suitable chrome finish that can be applied. The next step would be a way to mask off the chrome for painting the rest black. I'm thinking a liquid mask of some type rather than tape, which is doable, but time consuming.

Anyone got any ideas???

Geoff.

 I learn something new every day!

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I would think the best way to go using a chrome paint, would be to get the main color sprayed and cured, then mask off everything you don't want chrome paint on. I know it's a lot more masking, but chrome paints being so 'delicate,' it just makes more sense to apply them last.

 

Get some 'green' tape from an auto paint seller and use that after you've gotten the main colors (I'm assuming camera black) on the pieces taken care of. The blue tape will pull up anything that didn't get good adhesion.

Eric

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Guest Pastel Blue

I recall a company out of Michigan that you could send these parts to and have them re-done, but, my recall can't remember whom exactly... maybe someone here knows...

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The "good" chrome paints use a 3-step process and aren't cheap, and not many are for FIYers:

http://alsacorp.com/killer-chrome/

 

Spaz Stix seems to be pretty well rated, when using their ultimate black backer for a base, followed by mirror chrome, and then clear coated with their ultimate mirror chrome clear, and is more affordable:

https://www.amainhobbies.com/spaz-stix/b164

 

 

“If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.”

--Albert Einstein

 

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The "good" chrome paints use a 3-step process and aren't cheap, and not many are for FIYers:

http://alsacorp.com/killer-chrome/

 

Spaz Stix seems to be pretty well rated, when using their ultimate black backer for a base, followed by mirror chrome, and then clear coated with their ultimate mirror chrome clear, and is more affordable:

https://www.amainhobbies.com/spaz-stix/b164

 

Don, I think the "Killer Chrome" product is what the shop nearby uses, or at least a product very similar. This is worth looking into, but If I can get it done without having to actually buy the stuff, that's the route I'll take.

In reply to other very good suggestion, thanks and Eric, you might be right about doing the black first and masking that out. Obviously with my background, the process is not lost on me, but I do appreciate all the suggestions.

Geoff.

Geoff.

 I learn something new every day!

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I saw a video last night on FB from the Model Cars group I'm a member of. The guy took the chrome paint from a Molotow chrome paint pen and ran it through an airbrush. Looks freaken awesome!

 

 

I know this is how I'm going to be painting the resin 1/12th Cragars for my Vanishing Mach 1 model, that's for sure. ::thumb::

Eric

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For masking off the thin chrome areas you can use a Fiskars rotary scissor to cut tape to any width you need. http://www2.fiskars.com/Special-Feature/How-to-Choose-a-Rotary-Cutter

Easy to do I use it all the time to make narrow strips of tape. Use one of their cutting boards and a straight edge and make any width you need.

Now to find a chrome that works. Like stated the re chrome is stupid expensive.

When I do a console for anyone I do not even try to do the chrome I tell the owner they can get the model car pens and make it look a little better but I do not even try. Pics are the console shift surround and clock frame. I have one of the larger diameter scissors also but not a pic.

CAM_0080.JPG.2cf5092a14a4d624fd7630408aaa4725.JPG

CAM_0083.JPG.2aa1c38419dab609983e768246113dd2.JPG

CAM_0084.JPG.2ba2abdff13a8cc84b0bf4ab36fe5752.JPG

When a man is in the woods and talks and no women are there is he still wrong??:P

David

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Thanks for sharing, David. ::thumb::

 

My center console's chrome was still good, but the console itself needed a fresh coat of SEM, so I did basically the same thing - I didn't have the cool 'pizza cutter' you showed, though. I just put down some strips of tape and trimmed them up at the edge of the chrome. Same basic deal, but your method gives more precise strips and is less wasteful.

 

:bravo:

Eric

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Guest Pastel Blue

True, but by the time you're done paying for the very expensive process, you could've bought 2 sets of repops. :whistling:

 

Sounds as though he was looking to restore his originals, hence my response....

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Thanks guys for the awesome responses. I'm sure this will be very helpful to many of us as the chrome is often the first thing to go after all these years. I had the bad experience of stripping ALL my chrome in the interior when I put mothballs inside to ward off rodents when I stored the 72 for 5 years, HUGE mistake, don't do it!!

I am going to find out more about the local shop this week, so when I do, I'll post that up. If I can find the products that best suit the job, I'll do it myself, quite within my capabilities.The tips given and the product suggested make doing it at home very doable.

We went through some of this just recently, but this has been a bit more insightful.

Pictures will be posted when done......... but that still could be some time yet. Got damn cold again in the shed!!

Geoff.

Geoff.

 I learn something new every day!

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True, but by the time you're done paying for the very expensive process, you could've bought 2 sets of repops. :whistling:

 

Sounds as though he was looking to restore his originals, hence my response....

 

No, I get where you were coming from, but sometimes you really gotta decide if a couple pieces of plastic are really worth THAT much. Your build, sure... money's no object to get it absolutely right (and I admire that kind of discipline). But seriously - they want somewhere north of $600 to restore the plastic dash pieces (I checked before deciding on going with repops myself). They replate the entire piece, then mask off the newly replated chrome and repaint the black/colored areas. Don't get me wrong - it's top-notch work, and it's done right. But Man... that's a lot of money just to have some strips of chrome re-brighted.

 

I got a complete set of dash trim from OMS and I honestly can't tell the difference in the new pieces (other than the old stuff still looks... old and worn out).

 

I also researched about a dozen different ways to restore the chrome trim, and just getting repop pieces made more sense to me at the time (especially, since a lot of the fastening points on the backsides were broken on mine anyway). I hadn't seen the "chrome paint pen through the airbrush" trick until just recently. I might give that a shot on my old ones, just for fun. Definitely going to be using that technique for my small scale chrome projects, though.

Eric

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I had mine replated by a company in Romulus,Mi. It is called vacuum metalizing and I was very happy with the results. My post with pictures was titled plastic rechroming I think.

BKDunha

72 Mach 1 H-Code (Concourse driven restoration)

67 S-Code Factory GT with 4-Spd

68 Mercury Cyclone (Pro-Street project)

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I am looking to use these guys:

http://vacuumorna-metal.com/content/restoration

I think this is the same place that "bkdunha" mentions.

 

I asked them for a quote last week and the price for each part restored was less than what the reproduction parts cost. They will repair broken parts such as screw studs, cracks, etc.

 

I have purchased several reproduction dash parts in the past and with the exception of the long console clock bezel have been unimpressed with the quality compared to the originals.

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Vacuum metalizing is most definitely an option. I've know about that process for many years. IF the US exchange rate was not as bad as it is right now, I would consider it for sure............ and I still might, but as my Plain Jane doesn't have that much chrome on it anyway, I'm looking for a more economical way for now. In fact, the part I want to refinish is a center gauge panel as I am adding a set of aftermarket Bosch gauges and I want to keep the "original" look. Actually, my chrome strips are not that bad as they stand, but redoing them would definitely add to the appearance.

Thanks to everyone for your input and ideas. I'll repost when I get it done, one way or another.

Geoff.

Geoff.

 I learn something new every day!

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  • 2 months later...

Okay, so some time has passed since I last looked at this idea. What I have decided to do (for now) is to NOT mess around anymore with trying to make it look like chrome. I tired a "chrome" paint which really looked like paint. Killer chrome was suggested and would be a good process, but for me, way too expensive for what I'm doing. There is a local guy who does this, but still too expensive to justify. I could take the part to Vacuum Orna Metalizing and get it done right for about 190 bucks, but at this time I don't need that either. On my original center panel, yes, I'm going to send that way to be done later.

 

My goal is to add a set of  Bosch aftermarket gauges in an original bezel that I picked up (with factory gauges) pretty cheap. I do not want to damage the originals in any way, except paint, so I came up with the bracket shown. I am not even going to damage the Bosch gauges either. I am leaving the glass and bezels on them, but, if I have an issue seeing them when I get the panel mounted, I can change them later. I made the bracket to adjust for that. The real downside to these gauges is that the Temp and Oil are mechanical, so I'm going to have to drill a 3/4" hole in the firewall and I'm not happy about that, but there aren't any other suitable electronic somewhat stock looking gauges out there that will fit.

 

So gentlemen, as my car has a basic black interior and my speedometer / tach bezel is just plain black, no chrome, I think I'm going to paint the whole center piece black with the exception of the Volume and Tuning labels. The radio will be as it is. What do you think, yes, no, maybe?

Geoff.

 I learn something new every day!

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That looks GREAT!  Nice bracketry work and the plastic looks awesome as well. :bravo:

 

You could've used the original gauge cluster, though - you would've had to modify the gauges (remove the dash light socket) instead of hurting the bracket.  That's how I did my ammeter to voltmeter conversion, and the factory dash light circuit is working as it's supposed to.  I used the same Bosch voltmeter for my conversion as well - solid unit!

 

You're going to have to add a pigtail to the harness for the third gauge, since there's only 2 bulbs in the factory 3-gauge cluster socket (I know - "Captain Obvious," here... sorry :whistling:  )

 

 

 

I thought all the non-veneer center trim pieces had the camera case finish (chrome strips or otherwise).

Eric

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Good job, I like the all black look. Nice work on the bracket, that took some thought and head scratching.

 

 

“If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.”

--Albert Einstein

 

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That looks GREAT!  Nice bracketry work and the plastic looks awesome as well. :bravo:

 

You could've used the original gauge cluster, though - you would've had to modify the gauges (remove the dash light socket) instead of hurting the bracket.  That's how I did my ammeter to voltmeter conversion, and the factory dash light circuit is working as it's supposed to.  I used the same Bosch voltmeter for my conversion as well - solid unit!

 

You're going to have to add a pigtail to the harness for the third gauge, since there's only 2 bulbs in the factory 3-gauge cluster socket (I know - "Captain Obvious," here... sorry :whistling:  )

 

 

 

I thought all the non-veneer center trim pieces had the camera case finish (chrome strips or otherwise).

Eric, thanks for your positive opinion. Yes, I could have used the factory gauges, but I actually wanted numbers to tell me what exactly the oil and temp are not just L - H, C - H.  As for wiring, yes I do have to change it around a bit. I need to do it anyways as it's a bit of a mess under there! I'm also going to use LED's and a piece of the blue diffuser so I have a consistent lighting color.

This panel had the wood grain finish that was pretty well wrecked. As far as I knew, there were only the 2 finishes, camera case and "nogahide". I was surprised to find that there was a third, plain. I expected to find the nogahide (or however it's spelled!!) but no. Three finishes, three tool inserts!

 First picture is of it partially cleaned off, what a mess!, second is the Rocketman Tach, and the basic plain dash panel for comparison.

What I showed is basically a try-out. I will need to sand it with 800 and top coat it, then let it sit for a week or two. I'm using SEM Trim Black BTW.

Geoff.

 I learn something new every day!

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Good job, I like the all black look. Nice work on the bracket, that took some thought and head scratching.

 

 Thanks Don, I was scratching my head only as far as "does it look OK" The bracketry was pretty easy for me as I did a lot of that stuff when I worked.

If anyone else wants to do a similar conversion, I'd be happy to actually measure it and post a drawing.

Geoff.

 I learn something new every day!

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I am certainly interested as I am working on a similar project.

73 Grande H Code. Headman long tube headers, T-5 Transmission, 3.70 Traclok, Lowered 1" all around, Aussie 2v heads w/ 2.19 intake, 1.71 exhaust, screw in studs, full roller cam 608/612 lift 280/281 duration LSA 112, Quick Fuel 750 CFM double pumper, AirGap intake.

 

- Jason

 

 

082-hot-rod-power-tour-2017-1970-1970s.jpg

 

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I am certainly interested as I am working on a similar project.

 

 Jason, Give me a little time to figure it out. I literally made this as I went through the process. Stay tuned!!

Geoff.

 I learn something new every day!

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I thought all the non-veneer center trim pieces had the camera case finish (chrome strips or otherwise).

 

 Eric, I just re-read this and I missed your point. The finish on the outer surface is textured. However it does look like it could be plain in the picture. Sorry if that confused you. It was just the area where the wood grain is applied that is non textured.

Geoff.

 I learn something new every day!

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I am certainly interested as I am working on a similar project.

 

 Jason, Give me a little time to figure it out. I literally made this as I went through the process. Stay tuned!!

 

No problem. I have to get my engine done and back in the car first. Gauges won't do me much good without that.  :D

73 Grande H Code. Headman long tube headers, T-5 Transmission, 3.70 Traclok, Lowered 1" all around, Aussie 2v heads w/ 2.19 intake, 1.71 exhaust, screw in studs, full roller cam 608/612 lift 280/281 duration LSA 112, Quick Fuel 750 CFM double pumper, AirGap intake.

 

- Jason

 

 

082-hot-rod-power-tour-2017-1970-1970s.jpg

 

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