Can You Paint Over Chrome? – Complete Guide

Is it possible to paint over chrome? Many people aren’t sure how to paint their chrome surfaces, but it is doable with the proper steps and a little patience.

Yes, you can paint over chrome, but it doesn’t work well with all kinds of paint. If you want to paint on chrome using spray paint, the only types of paint that will suit your needs are either enamel or lacquer (not acrylic). You need to do anything special before painting over the chrome; you need to follow the same steps that you would paint any other surface.

In this article, we’ll discuss the best way to paint over chrome so you can get started on your project today. Keep reading!

Should You Paint Over Chrome?

If you have a chrome bumper or another surface that you want to cover up, painting it will help hide the metallic shine and provide an overall flat finish. This can be a very cheap way to spruce up your car without having to buy any aftermarket components.

It is also possible to paint over other chrome surfaces such as hubcaps, but there are some things that you should keep in mind first. Painting chrome can be challenging since it is a hard metal, but if the surface is rusted or otherwise damaged, covering up the chrome will be an effective way to make your car look better.

If you have chrome accessories such as mirrors on your car, painting them is problematic. For example, if you try to paint a chrome side-view mirror, the paint will not stick well and could come off in sheets after time. The same goes for chrome hubcaps or any other surface with an intricate design.

If your car isn’t in the best condition but wants to spruce it up, painting over the chrome will help you achieve that goal. However, keep in mind that it will require a lot of work and attention to detail.

Types Of Paints Used To Paint Over Chrome

You should not use acrylic paints if your chrome surface is rusted or otherwise damaged because the paint won’t adhere to such a surface well and could come off in sheets. You also should avoid using spray paint on any areas that have an intricate design on them, or you will likely have problems with the paint coming off.

For enamel paints, you will need an enamel primer, as well as two cans of automotive-grade enamel paint. Using a rattle can (which is often the cheapest way to buy paint), keep in mind that there are different grades of paint; if your chrome surface isn’t rusted or otherwise damaged, you should be fine purchasing the cheap kind of paint since it usually works just as well.

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When painting over chrome, you should always sand the surface beforehand to roughen it up and give the paint something to grip onto. You can use fine-grit sandpaper for this task or an electric sander if you have one available.

Finally, you should always prime the chrome before applying paint. This will cover up any imperfections in the metal and provide you with a flat surface to work on.

How Can I prepare my Chrome before painting?

First, you need to clean your chrome surface thoroughly to remove any dirt or oil present. If this isn’t done, the paint will not stick well and could flake off after being baked in the sun. If you aren’t sure how to clean chrome, try using a commercial cleaner such as car wax and grease remover or just soap and water.

After you have cleaned the chrome surface, you should sand it down to roughen it up and remove any rust present. If your chrome is heavily rusted, you shouldn’t paint over the rusted area since this will likely lead to the paint flaking off after heavy use.

You should also sand down any other imperfections present in the metal, or they will show up once you have painted over them.

How to Paint Over Chrome: Step by step

Step 1:

Using a clean rag or cloth, apply a great primer to the chrome surface. The primer will provide something for the paint to stick onto and will make your job much easier in the long run. Allow the primer to dry for 15 minutes before moving on to step two.

Step 2:

Using a rattle can apply two automotive-grade enamel paint over the chrome surface. Take your time with this step and try to apply an even coat of paint so that the finished product looks uniform. Allow the first layer of paint to dry for 20 minutes before applying a second layer. This will ensure that there are no imperfections on the surface and prevent streaking from occurring. If you prefer to use a brush or roller instead, you should do so now since painting on top of dried enamel is difficult.

Step 3:

Wait one hour before doing anything else, then bake the painted chrome in an oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for one hour. Once completed, allow it to cool down inside the oven for 30 minutes before removing it.

Step 4:

Finally, apply a layer of automotive-grade clear coat paint by hand to protect your painted chrome surface. You can also use a rattle can if you wish, but it explicitly states that it is safe to use on metal surfaces. Allow the clear coat paint to dry overnight before using/storing your newly painted item. Good luck!

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Tips for Painting on Chrome

Here are some tips to keep in mind before painting your chrome.

  • When using automotive-style paint, be sure that it states that it is safe for metal surfaces. If it is not explicitly stated on the paint label, do not use it.
  • You can substitute regular house paint instead of automotive-style paint if you are painting over something small. House paint is cheaper, but it may take more coats to provide an even color than two light coats of automotive-style paint.
  • If your chrome surface has any text or designs engraved into it, such as a car logo or branding, sand the area down before painting to prevent the design from being visible on the finished product.
  • If you have a lot of chrome surfaces that you want to paint, it may be worth your time and money to purchase a rattle can gun for this purpose.
  • When painting in a well-ventilated area, make sure that there is adequate ventilation. It may be necessary to wear a mask to avoid breathing in the fumes.
  • Pay attention to how long you allow each layer of paint or primer to dry before adding another layer. If this is not followed, there could be undesirable results such as air bubbles or bumps on the final product.
  • Try to work on small sections at a time. If you try to cover your entire surface area in one shot, it may result in streaks instead of even color coverage.
  • As with any DIY project, practice makes perfect. You should experiment with different techniques before trying them out on your finished product.
  • Play around with different paints and see what works best for you. For example, if you plan on painting a car, try to use paint made specifically for metal surfaces.
  • Be patient! It may take time to perfect your technique, but the final product will pay off in the end.

How to Paint Chrome on Your Bumper

This is a guide on painting your car’s bumper with ultra-chrome.

The first step of this process is to remove the bumper from the car. If you are having trouble removing it, here are some steps that might help:

Make sure that your emergency brake is activated so that the wheels remain stationary. Once this has been accomplished, jack up your car so that there is enough room on the side of the bumper to fit an entire can of WD-40 Spray.

Next, wait for two minutes before spraying the WD-40 onto the backside of your bumper until all of its access greases have been removed. It should easily slide off afterward.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Paint Over Polished Chrome?

You can paint on polished chrome in the same way you would paint on regular bare metal, but be sure to use a primer underneath.

How Do You Paint Chrome Faucets?

Before painting your chrome faucets, clean them thoroughly with rubbing alcohol and steel wool. This is because there needs to be an adhesive so that the paint will hold. When painting your faucets, use a high-quality brush and work in small sections at a time. Be sure to let each area dry before continuing to the next.

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How Do You Paint Chrome Window Frames?

First, you must completely strip your chrome window frames of their old paint by sanding them down with rubbing alcohol.

Next, clean your chrome window frames thoroughly using water and soap.

Now that your chrome window frames are free of grease and residue, it is time to begin painting them. Use two coats of primer before applying the topcoat. Be sure to let each layer dry before applying another one.

How Do You Paint Chrome Trim?

Chrome trim is very similar to chrome window frames. First, you must completely strip your chrome trim of its old paint by sanding it down with rubbing alcohol.

Next, clean your chrome window frames thoroughly using water and soap. Now that your chrome window frames are free of grease and residue, begin painting them.

Use two coats of primer before applying the topcoat. Be sure to let each layer dry before applying another one.

What Paint Will Stick to Chrome??

The most common paints used to paint chrome are enamel and lacquer-based. Acrylic is the least effective, but it will work if no others are available. However, acrylic is not recommended for this type of project because it will easily chip off once exposed to weathering elements.

Is painting over chrome hard?

No! It is straightforward and easy to do. Chrome paint dries fast and adheres to the surface well, making it a perfect fit for this type of project.

How do you paint chrome black?

Three different paint types work for this project: enamel, lacquer, and acrylic. However, it is recommended to use either enamel or lacquer because they have a better bond with the surface.

Can I spray paint on chrome?

Yes! However, spray paint is not recommended for this project because it can be very runny. If you decide to use spray paint, be sure to go over the chrome several times with a good primer.

Can you paint over rusted chrome?

Yes! However, you need to use a high-quality rust remover and primer before painting. Be sure to sand down the rusted chrome first for an even finish.


By following these simple steps, you can make your car stand out by painting it on chrome. Chrome is a great way to add an extra spark of style to any vehicle, and it will make your ride look new!

I hope this article helps you to paint chrome.

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