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topic 10305

Painting Chrome Plated ABS


Is anyone aware of the 'best process' for painting an exterior chrome plated ABS surface. We are working on a proposal for nameplate/badge business - we are competent on the plating process - yet - need guidance on the painting process. The nameplate would be completely chrome with paint between the raised letters.

Any quick help is appreciated.

Drew Graham


You need to be aware -- and it sounds like you are -- that painting of chrome plating is quite difficult. It has to do with the fact that chrome won't easily "wet" ('high contact angle' is one way it's expressed, I think).

There is an article on the subject by K R Hasmanis in the Nov. 1976 issue of Metal Finishing if you have access to it.

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey


Dear Drew,

Usually epoxy based paints will adhere to chrome, but you have an exterior application, so steer clear of that, since epoxies will chalk outdoors. Try an acrylic based paint after the final rinse, before the chrome has cooled. This way you can get a tooth on the chrome before you are left with a slick, non-porous surface.

Good luck,

Jake Koch
G. J. Nikolas & Co., Inc.
supporting advertiser
Bellwood, Illinois
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