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topic 10988

Can heavy, chrome finish on dining set be changed to a more current look?


I own an expensive, well-made, oval, heavily-chromed dining room table and chairs. It is essentially a large, heavy chromed oval frame with a glass top set in a channel and four straight legs. It was purchased in the late 70s. I would like to bring it up to the 2001+ era, if possible. I see a lot of matte finished, brushed-chrome or stainless type of metal furniture now and like that look (sort of a satin-type of (non-reflective) finish in the gray-metallic or dark gray-metallic appearance). It does almost look like it might have been patinated with some chemical as I don't think it has a "coating" on it.

It there something I can do to my set to achieve this overall appearance? Or, is the work prohibitively time-consuming? Is there a chemical that could be applied and then buffed or something? Or, might there be some type of chemical that could be applied that might give me another appearance other than bright, mirror-finish chrome, even if it would not achieve the satin finish in gray I am looking for but some other appearance that I might prefer instead of the shiny chrome look? Any suggestions?

I would consider having a professional do this if the cost is not prohibitive should the treatment not be for amateurs.

Thank you!

Arline Kay
- Granada Hills, California, USA


I would not call it a safe operation, but the chrome can be stripped with Muriatic Acid [linked by editor to product info at Amazon]. This would leave you with a nickel finish, which is more yellowish in tint and prone to tarnishing--but that might be exactly what you're looking for. If not, I think you should be able to find some tinted lacquer in the grayish color you seek.

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


I would suggest that the most environmentally friendly way to do this is to have the metal powder-coated without removing the chrome. I've seen some very unique finishes being applied, very up-to-date looking. It is even possible to apply a translucent/transparent grey coating over the chrome to give you that smokey yet polished metal look. Although this is not anything that can be done without a lot of specialized equipment, the prices are quite reasonable.

Bob Zonis
- Bohemia, NY

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