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Chrome powder coating vs real chrome


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The radiator shroud on my '26 DB coupe orginally came in 2 flavors - nickle plated or painted.  With paint being the obvious option.  The shroud had lost most of it's nickle plating so I stripped her down to clean steel and when I got a quote back of $900 to have it plated nickle or chroms, I painted it back. 

 

I've been reading about chrome powder coating and googled some pictures and it looks really nice!  I just can't justify $900 for the chrome plating but I might be able to affored the powder coating that looks similar to chrome.

 

Anyone tried this?  What can  you tell me about it? 

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I had some bumpers powder coated recently, compared to real chrome it was almost free.

I went with flat black as I doubt that even the chrome powder coat would be satisfactory.

If you visit a reputable PC shop they should have some samples available. They are like a coin, maybe the size of an old dollar coin.

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I had some bumpers powder coated recently, compared to real chrome it was almost free.

I went with flat black as I doubt that even the chrome powder coat would be satisfactory.

If you visit a reputable PC shop they should have some samples available. They are like a coin, maybe the size of an old dollar coin.

 

 

Thanks.  I will asked them about it.  I'm taking the gas tank in tonight to have it powder coated....I hope.  I had the gas tanked at the radiator shop being boiled and cleanred....and this was after I'd spent 2 days myself cleaning it.  So hopefully it is clean enought (on the inside) that they can PC it without it blowing up.  ;-)  While I am there I will ask for samples.

 

That's a good idea about having the bumpers PC black.  Did you go with flat, satin or gloss?  My bumpers also need work....

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I hate to say it, but you can always tell when a restorer couldn't afford chrome because the alternatives look awful. There's just no way to make a powdercoat or paint look like real plating. Doing the grille shell black, if that was correct in 1926, is not a big deal but I would strongly recommend against doing it on the bumpers. It'll just look cheap and like you gave up and took the easy way out. I'd rather see deteriorated original bumpers than the wrong finish and I bet I'm not alone. Save up for the chrome and you'll be happier with the end result. Otherwise you'll always look at it and wonder if everyone else has noticed how bad it looks (yes, they have, they just didn't say anything).

 

PS: $900 for a grille shell is a bargain! I got a quote for $2300 for just the grille of my '41 Buick...

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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I hate to say it, but you can always tell when a restorer couldn't afford chrome because the alternatives look awful. There's just no way to make a powdercoat or paint look like real plating. Doing the grille shell black, if that was correct in 1926, is not a big deal but I would strongly recommend against doing it on the bumpers. It'll just look cheap and like you gave up and took the easy way out. I'd rather see deteriorated original bumpers than the wrong finish and I bet I'm not alone. Save up for the chrome and you'll be happier with the end result. Otherwise you'll always look at it and wonder if everyone else has noticed how bad it looks (yes, they have, they just didn't say anything).

 

PS: $900 for a grille shell is a bargain! I got a quote for $2300 for just the grille of my '41 Buick...

 

 

Yikes! 

 

I was a 1926 DB Couple like mine at an estate auction recently listed for $27,000.  It was 100% restored.....guess I know why.

 

 

I a seperate note, I was at a car show recently and looking at this 1930s rat rod.  Everything under the hood of that thing was chromed including the exhaust manifold and chrome braided plug wires.  I see this woman looking in the  truck of the car which was covered in velvet and she says, "Now....this truck would not orginally be finished this nice would it?!"  Really, is that the only thing you see on this car that might not original OEM parts?!  :-)  LOL

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Cheesy, maybe. The expensive alternative? Cant justify it. 

One has to weigh the balance between the look they want and the wallet they don't have.

I took this project on after someone had already done the tail lights and fuel fill. Not what I would have gone with but looks OK to me for what it is.

The black (flat black by the way) bumpers look right at home on this car. I don't know how it will look when the rest of the trim goes on but the budget only allows so much.

This very durable paint is in the thirty dollar a gallon range. John Deere chassis paint.

I spent a bunch on the 392 and the four speed and had to get real about the expense of chrome. Fortunately I have a good grill and trim.

 

For those of you that see this as perverted please do not respond. I am having fun and that is all that matters to me.

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Cheesy, maybe. The expensive alternative? Cant justify it. 

One has to weigh the balance between the look they want and the wallet they don't have.

I took this project on after someone had already done the tail lights and fuel fill. Not what I would have gone with but looks OK to me for what it is.

The black (flat black by the way) bumpers look right at home on this car. I don't know how it will look when the rest of the trim goes on but the budget only allows so much.

This very durable paint is in the thirty dollar a gallon range. John Deere chassis paint.

I spent a bunch on the 392 and the four speed and had to get real about the expense of chrome. Fortunately I have a good grill and trim.

 

For those of you that see this as perverted please do not respond. I am having fun and that is all that matters to me.

 

 

Looks great to me! 

 

I agree, it's hard to justify the cost.  I like the black. 

 

Oh well, that is waaay down on the list of things I want/need to do to my cars.  If I can make them look better for pennies on the dollar, I will.  The powder coating is 100% reversible and at any time, if you should find your self with extra cash you don't know what to do with, you can sent them out to be chromed.

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Or how about $5000.00+++ to do a 46-48 Chrysler grille - not including the whiskers or the fender whiskers......

 

As stated - chrome is chrome - everyhting else is "cheesy" looking.

 

 

I only paid $6,000 for my car!

 

I think I've beginning to acquire a taste for cheese.....my breath may smell like cheese but I'll still be sleeping in the bed with Mrs Rogillio and not on the coach. 

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Jack, that's kind of apples vs. oranges. I agree that satin black looks great on that car's trim given the other modifications. But on a relatively stock 1926 Dodge? Not the same, not even close.

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Just my opinion but if chrome-like powder coating satisfies you wouldn't chrome paint from a rattle can make you just as happy for even less money? It's not like powder coat is any closer to actual chrome than silver paint would be. Either one doesn't fool anybody.

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The powder coat is WAY more durable than paint, And as mentioned can be reversed any time.

My opinion is that the powder coat looks much better than a rattle can job. But that's just me. I could never get the OKY Chrome to flow like paint should, it always looks thin.

I agree that on a relatively stock vehicle this may not be the answer. But it works for me here.

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I only paid $6,000 for my car!

 

I think I've beginning to acquire a taste for cheese.....my breath may smell like cheese but I'll still be sleeping in the bed with Mrs Rogillio and not on the coach. 

The comment I made about "cheesy looking" was not intended to offend or be derogatory in ANY way. 

I know how much chrome is to have done. I recently spent $275.00 on one (1) bumper guard for my 47 Chrysler.

 

But anyway...

Oh yeah. Agreed that It'd be better in the bed instead of "on the coach". But then that would depend on the coach ... NYUK, NYUK, NYUK

Hey you asked for it.........

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Powder coating is reversible by sandblasting. Ever sandblast powder coating? It's a chore.

It is more than a chore!  The 5 HP 60 gallon tank set at 145 PSI through the  pressure pot blaster will barley touch it. I gave up trying to remove the power coating from a rusty trailer hitch. It is clean where the rust was.

It is my opinion, to do it once do it right because the bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.

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The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.

 

I should have this quote painted on the wall of my showroom. Someone said it in an earlier thread and it's just as true here: bargain-hunters usually screw themselves.

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Chrome is BLING, less is better.

 

Can you imagine new cars with tons of BLING/CHROME? 

 

Not only is $2,300.00 a lot for a 41 grill, but it's nearly impossible to chrome that grill without loosing lots of detail.  

 

Lots of chrome is what I call  'CHEAP SHINE, and it costs an arm and a leg'.  Chroming brackets, hood hinges, bolts etc. is just making the chrome shop richer, and clutters up the piece, IMO

 

Dale in Indy

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We did a complete show restoration to original of a '59 Cadillac Conv. The chrome bill was in excess of $25K. Lots of shiny bits on a '59 Cadillac. As the saying goes "the nicer the nice the higher the price".

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Like all things in life, we balance what we want with what we can afford.

Chome the bumpers and radiator shrouds on 2 1926 Dodge Brothers Coupes or take the family on a Disney Cruise the Christmas? Hmmmm.....hello Mickey!

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I think a good question to ask one's self is "How much more money do I want to lose?"........  :unsure:

Or, "how much money can I comfortably spend on my hobby, knowing that some day I may get a portion of that money back". "Profit" and "value" can be defined many ways other than money in the pocket. "Beware the Philistine who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing".

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Since the subject is about powder coating, did you ever see a whole car powder coated???  The seller claims you can fix some of the dents with body filler and paint if you wish.  Hummm,  I've painted a few cars in my day, but never painted over powder coating.  Can this be even accomplished?  and why?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1954-Nash-Metropolitan-Project-ALL-PARTS-POWDERCOATED-Everything-You-Need/321772929462?_trksid=p2045573.c100033.m2042&_trkparms=aid%3D111001%26algo%3DREC.SEED%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D31484%26meid%3D02a4be85f98346d2adb6ab83f8a5a271%26pid%3D100033%26rk%3D3%26rkt%3D4%26sd%3D200935718021

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In this case the body of the car is already powder coated.  The seller claims you can fill the dents and then paint over the filler and the existing powder coat.  I can't see how you can paint over the coating.  I don't think it's possible.

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In this case the body of the car is already powder coated.  The seller claims you can fill the dents and then paint over the filler and the existing powder coat.  I can't see how you can paint over the coating.  I don't think it's possible.

All you have to do is rough up the surface a bit and the paint will adhere with no problem.

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Howdy all.  

 

I have no experience with the original topic.  But have read it with great interest.

 

If I may offer my experience.  There is a product called Hi Temp lab metal.  It needs to be cured prior to applying the powder coat, and if I may add it works quite well. Especially if the metal is clean and ready to go. 

 

As to paint over powder coating yes it can be done.  I will not go into detail as to the pros & cons.  I did that once, and some of the replies, cause me not to bring it up publicly again.   however if anybody would like to PM me I will gladly relate my experiences with the requester.

 

Fred D

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  • 2 weeks later...

Chrome plating the big chicken on my Packard hood, both tail light bezels, and the license plate bezel was $500. I can't squawk on that. I can't think of a viable alternative.

 

Of course, I was about 10 when all the neighbors started painting their Korean war period bumpers with silver paint and about 30 when all the silver paint peeled off the newer production cars. Some memories are more indelible than the top strata.

 

Bernie

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Nothing cheapens the work on a car than painted chrome.  You could have a number one restoration with everything done perfectly and then paint the bumpers. or any other major component and  It will look from 40 feet away like a good number 4 until you get close enough to see the details and then the mind of that person viewing it will still be tainted. 

  I see this most often with rods.  Flawless paint and drive train,  Excellent, all be it , usually incorrect interior and then painted bumpers. It's hard to get past the thumbnail photo when I see that to ever see any thing else about the car.

  My take on the Disney Cruise,  Avoid the sea sickness and Neural virus and get the chrome redone. Having chrome plating done is not like motor work or suspension drive train work.  It's easy to see and elevates the car to a new level.  Motor/ drive train work will only be appreciated by very few and probably the worst return on your money.  Auction cars are a perfect example.  You are buying it solely on paint chrome and upholstery and hoping the mechanics pan out.   All it has to do is limp across the block to make a sale.

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I paid $6500 for my first car and another $6000 restoring her. It's worth about $10k. The Crome would cost me another $2,500. Car would still be worth about $10k.

So I spent $6k and bought another car!

If/when I run out of things to do and spend money on, I may do the chrome.

BTW, we've been on 9 Disney cruises and 4 other cruises. Family ALWAYS comes first. What's left goes toward hobbies...

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