How to Paint Chrome? – All You Learn Is Here

Randy Charles
Professional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years...Read more

Are you tired of your old chrome fixtures and eyeing a fresh coat of paint? Painting over chrome sounds daunting, but it’s entirely possible with the right tools and techniques.

This article will walk you through a step-by-step process to transform your chrome surfaces into colorful masterpieces.

Ready for a DIY adventure? Let’s dive in!

Preparing the Chrome Surface for Painting

To prepare the chrome surface for painting, start by sanding it to create a rough texture that will help the paint adhere better.

Next, clean the surface using wax and grease remover to remove any dirt or oils.

Sanding the surface

Let’s start with making the chrome surface ready for paint.

  1. Grab some sandpaper: Choose a fine-grit sandpaper to rough up the shiny chrome surface. This will make the paint stick better.
  2. Rub it well: Move your hand in small circles over the whole surface you want to paint.
  3. Be gentle: Don’t push too hard on the sandpaper. You don’t want to scratch your chrome; just rough it up a little.
  4. Take your time: This step can be slow, so don’t rush and miss spots.
  5. Clean up: When done, wipe off any dust from the sanding.

Cleaning with wax and grease remover

Cleaning with wax and grease remover is a key step to prepare your chrome for painting. Here are steps to follow:

  1. Grab a good quality wax and grease remover from the store.
  2. Use a clean, soft cloth or sponge to apply the remover.
  3. Rub it on the chrome surface in small circles.
  4. Make sure to cover all areas you plan to paint.
  5. Let it sit for few minutes but don’t let it dry out.
  6. Wipe off the remover with a fresh cloth.
  7. Be careful not to touch the cleaned area with greasy hands.
  8. Repeat these steps if there’s still wax or grease present.

Applying a primer

Applying a primer is a key step in painting chrome. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Pick the right primer for your project. The self – etching primer works well on chrome surfaces.
  2. Make sure the area you want to paint is clean and dry.
  3. Shake the primer can before you start to mix its content well.
  4. Hold the can about 12 inches from the surface and spray in light, even strokes.
  5. Wait for some time. Let the first coat of primer dry completely before adding another one.
  6. Apply two or three layers of primer to get better coverage.
  7. After applying all coats, let it dry fully.

Techniques for Painting Over Chrome

When painting over chrome, there are a few techniques you can use to achieve a smooth and even finish.

Using a spray gun or spray paint

To paint chrome, you can use a spray gun or spray paint. Here are some steps to follow:

  • Prepare your work area and make sure it is well – ventilated.
  • Clean the chrome surface thoroughly using wax and grease remover.
  • Use sandpaper to lightly roughen the surface for better adhesion of the paint.
  • Apply a self – etching primer to create a good base for the paint to adhere to.
  • Shake your spray paint can well before applying thin, even coats of paint. Hold the can about 8 – 12 inches away from the surface and move in smooth, sweeping motions.
  • Allow each coat to dry completely before applying additional coats. This will help prevent drips and ensure a smooth finish.
  • Apply multiple thin coats rather than one thick coat for better coverage and durability.
  • After letting the final coat dry, you can apply a clear coat for added protection and shine.

Using a brush or foam applicator

To paint chrome surfaces, you can also use a brush or foam applicator. Here are some tips:

  • Use a good quality brush or foam applicator that is suitable for the type of paint you are using.
  • Apply the paint in light, even strokes to avoid drips and uneven coverage.
  • Start from one end of the chrome surface and work your way to the other end to ensure consistent application.
  • If needed, apply multiple coats of paint, allowing each coat to dry completely before applying the next one.
  • Use a steady hand and take your time to achieve smooth and precise strokes.

Applying light coats and avoiding drips

Applying light coats and avoiding drips is important when painting chrome surfaces. This helps to achieve a smooth, even finish without any unwanted streaks or runs. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Start by spraying or brushing on a thin layer of paint, rather than applying a heavy coat all at once.
  • Hold the spray gun or brush about 6 – 8 inches away from the surface for better control.
  • Move your hand in a steady back-and-forth motion, overlapping each stroke slightly to ensure even coverage.
  • If using a brush, use long, smooth strokes in one direction to minimize brush marks.
  • Allow each coat to dry completely before applying the next one. This will prevent the paint from running or sagging.
  • If you notice any drips or runs while the paint is still wet, gently smooth them out with a clean brush or sponge.
  • Remember to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for drying times between coats and overall curing time.

Tips for Successful Chrome Painting

– Work in a well-ventilated area to ensure proper air circulation and minimize inhalation of fumes.

– Allow each coat of paint to dry completely before applying the next one, as this will help prevent drips or uneven coverage.

– Apply multiple light coats rather than one heavy coat, which will result in a smoother finish and reduce the chances of paint runs or sags.

To discover more helpful tips for achieving a flawless chrome paint job, continue reading!

Working in a well-ventilated area

When painting chrome surfaces, it is important to work in a well-ventilated area.

This helps to ensure proper air circulation and reduces the inhalation of fumes from the paint and other chemicals used in the process.

Good ventilation also helps the paint dry properly and prevents any buildup of harmful vapors.

So, open windows or use fans to create airflow while you’re working on your project. It’s all about keeping yourself safe and comfortable while achieving a professional-looking paint job on your chrome surfaces.

Allowing sufficient drying time between coats

After applying each coat of paint, it’s important to let it dry completely before adding another layer.

This allows the paint to adhere properly and avoids any smudging or damage. The drying time can vary depending on factors like humidity and temperature, but a general rule of thumb is to wait at least 24 hours between coats.

Be patient and resist the urge to rush the process – giving each coat enough time to dry will result in a smoother and more professional finish.

Applying multiple coats for better coverage

To achieve better coverage when painting chrome surfaces, it is important to apply multiple coats of paint. This helps to ensure that the color is evenly distributed and provides a smoother finish.

When applying each coat, make sure to wait for the previous one to dry completely before adding another layer.

By doing so, you will not only enhance the overall appearance but also increase the durability of your paint job.

Remember, patience is key when painting chrome – take your time and apply several thin coats instead of one thick coat for the best results.

Finishing Touches and Maintenance

After painting the chrome surface, it’s important to apply a clear coat for added durability and protection against scratches and chips.

Regular cleaning and maintenance will also help preserve the paint job, so be sure to use non-abrasive cleaners and avoid harsh chemicals that could damage the finish.

If any chips or scratches do occur, touch them up promptly to maintain a polished look.

Applying a clear coat for added durability

To make your painted chrome surface more durable, follow these steps:

  1. After painting, apply a clear coat to protect the paint and enhance its durability.
  2. The clear coat acts as a barrier against scratches and chips, extending the life of your paint job.
  3. It also adds an extra layer of shine and helps achieve a glossy finish.
  4. Make sure to choose a clear coat specifically designed for automotive use.
  5. Apply the clear coat according to the manufacturer’s instructions, using even and light coats.
  6. Allow sufficient drying time between each coat to ensure proper adhesion and avoid smudging or dripping.
  7. Remember to work in a well – ventilated area when applying the clear coat and wear appropriate protective gear.
  8. Regularly clean and maintain your painted chrome surface to preserve its shine and prevent any damage or fading.

Regular cleaning and maintenance to preserve the paint job

To keep your chrome paint looking great, it’s important to clean and maintain it regularly. Here are some tips:

  • Use a soft cloth or sponge to gently clean the painted surface.
  • Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scrub brushes, as they can damage the paint.
  • Wash your painted chrome with mild soap and water, then rinse thoroughly.
  • Dry the surface with a soft towel to prevent water spots.
  • Apply a protective wax or sealant to help preserve the paint and add shine.
  • Avoid exposure to harsh chemicals or solvents that can strip away the paint.
  • If you notice any chips or scratches, touch them up immediately to prevent further damage.

Touching up any chips or scratches as needed

It’s important to touch up any chips or scratches on your painted chrome surface to maintain its appearance. Here are some tips for doing it effectively:

  1. Clean the damaged area: Use a mild soap and water solution to clean the area around the chip or scratch. This will ensure that there is no dirt or debris that could interfere with the touch-up process.
  2. Sand the damaged area: Gently sand the chip or scratch using fine-grit sandpaper. This will help smooth out any rough edges and create a better surface for the touch-up paint to adhere to.
  3. Apply touch-up paint: Use a small brush or touch-up pen to apply a thin layer of matching paint to the damaged area. Start from the center of the chip or scratch and feather the paint out towards the edges.
  4. Let it dry: Allow the touch-up paint to dry completely according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This may take several hours or overnight, depending on the type of paint used.
  5. Buff and blend: Once dry, gently buff the repaired area with a soft cloth to blend it with the surrounding painted surface. This helps create a seamless finish.
  6. Apply clear coat (optional): If desired, you can apply a clear coat over the touch-up paint for added protection and shine. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and drying time.


Now you know how to paint chrome like a pro! By following the steps outlined in this blog, you can transform any chrome surface into a vibrant and customized work of art.

Remember to prepare the surface properly, use the right techniques for painting, and apply multiple coats for an even finish.

With some patience and practice, you’ll be able to achieve a stunning new look for your chrome items. Happy painting!


Can I paint over chrome surfaces?

Yes, you can paint over chrome surfaces by following a specific process that involves sanding, priming, and using the right type of paint.

Do I need to remove the chrome before painting?

No, you don’t necessarily have to remove the chrome before painting. However, it is recommended to roughen the surface with sandpaper for better adhesion of the paint.

What type of paint should I use to paint chrome?

To effectively paint chrome, it’s best to use a high-quality automotive enamel or spray pain specifically designed for metal surfaces.

How do I prepare the chrome surface before painting?

Before painting, make sure to clean the chrome surface thoroughly with soap and water. Then, lightly roughen it with fine-grit sandpaper and apply a primer suitable for metal surfaces.

How long does painted chrome last?

The longevity of painted chrome depends on several factors such as quality of preparation and materials used. With proper preparation and regular maintenance, painted chrome can last for many years without significant issues.

Randy CharlesProfessional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years of experience in the painting industry, Randy has become an expert in the field and is passionate about helping others learn more about painting. He has written numerous articles on the subject and is committed to providing accurate and up-to-date information to his readers.

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