Chroming is an age-long method of electroplating an object other than gold plating, as old as we may claim it to be, it is not as old as gold plating itself. In this article, we will be revealing how to chrome plate items to your preferred finish.
Chromium Electroplating – Electroplating Process
A genuine chrome plating process entails adding layers of chromium to the surface of an object; this is usually a hazardous process; hence, only professionals are expected to practice chrome plating.
However, thanks to the invention of new technologies, you can chrome plate yourself and get a near-perfect result without spending so much employing the services of a professional. One of the easiest methods is to get a spray paint that has embedded chromium elements and spray on the object.
You shall be learning about how to chrome plate in this article, taking three methods as a case study as we try to expose some ultimate tricks and tips that have been proven to work overtime.
Step one Cleaning
This is the same with the fundamental cleaning only that it goes a bit deeper. The metal to work with is allowed to stay under a stream of cold water, thereby rotating it as the water flows to ensure uniform cleaning. Once you have ensured thorough cleaning and washing, you have the wipe the metal surface dry to prepare it for the next phase.
You would need to adequately protect yourself with the right PPEs before commencing the next stage, which is the greasing stage. Protecting yourself is very important here because of the hazardous nature of some degreasers, so a pair of rubber gloves and eyewear to protect your skin and eyes is very vital.
The next step would be to degrease the object as much as possible, to leave the surface grease-free and shining. Once this is done, you can be sure to have a brilliant finished metal surface. This method is essential and may not give satisfactory result to some, depending on their taste.
This is an actual method as it gives the desired result in a better way. You can pick up a chrome paint from an auto store nearby, however, ensure you lookout for the one that its label reads “VMP” or “vacuum metalized pigments”, these are the genuine ones that contain chrome pigments.
Because of the toxic nature of aerosol paints in general, it is recommended that you carry out the activity outdoor, placing a protective layer underneath to avoid accidentally spraying the ground beneath.
Like the cleaning method, ensure to be in your adequate PPE during this procedure too, for the sake of your body.
To begin spraying, hold the spray can about 15cm away from the object while shaking the can vigorously before spraying. Ensure you maintain consistent strokes in a back-and-forth manner to enhance the output of the spray.
If you’re spraying an item that has more than one side, you would need to wait for about 3 hours for the part you sprayed to dry off before you flip the object to another side for spraying. If you follow the process adequately, the sprayed surface should last for about eight months before corrosion sets in.
Using Chrome Plating Kits
This is the most effective method as it utilizes a full kit, although it involves the use of more dangerous chemicals, the final result is usually long-lasting. A chrome plating kit can be purchased mostly from companies that specialize in chrome plating professionally such as Goldgenie and a kit can go for as low as $150 and as high as $500 depending on the vendor.
Because purchasing the kit can seem quite expensive, it is advisable to take your item to a chrome plating store, except if you’re chrome plating many large parts. Another advantage of getting a kit is it can be used for other non-metallic objects and you can set up a very lucrative business with a kit.
You will need adequate PPE protection and a well-ventilated environment to carry out a safe process as well. It entails coating the object in an “activating solution” that can be deployed by spraying on the object at some 15 to 20cm away, while still ensuring adequate rigorous shaking. In some kits, the activator is also termed as a primer. You need to cover the object in so much spray that it is practically dripping.
De-ionization of the chroming solution is very important in the chrome plating process, it usually comes with most plating kits, so you only need to mix about 2 to 3 bottles in a spray bottle and shake it up. If your kid didn’t provide for it or you want to make your own, you need to run tap or spring water through a DI system which can be purchased from a chemical producing firm or water purification company.
Once deionization is done, you can proceed to spray your item, for 10 to 15 times, keeping the bottle about 17cm away starting from the top straight to the bottom of the object, allowing it to drip. You can immediately apply the sealant on the spray coat keeping the bottle about 15 to 25cm away, or you can allow drying depending on the kit’s instruction.
The essence of adding the sealant is to protect the chromed surface further and extend its life span for about a year more.
To round things up, you may have to blow dry the item to signify the completion of the process. You can use a dryer or an air gun moving back and forth on the object as you blow. Once the object is totally dry, the chrome plating process has been completed.
We have tried to describe how to chrome plate in the simplest, yet most detailed way. The instructions provided here are rather typical and each chrome plating kits may come with its specific instructions. Hence you may need to check that for the most appropriate approach,