Spray Mirror Chrome?

Slofut

Promoted Users
My '70 Triumph has painted fenders, other years and models have stainless or chrome fenders and I really prefer the look. I'm thinking of painting the fenders and maybe the tank with a mirror chrome product. Tri coat with ss spi polished black base, chrome product, and spi clear. I'm not expecting a perfect chrome look the first time, but close would be ok on this bike. Three I've narrowed down to because of ease of use and the fact that I don't need to take on another serious project with a big equipment purchase and learning curve, are Motochrome, Spraygunner FX chrome effect, and KemKhrome. Anybody tried any of these products? Opinions would be appreciated. May consider black chrome but it's essentially the same process I think.
 

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yeah, all the processes end up needing a clear coat, so you just candy black over it.

I paid about 500 to a place called Angel guilding that is in my area. Got the kit, activators, eventually went to amazon and got the two headed spray gun if we were able to get this in production. Mainly measuring apparatus, and spray bottles, you spray two together and never worked right, twice. One would look good, you watch the chrome form on the material if it stays wet, any water break and its gone. Try to do the same thing again and nothing. Plus, you needed a completely flat perfect base under it. The chemistry is expensive, I paid 150.00 to the guy in mexico on ebay to get the formula and I got nothing useful. Looked at a 4 gun spray kit for cheap as a return on ebay as well but we could not get this to work over a textured part wanted to use.

There was really no clear that did the job that was needed to keep it chrome. Even went to theirs and no dice either. The rustoleum spray gold and chrome was decent, would never use it on a car.

Bottom line, real chrome, copper, polish, copper, polish is what I see needs to be done with a basecoat before attempting and then needing to keep the part wet between steps.
 
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Slofut

Promoted Users
AI, that is the chemical gilding process I was wanting to avoid, although if it works right it looks like the best looking.
These others are a step down from that I think and more of a paint process, no water or chemicals involved. I'd never use a spray bomb on anything with more than 10 min prep time in it, that precludes automotive. I've heard of problems with these also, fading quickly, intercoat adhesion etc... I think I'll end up trying one of them. Wish I could get some recent feedback from someone familiar though.
 

Jim C

Oldtimer
i havent used the silver nitrate type systems like chromefx or any of those. i have used mirrachrome which is def a step down but certainly way better than anything from a spray can. that stuff you just need that perfect sanded and buffed black ss base then you gradually mist it on. buff lightly with a soft cloth, wait a few days and clear it. it gives you the look of a slightly hazy polished aluminum. def not chrome. none of these are worth all the effort though. do like AI said and sand the thing out and have it chromed. it will prob be cheaper and it will be right
 

MP&C

Member
My experience with mirra-chrome was on a deer damage repair...


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He wanted some tribal flames and wanted to try the mirra chrome finish..


Base and clear.....and also note the nice tree for painting the Harley tanks, get to everything without tanks flopping around........ ;)


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detail on the tree ears...weld beads applied in strategic locations to hold the tanks in place.....

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Flame layout

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Be sure to mock up the dash so you don't cover all your work....as well as the seat..

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Mirrachrome applied....this was applied using a Badger airbrush..

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The Speedclear (their product) dulled out the mirrachrome more than I cared for, but the owner really liked the flame layout.

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So to keep from having to reshoot the mirrachrome, we laid on some Kandy with pearl and then cleared, this was the result. The pop in the sun was unreal.....

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Sunlight added....

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Assembled...

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All in all, for what the mirrachrome looked like after the clear hit it, we may as well have used silver paint as a base for graphics that we could have better planned for, had we only known.. Not a fan.
 

Slofut

Promoted Users
Excellent, thanks much guys! This is the feedback I was looking for. One thing for sure, If Roberts shop cant make it look like chrome then it ain't gonna happen! But that black cherry candy is incredible. Robert did you hand buff the mirrachrome with a cloth to bring out the shine? Seems like that was a prescribed step?
Still undecided on spraygunner chrome and kemkhrome, if I don't get some feedback on those I may have to try one just so I'll know, not big money.
 

MP&C

Member
It’s been a while since we did that, but the black is cut and buffed prior to applying the mirrachrome to insure there are no defects that show. I think the lighter the product went on, the better it appeared, as spots around the mounting tabs that did not get direct application showed up more reflective. But regardless of how reflective it was, the clear killed it.
 
same idea, they just have a single gun that you dial for each step of the chemistry I thought you did not want to use, so probably still a 5000.00 investment.
The place that sells the mirrachrome has fine chrome powder you can add to clear.
 

Slofut

Promoted Users
same idea, they just have a single gun that you dial for each step of the chemistry I thought you did not want to use, so probably still a 5000.00 investment.
The place that sells the mirrachrome has fine chrome powder you can add to clear.
You are correct AI, I want to avoid this process, too expensive and too big learning curve. I think '68 was asking about cosmichrome because he didn't know what process it was either. They make it look great though.
 

Slofut

Promoted Users
It’s been a while since we did that, but the black is cut and buffed prior to applying the mirrachrome to insure there are no defects that show. I think the lighter the product went on, the better it appeared, as spots around the mounting tabs that did not get direct application showed up more reflective. But regardless of how reflective it was, the clear killed it.
Just noticed the cost, I hope you only ordered (used) 4oz!
 

Slofut

Promoted Users
I realize I could chrome plate but I'm a painter and this is such a novel idea I wanted to try it. If it doesn't work out I'll be back to Barrys SS black or a red or orange with stripes.
 
I am not saying it is not a business opportunity, since who knows when chrome shops finally cave to the EPA. I tried 3 or 4 different clears and everything made it cloudy and to me, it makes me understand why they push the candy coated colors so much.
Yes, I went back to Angel guilding and bought theirs after UC did not do it. Even went to the Nason fast clear since that is the thinnest I ever saw, it was all equal to aluminum paint.
 

Slofut

Promoted Users
Thanks AI, I really appreciate your input. I think I need to give up this idea and go back to plan A. Those cosmichrome pics are really enticing, and I'm sure there are guys that can get that result but like anything else I think it would take lots of money and time to get the learning curve down. Have to pay to play. Maybe just a nice straight up black and silver or black and orange for this bike. I don't have time for more projects or big learning curves at this point.
 
I dont want to shoot anybody down. I saw a couple of the guns on sale as demo import units on ebay pretty cheap, which was why I paid the mexico guy for the formula. I figured I have lab guys for my anodizing line that might work it out. I am sure there are better clear sprayers than me that could make it work like it shows. If I were to try it again I might try a waterborne clear that just sprays white where I would not feel like I loaded it up, but you gotta protect it somehow.
 

Slofut

Promoted Users
I watched a video where the guy was saying after letting the silver dry 24hrs, you buff it lightly with a cloth to bring out the shine and then you had to dust the first coat of clear on very lightly and let it fully dry before next coats. None were put on as full coats. But I think this was the spray version not water based gilding.
 

Jim C

Oldtimer
yes that is for the mirrachome or similar types. the silver nitrate stuff like cosmic chrome or chromfx is a totally different process and you dont do that with those
 

Slofut

Promoted Users
Fun watching the video where they were gilding a whole sports car, audi i think. Spraying solution all over it and its running iff on the floor but leaving a brilliant mirror finish. I dont recall seeing them clear it but im sure they did. It was an impressive job.
A regular entry at the Walter Mitty Challenge at Road Atlanta a few years back was a vintage 60’s Aston Martin all aluminum and completely hand finished and polished. And it was a race car not a trailer queen. I always looked forward to seeing it.
 
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