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Thread: Chrome powder coating

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    775

    Default Chrome powder coating

    I am trying to get the finish on all my dash brite work too match as close as possible or at least have a pleasing appearance and flow. The main and sub dash panels I built will be painted the same color as the entire body, Ford tri-coat Ruby Red. I frenched in all the gauges, vents and escutcheons into the dash to give it a smooth custom clean appearance. The biggest problem now is trying to get the steel alloy center dash AC/heat vent (see pic) too closely match the shine and appearance of the Vintage Air hvac control panel, which is a polished aluminum escutcheon and surrounding components. I considered painting the center vent but decided against it as it would either look odd or not pop in appearance when compared to the other dash components. I also considered having it commercially chromed and that may still be the solution.
    For now I have decided to at least try and powder coat the center vent using "Super Chrome II" powder coating followed by a hot clear powder coat. This is suppose to be the best powder coating available that closely resembles a true chrome processed part. I know there is no way this will compare in appearance to a triple dipped (copper, nickle and chromate) chromed part, but that "may" be a good thing as the Vintage Air escutcheon plate that sit above it is polished aluminum. Most of the people I have talked too state the Super Chrome powder has the look of polished aluminum.
    So my question is has anybody tried a chrome powder coating? If so I would like your insight on it's appearance. If the center vent comes out looking correctly I am thinking about powder coating the Vintage Air aluminum escutcheon plate as to give it a matching appearance and provide better surface protection as this plate marred easily during fitment test. I know bmarler has experience with powder coating and really hope he can weigh in on this. Lastly, I have done quite a bit of powder coating but nothing over a panel with lightly engraved indicator markings that need to be retained after coating and baking such as on this Vintage Air control panel (see pic)
    Sorry for a long thread but I think you can understand the importance of what I need to achieve.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    105

    Default

    Seen Eastwood after a year of applying it

    https://youtu.be/J9XW8zokU8w

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    olympia,wa
    Posts
    1,329

    Default

    i wish i had more to contribute here but my experience with "chrome" powder is pretty limited. i tried some a long time ago on some engine parts and has fairly happy with the results but as you might expect it was far from actual chrome. i don't have those parts available to photograph unfortunately. my memory is thinking that it did do a fair representation of polished aluminum, but the tone was a little off compared to actual aluminum parts nearby.
    that was a few years back though, and i bet the newer formulations are a bit better. chrome finish is one of those things that people are constantly trying to get better at. if it were me, i'd get some of the powder and do a test piece. you might be pleasantly surprised. i think you're right on target to get it to match the a/c panel.
    b marler

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    775

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bmarler View Post
    i wish i had more to contribute here but my experience with "chrome" powder is pretty limited. i tried some a long time ago on some engine parts and has fairly happy with the results but as you might expect it was far from actual chrome. i don't have those parts available to photograph unfortunately. my memory is thinking that it did do a fair representation of polished aluminum, but the tone was a little off compared to actual aluminum parts nearby.
    that was a few years back though, and i bet the newer formulations are a bit better. chrome finish is one of those things that people are constantly trying to get better at. if it were me, i'd get some of the powder and do a test piece. you might be pleasantly surprised. i think you're right on target to get it to match the a/c panel.
    bmarler,

    Thanks buddy, I appreciate your input. The chrome and clear powder is due in today and I will be experimenting with a few pieces prior to hitting the central ac vent. If you don't mind, can you look at my last pic where the Vintage Air hvac escutcheon plate is shown to the far right? If after doing the center AC vent and the finish is not a close enough match to the VA escutcheon I might powder chrome over it for a matching finish. I have never powder coated over a part with engraved markings as depicted in the picture. While doing the test parts I'll emulate these engravings as close as possible (on aluminum) in an attempt to replicate the escutcheon as I need to retain those markings. Have you ever powder coated over a part with any type of nomenclature, such as a part number, serial number, etc.? If so did the powder coat cover up or fade back their appearance? I'm hoping to at least clear coat the VA part as it marred easily during fitment testing.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    olympia,wa
    Posts
    1,329

    Default

    i looked at that engraving earlier thinking exactly the same thing. that's pretty shallow and fine writing and my experience is that the coating will flow in there and reduce the depth and definition of the engraving. i think a test piece will show for sure, and there's only a few variables you can control.
    i think if it were me, if i wasn't happy with the color of that vent matching the a/c panel i'd match color with something else on the dash. chrome from the dials, paint color so it blends in, all of those things you've already been running through your head...
    btw, that's a really great looking dash. fitting that vintage air stuff must have been a chore, but the vents look perfect. and the radio being low kind of hides it a little, not overpowering the rest of the vintage looking gear. it takes more than just skill to do that, you need vision too.
    b marler

  6. #6

    Default

    A few options come to mind, Ever see gold leaf used in advertising names etc? They make it in aluminum also. Of course the surface must be smooth or it will show through.
    https://www.goldenleafproducts.com/o...lver-leaf.html
    You could fabricate a thin piece of aluminum to go over the vent(polished and cleared before adhering it). Or This(though i think it would not match the look)...

    https://alsacorp.com/product/easy-chrome/

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