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Thread: Chrome powder coating

  1. #1
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    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.
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  2. #2
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    Feb 2009
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    Seen Eastwood after a year of applying it

    https://youtu.be/J9XW8zokU8w

  3. #3
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    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
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    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
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    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

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    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/

  7. #7
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    Default Dash parts

    I got the "Super Chrome" and clear powders in and applied them to several control parts of like material. While they did come really close it just wasn't close enough. I am glad to get the experience of powder coating using the chrome and clear powders but just as bmarler stated "it was far from actual chrome" and he was dead on.

    During this control test I also engraved similar markings into the aluminum test piece to emulate the hvac control panel markings. Again, just as bmarler feared it did cover up the nomenclature of the panel indicators. Parts were dropped off at my chrome shop late yesterday, they will get me what I need.
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  8. #8
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    How about this approach?



    LINK

  9. #9

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    I linked it also but i think he missed it.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metallic Mayhem View Post
    I linked it also but i think he missed it.
    Yep, I missed it too.

  11. #11
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    does anyone here have direct experience with the alsa products? i remember looking into it at one time and i think you need to clear coat it to get long lasting finishes. it looks perfect like chrome when first applied, and that the picture they always show, but has no real protection from abrasion. and of course when you clear coat something it alters the finish.
    if i'm incorrect maybe someone can elaborate on the subject?
    b marler

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronf View Post
    I got the "Super Chrome" and clear powders in and applied them to several control parts of like material. While they did come really close it just wasn't close enough. I am glad to get the experience of powder coating using the chrome and clear powders but just as bmarler stated "it was far from actual chrome" and he was dead on.

    During this control test I also engraved similar markings into the aluminum test piece to emulate the hvac control panel markings. Again, just as bmarler feared it did cover up the nomenclature of the panel indicators. Parts were dropped off at my chrome shop late yesterday, they will get me what I need.
    yeah, that about the same result i got. i was hoping the newer powders might be better. it makes a good silver color, but less than ideal if you want chrome.
    is your chrome shop pretty good? i have some non-replaceable items i need plated. i've been asking around for a recommendation but can't seem to get a good one.
    b marler

  13. #13
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    Nov 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmarler View Post
    does anyone here have direct experience with the alsa products? i remember looking into it at one time and i think you need to clear coat it to get long lasting finishes. it looks perfect like chrome when first applied, and that the picture they always show, but has no real protection from abrasion. and of course when you clear coat something it alters the finish.
    if i'm incorrect maybe someone can elaborate on the subject?
    Yep it's paint not chrome so it's going to scratch more easily. It all depends on what you want to accomplish and paint is more delicate than metal.

  14. #14
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    Aug 2013
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    I bought some chrome powder but I haven't tried out my powder gun setup yet.

    The way I look at it is, if it is in an area by itself, say the like an emblem on a colored surface the difference will make it appear chrome-y.
    If you put it up next to real chrome, you find out how far from true chrome it is.


    s-l500.jpg


    This chrome ring around the horn button on my car is where I intend to use it. The wheel is black, the button in the middle is black and there is no other chrome near it other than the turn signal lever and stuff on the dash itself.
    I'm hoping, (wishing) that it will work well in that place.

    Time will tell, but I'm a long way off from finishing the interior right now.
    HD

  15. #15
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    Feb 2006
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    This is interesting...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9-wFTUhpT4
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