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Old 02-13-2020, 01:52 PM   #1
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Emblem new chrome and painting

I had my hood and side spears chromed. How do you prep for paint? The hood emblem seams like a nightmare trying to sand all the little squares.
What are you guys doing on these?
Thanks for any direction,
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Old 02-13-2020, 05:01 PM   #2
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Re: Emblem new chrome and painting

I also have some emblems at the chrome shop...and part of them need paint...they told me to scuff the chrome as good as possible..then use a etching primer...then paint...
I'd be curious to see what the experts say as well
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Old 02-14-2020, 03:39 AM   #3
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Re: Emblem new chrome and painting

I'm no expert but I'll give you my experience and advice. I painted my emblems back in '97. No one I spoke to back then had any significant advice for making sure the paint stayed on the chrome. The internet was fairly simple compared to today so I had to guess. I looked at bunches of old emblems in the junkyard and looked through a number of old service manuals for hints. No books talked about prepping chrome for paint and the old emblems looked shinier under the paint than where the chrome was exposed. And all the "old guys" were advising me to "just paint it." So after rechroming I did very little for prep. I ended up using a very mild hydrochloric (muriatic) acid / water mix in the places where I wanted paint to stick. I set the emblem up horizontally and gently poured the mixture into the low areas. The goal was to etch the chrome without going through it so I didn't let it sit for too long, maybe 15-20 minutes. I didn't see any bubbles and the chrome looked shiny when I was done, but there was a difference in the shine so I figured I'd done something. I don't believe I used any primer. The thicker the coat of paint the more likey to chip, so I just applied paint. Remember the original emblem had laquer and no more.

FWIW the masking and painting process took more time to work out than etching. I tried taping the emblems over and over but no matter how I tried I ended up with an edge that I didn't like. There was no way I was going to chance scraping or cutting into the chrome with a razor blade and I couldn't figure a way to accurately pre-cut then apply masking tape letters so they would stick properly and line up. I painted and stripped the emblems multiple times. I'd see "tear" edges, or I'd find a place where tape didn't stick and a letter got painted, or removing the tape would cause a "break" in the paint next to it that just looked ugly next to chrome around it. Finally out of desperation I tried applying Vaseline to the places I wanted masked. That worked.

Cleanup after applying grease wasn't easy. It just provided the best results. Today I might try having a vinyl shop cut letters to use as a mask. I would want to know about removing the vinyl after painting. Can a person buy vinyl with weak adhesive? Is there a release agent that prevents the adhesive from sticking too well? I'm sure that between sign shops and the 'net the answers are out there. It might cost a bit more than a jar of petroleum jelly but I think it could give a very clean, sharp edge that would look great.

Last edited by 1project2many; 02-14-2020 at 04:27 AM.
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Old 02-14-2020, 02:38 PM   #4
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Re: Emblem new chrome and painting

Don't know about the chrome prep, but applying paint using a syringe and just letting it flow out to the edges of the low areas worked a lot better for me than trying to mask and paint.

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