How To: Remove paint from chrome with out damaging the chrome

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by tpirocz, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. tpirocz

    tpirocz i do what i want

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    just bought a van that someone had painted the chrome bumpers black, the paint is flaking off and i would like to remove it all with out damaging the chrome underneath. any suggestions?
    #1
  2. SCVGS

    SCVGS Adventurer

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    Paint stripper will be fine.
    #2
  3. bomber60015

    bomber60015 Anatomically Correct

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    if it's already flaking off, a trip to a high-pressure car wash might do the trick.

    Of course, you'll be missing the buzz that paint stripper confers . . . .
    #3
  4. cagiva549

    cagiva549 whats a cagiva

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    Polish chrome with steel wool and elbow grease . SEYA
    #4
  5. tpirocz

    tpirocz i do what i want

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    oven cleaner worked great!
    #5
  6. concours

    concours WFO for 44 years

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    NEVER, EVER use steel wool on chrome if you give a damn about what it looks like. It was prabably painted because it was rusty though. Paint stripper is the weapon of choice.
    #6
  7. FixxiT

    FixxiT Lunitic Fringe

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    Steel Wool :huh Good Grief..
    Ever see a piece of steel wool that got wet..now imagine little slivers of it stuck in all the nooks & crannies where bumpers meet body...bad news baby :deal

    I wonder if the bumpers were ever rusty..it might have been a 'Black Bumper' Mennonites vehicle...:lol3

    +1 on the stripper method
    #7
  8. cagiva549

    cagiva549 whats a cagiva

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    I guess if you are talking plastic chrome steel wool might be a little tough but ask any detailer that does old cars built with real metal and not plastic how you do it . I have polished rusted chrome with steel wool and brought it back to a full luster with out a spec of grit or rust showing . If you leave it sitting outside you have to polish it once a month but if you keep water off it it will last very well for an extended time and have a luster as good as it was when new 30 or 40 years ago . I guess now days just throw it away and buy new since its a throw away world . SEYA
    #8
  9. concours

    concours WFO for 44 years

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    I have an old motorcycle that someone vandalized, er, uh, I mean "restored" in this manner. :asshat I wish they'd not done that.

    The OP was asking about removing paint... :1drink
    #9
  10. AustinJake

    AustinJake DR-Versys-FXDWG

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    100% true, always use the 0000 ultra fine steel wool and a liquid chrome polish, did my HD chrome like about 4-500 times, never a scratch.
    #10
  11. P B G

    P B G Long timer

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    I prefer to use copper or stainless steel wool. Also in super fine weights, they don't leave any steel residue that can rust again.

    The thing to remember, 000 removes rust/grit/0000 removes the scratches from 000, polish and a soft rag removes the scratches from the 0000.

    Just like sanding wooden furniture, you want smooth, you move finer and finer grades, but if you start at the super fine you spend forever trying to remove the imperfections.

    Just if you start course, you have to have a light touch so you don't damage anything first.

    For paint I'd use stripper though, I never remove finish mechanically if there is a chemical solution thats viable.
    #11
  12. Beezer

    Beezer Long timer

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    +1 more for stripper
    #12
  13. #1sleddog

    #1sleddog Yikes !

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    Use a spray oven cleaner . The active chemical is sodium hydroxide - it will krinkle the paint, but it wont react with the chrome - or the rust for that matter. Just make sure you rinse it well. - Its cheaper than paint thinner, too.
    #13
  14. tpirocz

    tpirocz i do what i want

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    i let it sit for about 30 minutes, any less it was just a sticky mess. the paint wiped right off, i was impressed. got the suggestion from my mother of all places.

    the paint on the bumpers actually protected the chrome, the bumpers have 163k on them but they shine like new. sort of looks out of place.
    #14