How do I get a good,shiny chrome finish?

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MALBAR 70

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I've heard that painting metallic chrome over a black base gives the best results. What is the best way to accomplish this? Do I use a gloss or flat black?
 

mpitfield

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Not quite the answer to your question but I have read a few threads over the years on this topic and some have struggled with this so they uses shiny metal duct tape. It seems to be great for doing a band on a tube, so I have seen...I think burkefj has used it with good results

If you find a good paint solution can you post your results? I am interested in a solution as well. Thanks.
 

MALBAR 70

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Unfortunately, due to the shape of the parts (3d printed Little Joe II fins) the tape isn't an option.
 

Micromeister

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There is only ONE rattle can Chrome paint that actually gives a Shiny Chrome Finish when complete. That is the Killer Chrome 3 can Kit from Alsa corp. (about 130.00) per 12oz kit.

Yes: Silver, Gold and Copper Metallic paints "POP" when applied over Gloss Black base coats. Rustoleum Silver Metallic is a favorite Metal Flake Metallic.

But be Forwarded! All other rattle can "Chrome" Paints, and I mean ALL others, instantly turn flat grey when handled or any type of over coat is applied...ANY OverCoat,, Clear, Wax, Future or anything.

My Deep Space Transport pictured below was Painted with ColorWorks "Chrome Plate" looked absolutely perfectly chromed until I sparyed Krylon Clear over it a week later. Instantly grey flat.

As mentioned about Alsa Corps Killer Chrome kit includes a Gloss Black Basecoat, Chrome Coat and Clear Sealing top coat. It works really well and holds up to handling and flying.

One of the best options for Reflective Chrome finish is either Chrome Bare Metal Foil or Chrome Adhesive Backed trim monokote.
Hope these suggestions and comments help a bit.

Alsa Corp-a_KillerChrome 3-CanKit(146.00)_04-07-15.jpg
 

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Nick@JET

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I think part of your answer after you find which chrome to use is going to be ultra smooth surface prior to paint and polishing after- search for Nathan's posts on painting - following that has done wonders for the shinyness (if that's a word) of my paint finishes.

Have said all that I don't know of a chrome that does a good job, like the metal flake looks splotchy and if you paint really fine - then it's is a dull mist. Polish / clear / polish will certainly help - but... "Kentucky chrome sucks" sorry to my friends to the south :).
 

MALBAR 70

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Thanks for the excellent tips and suggestions. I have a can of Rustoleum silver metallic. I don't plan on over coating it with anything so I think I'll give that a try. I'll report my success or failure for future reference.
 

samb

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All the Rusto metallics say this on the label: "For an even glossier finish, top coat with Rust-Oleum Stops Rust Crystal Clear after 10 minutes." I did this with the gold and it really popped (hard to see in a old photo)

quickburst_rk1338_04.jpg

Handled carefully, it should keep it's appearance all the way to the pad for it's maiden voyage. Afterwards ? :confused2:
 
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tfish

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I looked into "spray on chrome" in the past. I never got around to buying/trying it. I thought an entirely chrome rocket would be cool.

[video=youtube;RR_0L_Stp1U]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RR_0L_Stp1U[/video]

Tony
 
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samb

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I have a can of this that I've had decent results with in the past, but is still subject to dulling after a while.
Ok, when you said you had a can of Rusto silver metallic I thought it was the Stops Rust brand.

7271830_0409_SRT_11oz_Metallic_Aerosol_Silver.jpg

Never tried that one. Says "Interior use" ?

If it doesn't mention the instruction that I quoted on the label about clear coating then feel free to ignore my post. :)
 
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MALBAR 70

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Ok, when you said you had a can of Rusto silver metallic I thought it was the Stops Rust brand.

View attachment 312838

If it doesn't mention the instruction that I quoted on the label about clear coating then feel free to ignore my post. :)
I do have a few cans of this as well, but it doesn't have the same "pop" as the Bright Coat Chrome. I will say that the Bright Coat isn't easy to use. I always seem to get drips and runs no matter how careful I am with it.
 

samb

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I do have a few cans of this as well, but it doesn't have the same "pop" as the Bright Coat Chrome. I will say that the Bright Coat isn't easy to use. I always seem to get drips and runs no matter how careful I am with it.
Nothing's gonna pop like chrome. So, you've used this Bright Coat Chrome ? On a rocket ? Did it perform differently than Micro and others have described ?
 

GregGleason

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As an aside, the LJII fins were not chrome. As near as I can tell, they were bare metal aluminum. The most realistic would be the metal foil adhesives available commercially. When properly burnished they can cover compound curves.

09[1].jpg

That said, you do have two mutually exclusive interests: 1) looks good, and 2) is durable. I think that it is very difficult to achieve both.

Greg
 

MALBAR 70

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Yes, I've used it on the latest Estes Little Joe II and a few other projects, just never with a gloss black undercoat. On the Little Joe, it looked great for about two days and then greyed over like most chrome paints. It's acceptable but not as shiny as the chrome parts that come with a plastic model kit. I understand I'll never get that kind of finish from a reasonably priced rattle can but I was hoping to get close.
This is for a RSR Little Joe II with a preprinted body tube that is very shiny. I wanted to get as close to that as possible.

https://realspacerockets.com/shop/little-joe-ii-model-rocket-kit
 

MALBAR 70

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Taking a closer look at the photo in the link I posted the fins are slightly duller than the printed wrap. I guess I'll have to settle for a happy medium.
 

redleder

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Krylon Silver Metal Flake is very good as well, but it doesn't look like metal. I just re-did the nose cone of my Lil' Grunt and thought it turned out great, way better than the chrome paint I had it on for a number of years. It just pops. I recently did a Little Joe II and used Testors Chrome and wasn't happy with the results and it still seems to curing 2 weeks later. I would steer clear of that paint, but it does look like weather'd metal would after being out in the elements for any length of time. So I guess it depends on if you want it to look real or just good and shiny
 

redleder

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I think mine looks like that. Send me your email and in PM and I can send full res photos tomorrow form inside light and outside light. That makes a big difference. Cheers
 

Micromeister

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Over several years of testing rattle can "Chrome Finish" paints I've completely stopped trying to use them. As in my previous post Every Single brand, Manufacturer or Type Instantly turned from highly bright refective Chrome to dull Flat Grey apon application of any type over coat. if no overcoat is applied first handling of the model produced dull flat grey areas where the fingers or palm touched. I've left a finished model out to cure from 3 months before touching it to see if the problem was rushing the curing process. IT Made NO difference, as soon as the model is touched it begins to grey at the touch sites.

Again: If you really want a Reflective Chrome Finish, The ONLY rettle can solution is Alsa Corp. Killer Chrome Kit. Outragiously expensive but I have to say it works.

IF on the otherhand you just want a really nice Silver Metal Flake finish, Rustoreum Silver Metallic metal flake does an outstanding job. I've used it, Gold and Copper Metallics on a number of models as they all do a really fine job and Shine "Sparkle" really well outdoors in the sun. All of the Silver Rockets in the photos below are done with Rustoleum Silver Metallic metal flake rattle cans. Gold and Copper are also Rustoleum "Metallics"

Hope these will help show-off the Metal Flake sparkle a bit, really photos just don't do the finish justice.

PS. All metal flakes are applied over Gloss Black base coats to make the suspended metal flake "POP".
Just a bit of explaination about the need for Base Coat Black. All metallic paints are fine ground aluminum, Brass or Copper metal fakes suspended in Clear. When applied the minute seperation between the flakes can let the base color show thru very slightly. Gloss Black helps reflect back some of the refracted light from the metal flakes.

318p10-sm_MM Lunar Patrol Complete(115dpi)_07-29-06.jpg


348-sm_MM Orion T5-Kc-8_07-14-08.jpg


349-sm_MM Narhams Logo Rocket 139_07-13-08.jpg


359p01-sm_MM Zinger (T3) Complete_09-18-08.jpg


672a-sm_Orion (Kc-8) Decaled & Complete_02-10-08.jpg


673a-sm_Scout-1D Decaled Complete_02-10-08.jpg


681_Kit Bash Kluster-KBK10 display complete_11-16-10.JPG


689a_Narhams BT-60 Logo Rocket_03-14-14.jpg
 

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MALBAR 70

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Thanks Micro, I agree that rattle can chromes are not that spectacular. For such a small job I cant justify spending the money on the "good stuff". I just laid down the first coat of the Bright Chrome over a base of gloss black, and it looks pretty good. I do agree to the fact that as soon as it is handled it will dull over, to help offset this problem I use cotton gloves while finishing assembly. This only helps temporarily, then when they are eventually touched, the grey cast sets in. I too have let chrome painted parts set for several weeks, only to have them dull up as soon as they were handled. Very frustrating.
 

Threemorewishes

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Here's a rocket covered in aluminum duct tape. It dulls quickly from oxidation, finger prints and physical damage. However, it is easy to fix with a new piece of tape.

 

GregGleason

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I looked into "spray on chrome" in the past. I never got around to buying/trying it. I thought an entirely chrome rocket would be cool.

[video=youtube;RR_0L_Stp1U]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RR_0L_Stp1U[/video]

Tony
You're right! It would look cool. The moment that they catch the sunlight going up or going down would likely be a pretty nice flash.

Let us know if you make one!

Greg
 
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