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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-18-2008, 12:24 PM Thread Starter
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Powdercoating chrome

I have never really been a big fan of chrome and especially wheels. I have always love the styled steel wheels for the '68 and '69 Mustangs and I wanted to get a big set for my rear that I could put some drag radials on. The problem is, Wheel Vintiques only has them in chrome and not argent and if I wanted them in plain steel so that I could powdercoat them the color I wanted, they would have to be special ordered. The problem w/ powdercoating chrome is getting it scuffed up enough for the powder to stick. I used 60 grit sandpaper and scuffed them until they had somewhat of a dull finish. But I will tell you, chrome is awfully hard to get to dull up when you want it to. I also used cartridge rolls to get into the tight spaces I couldn't reach with regular sandpaper. As for sandblasting w/ coarse Black Beauty, it really doesn't do anything. Once I had the wheels good and scuffed, I hooked up the ground from my powdercoat gun and applied a nice even coat of argent powder.


Then I carefully put it into my electric oven and baked it at about 400 degrees F until the powder flowed out and gave it that nice argent gleam. The thing about argent powder is that it needs a coat of clear on top to keep it from oxidizing and to protect it. So after the first coat cools, I applied a coat of clear powder which goes on white.


The only thing about clear powders that you have to be careful of is to watch the temperature. I try and keep it to about 375 degrees F and not to let it sit in the oven longer than the time it takes for the powder to flow out. This is because the clears tend to yellow and burn if heated too much. You also have to be careful not to put too thick a coat of powder on or it will end up cracking on you. It is also a good idea to let the piece slowly cool down to also prevent cracking of the clear.
The final product turned out great and I have had these wheels on my car for about 4 or 5 years with no chipping of the powder. I guess that I scuffed the chrome good enough that the powder adhered to the wheel and is super tough and much better than any paint that I have ever used. Like I said, clears are a little difficult to work w/ but the finished look is so much better than chrome in my opinion. It's also cool because everywhere I go people ask me where in the hell I got a set of 15x8 argent styled steel wheels because people have only ever seen them in chrome before. -Mike



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Last edited by FATNFAST; 02-19-2008 at 06:50 PM.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-19-2008, 09:38 PM
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Re: Powdercoating chrome

I always wanted to powder coat my projects. How difficult is it? Great article and I love that pic of your 68 going down the track.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-20-2008, 05:47 AM
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Re: Powdercoating chrome

So in the pic with the two rims, the left one is the one that was powder coated.

The cool thing about powdercoat is you can block sand to a mirror finish as well. I was going to clear over my rims that I powdered black, but after I blocked it, there was no need.

I'll see if I can post some pics of them.

As for powder coating, very easy but you have to find an over that is fairly big, and is a throw-away, once it is used for powdercoating, you can only use it for that from then on.


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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-20-2008, 08:02 AM
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Re: Powdercoating chrome

Good article....

I believe the one on the left is the original chrome Bosscat, and the one on the right is the argent he PC'd. I haven't found a chrome powder that doesn't look like very bright silver. The closest I found was Columbia Coatings chrome which must be clear-coated. It looks GREAT before clear.... the clear grays it out.


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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-20-2008, 04:07 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Powdercoating chrome

Powdercoating is easy. You can get an old electric oven from any appliance place that has them sitting outside from when they pick up people's old ovens when they install new ones. It just takes a little practice to get an even coating of powder. Doing a base then clear takes a little more patience because if you put too much clear powder on, it will tend to crack and clears also tend to yellow and burn if you don't watch your temp/time. Wheels are pretty big for an electric household oven and sometimes it is difficult to keep the top heating element from overheating the powder.

The picture on the left was the chrome wheel before I scuffed and put anything on it. The wheel on the right is the finished wheel w/ the argent coating w/ the clear powder topcoat. The clear protects great and my wheels look just like the day I powdercoated them.

I have tried chrome powdercoat and like Bumblebee said, it looks great before the clear, but after, it just kinda looks grey. I think aregent powdercoat is one of the best looking colors out there in my opinion and it is super tough. I have tried to chip it w/ a screwdriver just to see how tough it is and it just won't unless you really put some serious effort into it. -Mike
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-21-2008, 08:06 AM
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Re: Powdercoating chrome

Good to know.

Thanks for the info.


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