How to Chrome and Plate Your Car

One way to ensure your car stands out from the crowd is to have it chromed and plated. This can apply to just a few portions of the car, such as the grill, mirrors, or wheels. For more eye-catching appeal, however, you can opt to have the entire body chromed and plated as well, although it is an expensive project.

There are some advantages to chrome plating, including making surfaces resistant to corrosion and increasing the general hardness to better hold up to environmental wear and tear. The primary reason most car owners and collectors turn to chrome, however, is for the pleasing aesthetic.

The process and materials for chrome and plating is highly technical and should be left in professional hands, although there are some steps you should take before dropping your car off for chroming and plating at a custom auto body shop.

Part 1 of 1: Have your car chromed and plated

Step 1: Honestly assess your budget. Consider your budget in light of the fact that chrome plating is pricey.

This is true in terms of both materials and labor, especially when you take into account that the expense does nothing to enhance performance – only curb appeal. This is a luxury customization, so be sure you can afford it before moving forward.

Step 2: Decide what parts of your car you want chromed and plated. Decide which parts of your car you want to have chromed and plated using your taste and budget.

Choosing portions of your car for this customization, such as the bumpers or engine, can be quite effective at drawing the eye and are far friendlier to your pocketbook than having the entire car body glitzed out.

  • Note: The total expense grows with the amount of surface area treated.

hand measuring metal shifter

Step 3: Photograph and measure parts that will be chromed. Take photographs of everything you want chromed and plated, making note of general measurements like length, width, and height.

If you choose to shop for a chroming and plating service online, you will need photos and measurements to get an estimate for the total cost of the job.

Even if you will be visiting customization shops in person with your car, those photos can come in handy for insurance or liability purposes if something in the chroming and plating process goes awry.

  • Tip: With smaller parts, it is helpful to take photos with measuring tape or another item nearby to establish scale.

Step 4: Ask for recommendations. If you know anyone who has had chrome plating done before, ask for a recommendation.

Step 5: Search for online reviews. Consult business reviews online to help choose businesses to contact.

Step 6: Reach out to potential businesses. Make sure to contact several businesses with your project in order to get the best deal for the job.

Either send photos via email with full explanation of what you want done or take your car to a shop to get an idea of the total cost of the job.

Step 7: Get estimates. Get estimates for the cost of chroming and plating from multiple sources to find the best deal.

  • Note: The estimated amount may differ from what you ultimately pay, depending on any complications or issues that arise in the execution of the job.

Step 8: Make a decision on service. Choose a chrome plating service based on your research.

placing chrome piece in packaging

Step 9: Pass along the car or parts. Either box up and ship the parts you want chromed or drop your car off to have the job done.

If you opt to mail parts, package your items securely and consider insuring the package or paying for delivery confirmation for peace of mind.

Also, include a copy of the estimate with your full contact information to help facilitate the fastest performance of the chroming and plating service.

If you follow these steps in preparing to have your car chromed and plated, you are more likely to be happy with the final results and price of the project. Once the project is complete, you can simply enjoy the sleek look of your car as you become the envy of the road. If you have any questions or concerns about the process or the outcome, Ask a Mechanic for quick, reliable advice.


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