Powder coating protects metal surfaces from corrosion. This technique is especially popular in the automotive industry. People like to powder coat rims or other metal parts that are exposed to protect them. But this isn’t something easy to do unless you know the right way.
So, can you powder coat chrome wheels? Here lies the catch. You can’t use powder coat chrome wheels directly as a chrome surface is very shiny and slippery. The powder can’t stick to this surface. So, you need to strip off the chrome surface to powder coat it.
In this guide, we will show you how to powder coat chrome wheels the right way. Let’s get started.
Can You Powder Coat Chrome Wheels
As we have already said, the powder used for coating can’t grab the chrome surface due to its slippery nature. The surface should be rough to make the powder coating stick to the surface. Chrome rims are not suitable for powder coating if you don’t strip the surface off.
Once the surface is sandblasted, the shiny and slippery chrome surface goes off and exposes the rough surface beneath it. This surface is highly suitable for powder coating. So, if you want your car or bike wheels to be powder coated, you should sacrifice the luster of the chrome.
Chrome Vs Powder Coating
The main difference between these two coatings is in their appearance. Chrome plating is used to give metal surfaces a shiny and polished look to intrigue users. On the other hand, powder coating has a matte look to it.
And when it comes to protection, powder coating is the best of all. Chrome plating’s might look great, but they can be easily scratched. As a result, these surfaces will look dull after some time. But powder coating creates a protective layer to prevent the metal surface from rust and corrosion.
How to Prep Wheels for Powder Coating
Powder coating is a long process, so you need to be patient while doing this. And go through these steps to make sure you do it properly. We break the steps down here.
1. Sand Blast Them First to Strip Chrome
The first step is to sandblast the chrome surface you want to powder coat. Sandblasting will remove the shiny chrome surface and expose the bare metal surface that is comparatively rough. This surface is suitable for grabbing the powder layer.
2. Rinse Them
There can be dirt or debris after sandblasting the chrome surface. You need to rinse the surface to clean any remaining debris thoroughly.
3. Wipe Them With Alcohol to Remove Any Rust and Residue
After you strip chrome for powder coating and rinse the surface, use alcohol pads or a wheel cleaner to wipe the surface. It will remove any surface rust or residue and prepare it for the next steps.
4. Let Them Dry
Hang the clean parts in the air for some time to dry. Powder coating won’t sit properly if the surface is wet. Once everything is done, you are ready for the main process.
5. Choose the Right Coating
Powder coating isn’t as shiny as chrome surfaces. So, you might compromise the look with regular powders. But if you choose a mirror chrome powder coat, it will resemble the look of a chrome surface after the coating is cured. This is a great solution if you want both protection and beauty.
6. Power Coat Them
This is the toughest part of this process. But don’t worry, we will simplify the steps so that you can understand them easily and do them on your own. Check it out.
Preheat the Chrome Wheel
Before you start powder coating, you need to crank up the oven and preheat the wheel for a few minutes. It will make the surface ready to grab the coating. Unless the wheel is heated properly, any dry powder will fall off the surface unless the wheel is heated properly.
Hang the Wheel
Hanging the wheel in the air will let you spray the powder without touching the wheel. As a result, the coating will be much smoother. And you keep from touching the hot wheel.
Prepare the Powder Gun
Get the powder gun ready and start spraying the powder at the suggested pressure. Going too high might deflect all the powders. And too low pressure will make powder fall off before reaching the target surface.
Evenly Spray Powder
Keep your hands steady and smoothly spray powder coating all over the wheel. Do it from all angles so that the wheel is evenly covered with the coating. Don’t spray from the same angle for a long time. Otherwise, the coating won’t be even.
Bake the Wheel
After coating the wheel, it is time to bake it in the oven. Set the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and bake the wheel for 20-25 minutes. This will make the powder melt and create a permanent layer over the metal surface.
How Much Does It Cost to Powder Coat Chrome
There is no definite answer to this question, as the cost to powder coat chrome wheels can vary depending on the material, wheel size, and process you use. On a general note, it might cost about $500 per wheel if you use matte powder coating in a standard size wheel.
But if the wheel is larger and you use mirror chrome powder coating for extra shine, the cost might go up to $2,500 per wheel. So, you better be prepared for that.
Powder coating chrome wheels may take their shiny look but will give unmatched protection against rust and corrosion. But it will also cost you a lot of money. So, you should know about powder coating in detail before going through the process.
And you can only do it right when you know the complete process. We showed you the necessary steps for coating your chrome wheels. Follow these steps to properly coat the wheel with your desired powder and give the wheel that extra protection.
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