Best Chrome Spray Paints: Restore the Shine on Your Car or Motorcycle
The top chrome spray paints for a glossy, polished look
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PUBLISHED ON June 24, 2019
There's something very appealing about shiny chrome parts on your car or bike. However, chrome can often chip or scratch over time due to road debris, bugs, and other factors. Our chrome spray paint review will help you find the best paint on the market to revitalize your ride and bring it back to its near-original shine.
- Best OverallKrylon Premium Metallic Original ChromeSummarySummaryThis paint produces a smooth, high-quality metallic finish that is both deep and lustrous. It's intended to resemble actual chrome plating, not paint. The paint is acid-free and dries quickly.ProsProsThis paint produces a nice, shiny silver finish. It comes out glossy with a polished metal appearance. There are no drips or runs, and it provides excellent coverage.ConsConsThe paint does not produce a mirror-like finish. The nozzle may splatter or drip, it may not dry as quickly as advertised, and it may start peeling off over time.
- Best ValueKrylon Short Cuts Aerosol Spray Paint ChromeSummarySummaryThis paint is acid-free, dries quickly, and has a high-gloss finish. It's suitable for metal, glass, plastic, and other surfaces. The small can is perfect for smaller projects.ProsProsThis paint sprays smoothly and evenly, has a good spray pattern, provides nice coverage, and it's easy to use. It also dries fast, looks good, and is quite shiny.ConsConsThe color is more bright silver than a true chrome. The can is small, the paint may have a strong odor, and it may flake off over time.
- Honorable MentionVHT Quick Coat Silver Chrome Acrylic Enamel CanSummarySummaryThis quick coat enamel paint prevents rust and corrosion. It provides extra hide and durability, is lead-free and ozone safe, and creates a weather-resistant gloss finish.ProsProsThis paint can be used on fiberglass, plastic, and metal. It's easy to apply and dries fast. The product goes on smoothly and doesn't leave drip marks behind.ConsConsThe paint is not as glossy as you’d expect, and the color may not be as advertised. The spray tip may be hard to press or may fail completely.
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All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, and practical experience with each product we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of Chrome Spray Paint
- It's a great look. If you want to upgrade the style of your car or motorcycle, chrome finish spray paint is one way to do so. It's glossy and creates a bright silver finish.
- It protects your ride. The best chrome spray paint protects metal surfaces against issues such as scratches and chips. It also helps if you drive your vehicle in inclement weather and drive on salty roads.
- It's a quick, inexpensive fix. Shiny chrome spray paint mimics the look of chrome plating at a fraction of the cost. Electroplating involves a much more complicated process than spray paint, and it’s not cheap.
- It's easy to use. Even if you're a beginner when it comes to working on your motorcycle or vehicle, chrome spray paint is not very hard to use.
- It has fewer toxins. Chrome plating involves electroplating a layer of chromium onto a metal object. Hexavalent chromium is toxic and a carcinogen. Most spray paints are water-based and are considerably less toxic.
- It’s multipurpose. Shiny chrome paint can be used on items besides just your vehicle or motorcycle. You can apply the paint to objects you have around the home that you want to have a chrome finish.
Types of Chrome Spray Paint
Chrome spray paints are sold in rattle cans, AKA aerosol cans. The average can of spray paint typically contains 4 ounces of actual paint, 2 to 3 ounces of solvent, and about 5 ounces of compressed air (propellant). When you press the nozzle with your fingertips, the propellant pushes on the paint, forcing it out of the tube and onto a surface area.
Philadelphia businessman Howard E. Kester began manufacturing Krylon products in 1947. The company was the first and is continues to be the largest supplier of aerosol paints in the world. Two popular products are the Krylon Premium Metallic Original Chrome and Krylon SUPERMAXX All-In-One Spray Paint, Silver Metallic.
Rust-Oleum, based in Vernon Hills, Ill., was founded in 1921 by sea captain Robert Fergusson, who wanted to keep his ship intact. He spent several years creating the world’s first rust-preventative paint. One recommended product is the Rust-Oleum Bright Coat Metallic.
VHT & PlastiKote
VHT (Very High Temperature) is a division of Dupli-Color, the Sherwin-Williams brand. PlastiKote is part of the Valspar Corp., which is also a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sherwin-Williams. Sherwin-Williams, based in Cleveland, Ohio, was founded in 1866 and has been a leader in paints and coatings for 150 years. Top products include the VHT Quick Coat Silver Chrome Acrylic Enamel Can and PlastiKote General Purpose Metallic Silver Premium Enamel.
Chrome Spray Paint Pricing
- $5-$15: The best chrome spray paint doesn't cost a lot of money. The prices between brands usually fluctuate by just a few dollars. In general, the more you spend the better product you will get.
Bright chrome paint varies by brand and may necessitate several coats to achieve the look you desire. There are many paint variations and a little experimentation is recommended. Each brand of chrome metallic spray paint is different. To achieve the look you want, pay close attention to the color on the cap of the spray can.
Type of Surface
Polished chrome spray paint won't necessarily work on all types of surfaces. For example, the best chrome spray paint for metal may not adhere as well as the best chrome spray paint for plastic. The paint product needs to be compatible with the object you're painting, or you won't get a polished finished look that lasts.
Paint that looks like chrome comes in different finishes to produce different looks. Some brands offer a nice, smooth finish that goes on easily. Some have a high-gloss finish that makes whatever you're painting look really shiny. Again, be sure to reference the paint cap to get the look you desire.
- Ease of Use: Some chrome color spray paint is easier to apply than others. You may need a bit of patience with some brands, which take a lot of time to properly apply. Typically it takes more than one coat of paint to get the job done right, so read the directions carefully in advance.
- Drying Time: Some products take longer to dry than others, which leaves them more vulnerable to being tainted during the process. Drying time is less troublesome if you are painting inside a closed space such as a garage. But if you're outside, you want a quicker drying time so particles are less likely to make blemishes on the surface.
- Can Size: A single can of silver chrome spray paint is not intended for a very large paint job. If you are painting an entire bumper, you may require several cans of paint. If you're simply touching up a smaller area, you won't need a very large can. However, it's better to have too much than not enough.
Best Chrome Spray Paint Reviews & Recommendations 2019
Best Overall: Krylon Premium Metallic Original Chrome
This paint is produced in the United States and provides an elegant, smooth, and high-quality metallic finish that is both deep and lustrous. The result is intended to resemble actual chrome plating, not paint. The product is acid-free and dries quickly: 10 minutes to the touch and two hours to handle. It can be applied to metal and a variety of other surfaces.
This paint is easy to use and goes on smoothly. It produces a nice, shiny silver finish as long as you apply enough coats. The finish is slightly reflective, and while not exactly like real chrome, it is a bright silver metallic look. It comes out glossy with a polished metal appearance. There are no drips or runs, and it provides excellent coverage, even on a rusty truck bumper or a peeling grill.
The paint does not produce a mirror finish. Also, the nozzle may splatter or drip paint, causing it to spray unevenly. There have been some complaints that it does not dry as quickly as advertised and may start peeling off over time. In addition, the paint may discolor if you touch it with your fingertips.
Best Value: Krylon Short Cuts Aerosol Spray Paint Chrome
This paint is acid-free, dries quickly, and has a high-gloss finish. The paint is dry to the touch in 15 minutes and is dry to handle in three hours. It's suitable to use on metal, glass, plastic, and a variety of other surfaces. The small aerosol can is perfect for smaller projects.
This paint sprays smoothly and evenly, has a good spray pattern, provides nice coverage, and it's easy to use. The paint is great to touch up scratches on rims and other car and motorcycle parts and provides protection through rain and road debris. It also dries fast, looks good, and is quite shiny.
One downside is the color is more bright silver than a true chrome. Also, the can is small, and you may need more than one for a larger project, driving up the cost. The paint may also have a strong odor. There have been some complaints that paint may flake off over time.
Honorable Mention: VHT Quick Coat Silver Chrome Acrylic Enamel Can
This quick coat enamel paint prevents rust and corrosion on properly prepared surfaces. It provides extra hide and durability and is lead-free and ozone-safe. It creates a weather resistant gloss finish to metal and other surfaces. The paint dries to the touch in 30 minutes and dries thoroughly overnight; no curing is required.
This paint can be used on many types of surface areas, including fiberglass, plastic, and metal. It works very well and dries fast. It holds up in cold temperatures and in inclement weather. The product goes on smoothly and doesn't leave drip marks behind. It's also easy to apply as long as you follow the directions.
The paint may not be as glossy as you expect, and the color may not be exactly as advertised. Also, the spray tip may be hard to press or the nozzle may fail completely. For best results, it should be used with a primer and a clear coat.
- When applying chrome spray paint, make sure it's not too humid and the temperature is between 70 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Always follow the manufacturer's recommendations to get the best result.
- Before applying the paint, prepare the surface area by cleaning it off with a moist rag. After it dries, wash it with soap and hot water. If possible, wet sand the surface area and polish it.
- Make sure to work in a well-ventilated space to dissipate the fumes. We recommend wearing a mask or respirator to avoid inhaling toxic fumes. Long sleeves and gloves will also protect your skin and prevent possible irritation.
- It's essential that you wear eye protection when applying either interior or exterior chrome spray paint. Goggles are the best option for guarding against the corrosive elements of aerosol paint.
- Apply a primer before using shiny chrome spray paint. Primer comes in a can or you can use a spray gun. Apply a thin layer, and sand it lightly. Black primer tends to produce a brighter finish.
- When applying the paint, hold the can about 10 inches away from the surface area. Start from the top and work down, using a back and forth sweeping motion in straight lines.
- Check the instructions to determine how long you need to wait between coats. It's generally two or more hours. Gently wipe down the surface between coats with a clean and dry microfiber towel.
- For added protection, apply a clear coat over the chrome paint. Make sure to apply a smooth and thin layer. This added step will greatly improve the durability of your chrome paint.
- If possible, clean the areas covered with chrome paint using distilled water. Regular tap water may turn the paint brown because the paint can have an adverse reaction to certain minerals in the water.
Q: Does chrome spray paint work?
A: Most chrome spray paints don't deliver a true chrome finish with a mirror-like reflection. They typically produce a bright and shiny silver color.
Q: Can I use chrome spray paint on my exhaust?
A: If you plan on painting something such as your exhaust, you will need special paint intended for high temperatures. Otherwise, general chrome paint may just melt off.
Q: How many coats of chrome spray paint do I need to use?
A: It may take several coats of chrome spray paint to cover a surface evenly. Plus, as we noted previously, you need to prep the surface area with a primer and may need a clear coat as well.
Our pick for the best chrome spray paint is the Krylon Premium Metallic Original Chrome. It dries quickly, goes on smoothly, and produces a shiny and glossy silver finish. It doesn't drip or run, and it provides excellent coverage.
For a less expensive option, consider the Krylon Short Cuts Aerosol Spray Paint Chrome.