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How do I Make Chrome Black?

by LouellenJ

Chrome provides the finishing enhancements for many automobiles, motorcycles and bicycles and looks great polished to a shine or blackened. Making chrome black takes time and attention to detail, but the results are rewarding. There are two methods for making chrome black. The desired finished look will determine which method you'll use. The first method is painting the chrome and results in an opaque finish. The second method is electroplating the chrome and results in visible chrome that is tinted black.

Make Chrome Black via Paint

Where possible remove chrome pieces to avoid overspray. If the chrome pieces are not removable, tape off around the chrome to protect adjacent parts.

Roughen the chrome using steel wool. All parts should be roughened to a dull finished to ensure primer adheres properly.

Apply primer evenly and according to the manufacturer's instruction. Allow sufficient dry time before applying the black spray paint.

Apply black spray paint according to manufacturers instruction. Avoid an overly thick application that results in an orange-peel look. A second coat may be necessary. If so, allow sufficient dry time between coats.

When the painting is complete and desired look achieved, carefully put chrome pieces back on, avoiding scratching of your newly painted chrome.

Make Chrome Black via Electroplating

Remove the target pieces and carefully set in a carrying container for transportation.

Locate an electroplating service near you. Ask local body shops for recommendations. The service may suggest prep work that you can do to reduce the cost of electroplating. If so, follow these recommendations, if desired.

Drop off or send in the chrome parts for electroplating. When the job is complete, reacquire the chrome parts and carefully put them back on, avoiding scratching of your newly plated chrome.


  • Follow manufacturers safety instructions for handling spray paint.

Items you will need


About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.

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Photo Credits

  • parked motorcyle image by Peter Baxter from