How to Drill Chrome

by Bob White
Hemera Technologies/ Images

Chrome is made by electroplating a layer of chromium onto the surface of the metal. This leaves behind a shiny protective layer that is both functional and visually appealing. Chrome is commonly used for car bumpers, trim and grills. When installing additional lighting or other exterior accessories, it may be necessary to drill a hole in the chrome surface. Doing the job properly ensures you don't damage the chrome finish surrounding the hole and gives your installation a professional appearance.

Step 1

Mark the location you want to drill the hole with a black marker. Use a ruler to assure the mark is squared for your application.

Step 2

Hold the tip of the center punch on the mark and press down. This leaves behind a slight indentation in the metal where your hole will be.

Step 3

Put on the safety glasses to protect your eyes.

Step 4

Place the spot drill in your drill and secure by tightening the chuck. Use the spot drill to increase the size of the center punch's indentation slightly. Make sure the drill is perfectly perpendicular to the metal.

Step 5

Change the spot drill bit to the drill bit. Hold the drill perpendicular to the starting hole. Apply steady pressure and drill the hole completely through the chrome.

Remove the bit and install the countersink bit in your drill. Position the countersink drill bit over the hole and rotate the bit three to four full revolutions. This removes the burrs from the leading edge of the hole.


  • Make sure the bit you use is intended for drilling into metal. While most are, there are bits designed for use on wood only and others that are intended for masonry.

Items you will need

  • Black marker
  • Ruler
  • Center punch
  • Safety glasses
  • Drill
  • Spot drill
  • Drill bit
  • Countersink bit

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