How to Paint Chrome Emblems Black

by William Zane

Chrome emblems may look great when they're shiny and new or in good shape. Over time, though, they can become dull and pitted from lack of proper care. Chrome emblems also have a bright look that may or may not be desirable. Painting a chrome emblem is relatively easy, but it requires a slightly different approach than painting non-chrome metal items if you want the paint to adhere properly and stay there for years.

Remove the emblem from whatever it is attached to if possible. If it is not possible to remove the emblem, apply masking tape to nearby areas to protect them during this project.

Sand the emblem by hand with 180-grit sandpaper. For a large emblem or area, use a dual-action sander with the same grit of sandpaper. Sand the emblem until the chrome is totally dull and flat, with no reflections. To get a consistent finish, sand in the same direction with the same amount of force. Finish the sanding with 220-grit sandpaper.

Clean the emblem with mineral spirits and a clean, lint-free towel. Remove all of the oil and grease from handling the emblem as well as the dust from sanding the chrome.

Paint the emblem with a spray can of high-quality urethane primer such as Krylon. Spray a light dusting on the emblem surface. Let the primer dry for a minute or so, and then spray on two to four heavy coats. For a smooth finish, wet-sand the emblem between coats with 220-grit sandpaper and then 400-grit sandpaper. Let the primer dry sufficiently before sanding.

Apply a couple of coats of primer sealer from a spray can. Allow the sealer to dry, and then wet-sand it with 220- and then 400-grit sandpaper.

Spray on whatever color you have chosen to paint the emblem, using the same method that was used for the primer. Apply two to four heavy, consistent coats and then finish by wet-sanding with 400-grit sandpaper. For an even smoother finish, use 1,000-grit and then 1,500-grit sandpaper.

Items you will need

About the Author

William Zane has been a freelance writer and photographer for over six years and specializes primarily in automotive-related subject matter among many other topics. He has attended the Academy of Art College in San Francisco, where he studied automotive design, and the University of New Mexico, where he studied journalism.