How to Remove Paint From Chrome

by Sharon Sweeny

Chrome bumpers on classic cars sometimes gets painted. So does chrome on motorcycles or bicycles. Many times a scratch or nick surprisingly reveals the chrome underneath a painted surface. If you're restoring a vehicle and the chrome is painted, there's a good chance that the paint has protected the chrome underneath. It's easy and safe to remove paint from chrome using commercial paint removers or even household products you may already have on hand.

Apply paint stripper or remover. Follow manufacturer's instructions when using any chemical paint remover. Apply enough paint remover to completely cover surface of item. Place item in plastic bag and seal. If chrome is too large for a plastic bag, wrap treated area with plastic wrap and secure with tape. In either case, allow to sit overnight. Remove paint using a soft cloth, plastic scraper and nylon scrubber the next day.

Use Lacquer thinner. Saturate a soft cloth with lacquer thinner and let the rag sit on the painted surface to soften the paint. Check every 15 minutes until the paint softens and begins to break down. Then use a soft cloth, plastic scraper and nylon scrubber to remove softened paint and paint residue.

Use oven cleaner. Follow manufacturer's instructions and use oven cleaner to remove paint the same way you use it to clean an oven. Spray oven cleaner on chrome until it is well covered. Place items in plastic bag or wrap in plastic wrap and allow to sit overnight. Remove paint and residue with a soft cloth, plastic scraper and nylon scrubber.

Use a damp, soft cloth to remove any remaining chemical residue from chrome. Wash with water, if desired.

Dry with a clean, soft cloth.

Tip

  • check More than one application of your chosen paint remover may be required to completely remove paint from surface of chrome.

Warning

  • close Use all paint removers in a well-ventilated area. Do not use metal scrapers to remove paint from chrome as they can scratch it. Do not use steel wool to remove paint from chrome as it may permanently damage the surface.

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About the Author

Sharon Sweeny has a college degree in general studies and worked as an administrative and legal assistant for 20 years before becoming a professional writer in 2008. She specializes in writing about home improvement, self-sufficient lifestyles and gardening.