Do It Yourself: Chrome kits

Written by brenda priddy
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Do It Yourself: Chrome kits
Even with a chrome plating kit, adding chrome to metal is challenging. (chrome hood ornament image by Jorge Moro from

A chrome plating kit is a kit that includes all supplies necessary to chrome plate any metal. These kits are useful because many of the supplies and materials necessary to add chrome plating are hard to find on their own. Most chrome kits come with instruction manuals for how to use the materials. However, there are some basic instructions that can apply to nearly all chrome plating kits as well.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Degreasing cleanser
  • Soft cloths
  • Chrome kit
  • Sodium hydroxide
  • Rubber gloves
  • Eye protection
  • Dioxide acid solution
  • Sulphuric acid
  • Liquid thermometer

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  1. 1

    Clean the surface of the metal that you want to chrome plate. Clean the surface with a degreasing cleanser to remove all dirt and oil from the surface.

  2. 2

    Put on rubber gloves and eye protection to protect your body while working with metal etching chemicals. Dip the metal into a metal-etching liquid, such as sodium hydroxide for about one minute. If the kit comes with a different solution, use it instead. Dip the metal into a dioxide acid solution to finish the etching process. Remove the metal from the liquid and rinse with clear water.

  3. 3

    Place the metal inside the acid bath that came with the chrome kit. Charge the acid bath with the chargers and charging battery included in the chrome kit. Charge the acid until the temperature reaches 46 degrees C (115 degrees F). Heat the acid for an additional 10 minutes after it reaches 46 degrees C. Remove the part and rinse with clear water.

  4. 4

    Add the copper strike, nickel strike and hex chromate solutions that came with the chrome kit into three separate containers. Make sure the containers are deep enough to submerge the metal part.

  5. 5

    Dip the metal into the copper liquid, nickel liquid and hex chromate liquid in that order. Use metal tongs to transfer the metal from solution to solution. Allow the metal to sit in each solution for about one hour before moving to the next solution. When you remove the metal from the last solution it will be covered in chrome plating.

Tips and warnings

  • When the kit instructions differ from these instructions, always follow the kit instructions for safety reasons.

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