How to stop chrome flaking

Written by kevin mclain
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Chrome can begin flaking because of various reasons. Some of the reasons include cheap chrome plating, weather, rust underneath the chrome, salt water and damage to the chrome itself. Flaking or peeling chrome must be repaired very carefully to prevent the chrome from flaking worse. The chrome can be repaired by applying a clear metal epoxy underneath the flaking chrome. The clear epoxy will seal the chrome back to the surface and prevent future flaking or peeling.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Clean rags
  • Clear metal epoxy
  • Thin plastic putty knife
  • Clear liquid epoxy syringe
  • Protective gloves
  • Lacquer thinner

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  1. 1

    Gently wipe down the surface of the flaking chrome with a clean rag. Do not apply excessive pressure. Wipe down the surface to remove any dirt or debris.

  2. 2

    Mix the clear metal epoxy as described on the back of the box. Use the putty knife to mix the clear resin and the clear hardener together. Hold the tip of the clear syringe inside of the mixed epoxy and pull the epoxy into the syringe until it is full.

  3. 3

    Slowly squirt a small dab of the clear epoxy under one of the flaking pieces of chrome. Gently press down on the chrome flake with a clean rag until it is flat with the surrounding chrome surface. Continue to hold down on the chrome flake until the chrome flake stays down without any added pressure. This will generally take about three to five minutes. As the epoxy begins to harden, it will hold the chrome to the surface.

  4. 4

    Apply a thin bead of the clear epoxy with the syringe across the top cracks of the flaked chrome. Gently spread the epoxy across the top cracks with a thin plastic putty knife. Move to the next flaked piece of chrome and repeat the same process as outlined above.

  5. 5

    Wait four to six hours for the clear epoxy to harden inside of the flaked chrome cracks and under the surface of the flaked chrome. Wait overnight to ensure that the epoxy has definitely hardened.

  6. 6

    Soak a clean rag down with the lacquer thinner or white spirit, and gently wipe away any excess epoxy from the repaired sections of the flaked chrome. Wipe down all of the repaired areas until all of the excess epoxy has been removed. The clear epoxy will bond with the underneath of the chrome and seal the chrome to the surface as it hardens.

Tips and warnings

  • The longer that the clear epoxy hardens, the better the epoxy will work when it comes to repairing chrome flaking or peeling.
  • Clear metal epoxy, such as the JB Weld Mini Clear Epoxy, can be found at most auto parts stores and most all hardware stores. The plastic syringe can also be found at the same places.
  • Do not apply too much pressure to the flaked or peeling chrome or it could cause the chrome to break or cause the flaked chrome to get worse. Repair the flaked chrome in a gentle manner.
  • Wear protective gloves when applying the lacquer thinner.

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